Ginger Substitute

Ginger Root and Ground Ginger
Ginger Root and Ground Ginger. Joff Lee/Photolibrary/Getty Images

Working on a recipe that calls for ginger? If you don't have any on hand or you're allergic, try these substitutes for fresh ginger root, ground ginger and crystallized ginger.

Ground Ginger Substitute

Use one Tablespoon of fresh ginger for every 1/4 tsp of ground ginger called for in your recipe. Grate or mince it finely, so it doesn't overpower your recipe.

If you don't have any fresh ginger root, or you're allergic to ginger, use an equal amount of allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, mace or nutmeg.

Pumpkin pie spice is another option to consider, it's typically a blend of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. These substitutes will change the flavor and color of the dish slightly, but will work just fine in a pinch.

Working on a bread, cookie or dessert recipe that calls for ground ginger? Then, stick to allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice as the substitute. Fresh ginger just won't cut it.

Fresh Ginger Root Substitute

Ground ginger is much more concentrated in flavor than fresh, so use 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger for every Tablespoon of fresh ginger that your recipe calls for. This is a good substitute, if you object to the shape bite of fresh ginger. Ground ginger has none of that. Another option if you hate that bite: young ginger root. It's much milder in taste. Look for it at an Asian grocery store.

If you're allergic to ginger or you don't have any ground ginger on hand, use 1/4 teaspoon of ground allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, mace or nutmeg for every Tablespoon of fresh ginger called for.

Crystallized Ginger Substitute

Crystallized ginger (also known as candied or glace ginger), is fresh ginger that has been cooked in sugar water and rolled in sugar. If you have a recipe that calls for this ingredient, just substitute 1/8 teaspoon of ground ginger for every Tablespoon of crystallized ginger called for.

That works out to one teaspoon of ground for every 1/2 cup of crystallized. If your recipe uses crystallized ginger as a garnish, choose something else for your garnish, or just leave it off. Ground ginger won’t be a good substitute in this situation.

Did You Know?

Fresh ginger freezes beautifully. Keep a ginger root in your freezer, and pull it out whenever you need it for a recipe. You don’t even have to thaw it first. Just grate as much as you need, and stick the rest back in the freezer for next time. Easy! Here’s more information about how to store ginger properly. including instructions for how to grow it on your windowsill. Fun!

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