I don’t know why exactly, but the other day I was suddenly struck with this incredibly insistent urge to make candied ginger. I immediately googled it and found a recipe and was pleased to see that she said it was EASY! Yes! Awesome!
A day or two later I made it to the store to purchase some ginger root. The knobby roots sat on the island in my kitchen staring at me … waiting for me to have time to turn them into chewy sweet hot candy. They were calling to me. I could barely stand it!
Ginger is one of those amazingly versatile seasonings. We generally put it in sweets like cookies and cakes and pies, but also in soups and curries and tea and all sorts of other savory dishes as well as sweet! I especially love how a bit of fresh ginger root can add a good spicy KICK to your food.
Not only is it tasty, ginger is also good for your health. It has a lot of strong antioxidants that can help in healing our bodies and maintaining health. It is good for soothing vomiting, nausea, chest congestion, headaches, and can even help as a anti inflammatory for people with arthritis, motion sickness, migraines and diarrhea. So how about that? This is a candy that is actually GOOD for you.
I have long loved ginger. I don’t know why I never thought to prepare it this way. Until now.
Finally, yesterday the time came to cook up my precious ginger.
This candied ginger is chewy and sweet with a bit of a kick! I think it would make a great holiday gift, especially for someone with health issues. I am not sure exactly why I suddenly HAD to make candied ginger, but when I have these strong feelings telling me to go DO something, I just do it. I will discover later the connection that pulled me to do this.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 pound fresh ginger root
- 5 cups water
- Approximately 1 pound (2 cups) granulated sugar
- Spray a cooling rack with nonstick spray and set it over a pan for catching the stray sugar that falls from the ginger.
- Peel the ginger root and slice into 1/8-inch thick slices. I tried to use my slicer, but found this went easier with a good knife and a cutting board. Place the ginger into a 4-quart saucepan with the water and set over medium-high heat. Cover and cook for 35 minutes or until the ginger is tender.
- Transfer the ginger to a colander to drain, reserving the cooking liquid. Save that precious ginger juice!
- Return the ginger and 1/4 cup cooking water to the pan and add the sugar. They say to weigh the ginger and add an equal amount of sugar, but not having a scale, I just used 2 cups of sugar.
- Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
- Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar syrup looks dry, has almost evaporated and begins to recrystallize. This takes about 20 minutes. I was kind of watching the clock at this point, and not really believing that this would happen because it still looked liquified to me at 20 minutes but then suddenly a minute or two later: poof! it was done. Just as she said. It went from liquid to solid so suddenly that if I hadn’t been paying attention, it would have burned!
- Transfer the ginger immediately to the cooling rack and using a spoon or tongs, spread it out on the rack to separate the VERY HOT ginger slices. Once the ginger is completely cool, transfer it to an airtight container. She says it will store for up to 2 weeks.
- Save the sugar that drops beneath the cooling rack and use to top ginger snaps, sprinkled over ice cream or to sweeten coffee or tea. The spicy gingery juice (that reserved cooking liquid!) is great for use in tea or soups.