Making ginger juice is a simple, rewarding exercise and can be easily done at home. Ginger is basically the knob-studded, irregular-shaped roots of the tropical ginger plant native to Asia, and ginger juice is an extract of those roots. Ginger has a spicy cum sweet taste, but can be far spicier if consumed in large amounts. Widespread awareness of its multiple health benefits, antioxidant properties in particular, has led to extensive use of ginger as a seasoning in cuisines around the world.
Select whole pieces of fresh, raw ginger. Ginger is available in the vegetable section of any supermarket near you. The size or number of ginger pieces will depend on the amount of ginger juice you need. For a trial run, purchase a small packet of medium-sized, whole pieces of ginger.
Wash the ginger pieces thoroughly. As the consumable part of the ginger plant (the ginger roots) are found underground, chances are that some remnants of soil, fibres and other debris may be lodged between the crevasses of the ginger you buy. This is why it is important to thoroughly wash the pieces of ginger you use to extract pure ginger juice.
Use a standard vegetable peeler to peel the ginger skin from each piece selected. If you find it difficult to manoeuvre the peeler around some small, abnormally shaped protrusions on the surface of the ginger pieces, use a small kitchen knife to slice them off for a more even surface. This will make grating easier.
Grate the peeled pieces of ginger. Use an all-purpose kitchen grater to grate each piece of ginger and collect the gratings in cheesecloth.
Wrap the gratings tightly in cheesecloth. Then squeeze the cheesecloth as tightly as possible over a small ceramic glass or plastic bowl to collect the ginger juice. If you require a larger volume of ginger juice, select a few more pieces of ginger and repeat the washing/peeling/grating/squeezing process.
- Ginger juice can also be extracted using a garlic press instead of cheesecloth, or by using a blender to chop ginger and then squeezing the resultant mass in cheesecloth to extract ginger juice.
- If frequently used to make ginger juice, fresh, unpeeled ginger must be kept in a polythene bag and stored in the vegetable crisper section of a refrigerator, or in the freezer compartment. This will preserve the ginger and keep it fresh and juicy.
- Ginger juice is ideal as a meat tenderizer, or as an additive in sauces, baked products, fruit juices, dressings and marinades because of its popular, distinctive taste.
- Do not store ginger for more than one week in the vegetable crisper section of your refrigerator, or for more than three to four weeks in the freezer section. This will rid the ginger of its freshness.
- Do not thaw ginger before grating, as frozen ginger is easier to grate.
- Do not consume raw ginger juice as it can cause a pungent, burning sensation on lips, and in your mouth and throat. Mix concentrated ginger juice with an adequate amount of water or any fruit juice.