The distinctive fiery taste of ginger has long established it as a favorite ingredient in a multitude of sweet and savory dishes. Its spicy, earthy flavor adds depth to curries, a welcome heat to chutneys and enhances the flavor of delicious treats like carrot cake, not to mention taking center stage in gingerbread. And though it’s quite common to add a small amount to juices to give them a kick, did you know ginger shots are also a thing?
We’re all familiar with popular ginger-based drinks such as ginger ale and ginger beer, and you may have even tried drinks from your local juice bar that have a kick of ginger. But have you ever wondered how to juice ginger at home? This hard root doesn’t necessarily look like it contains much juice, but then, neither does kale and we manage to get juice shots out of that, so why not ginger?
We wanted to know how easy it is to juice ginger at home, so while we were reviewing one of the best juicers, we attempted to juice ginger. Our aim was to figure out how to do it, whether it needs peeling, and whether a domestic juicer could cope with this tough, fibrous root, not to mention how much juice you get from a chunk of ginger root, so read on to see how we got on…
Why juice ginger?
Well, aside from the obvious fiery kick that some people swear by as an alternative to caffeine in the mornings, ginger has numerous reported health benefits. Most of us have heard of its potential to reduce feelings of nausea, though if you do feel nauseous, a whole shot of ginger juice is probably the last thing you’ll want. But it’s also been used medicinally for thousands of years, and while much evidence is anecdotal there is evidence of real health benefits.
According to a clinical dietician at Johns Hopkins Medicine, ginger can support your well-being. It contains 400 natural compounds, including anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants. It’s also reportedly good for aiding digestion as well as gut health.
Do I need a juicer?
Without a juicing appliance, you’re going to struggle to efficiently extract all the juice from ginger. A bit of Googling will lead you to various recipes and ways of doing it. But we figure life’s too short to be shredding ginger and straining it through a cheesecloth to extract what is likely to be a very small quantity of juice! You may as well just consume your ginger in other ways, like adding it to stir fries or making ginger tea. So based on this, we only experimented with juicing ginger in a juicer.
How to juice ginger
The first question is whether ginger needs to be peeled before juicing and actually this one is pretty easy to answer. The skin isn’t tough, in fact it’s far thinner and more delicate than the root itself, so a juicer that can cope with ginger can easily discard the skin and there’s no need to peel it first. This is great news because it reduces the prep time, especially since ginger can be fiddly to peel.
When it comes to how much you need to cut up the ginger, this will depend on your juicer. It’s always worth having a read through the user manual to see what the product manufacturer advises. We had a look through the manuals for the top three juicers in our best juicer guide to see what they advise. Breville the Juice Fountain Cold offers no advise on juicing ginger, neither does the AMZCHEF slow juicer. The Nutribullet juicer advises juicing ginger on the higher speed setting and where ginger is listed in the included recipe book, it suggests juicing 2 inch pieces at a time.
We used this as a bit of a starting point and cut our unpeeled ginger into 2 inch chunks ready for juicing. We were using the Magimix Juice Expert 3, a juicer that claims to be a cold press juicer, but that works in much the same way as a centrifugal juicer. This model only has one speed, so we threw the pieces down the chute and weighed what came out of the other end.
We juiced 7oz/ 200g ginger including skin and this gave us 4.8oz/ 135g of juice, which we thought was a pretty impressive result. It’s more juice than we managed to extract from carrots in the same juicer which surprised us.
A standard ginger shot is approximately 1oz/ 30ml and we were keen to figure out how many ounces of fresh ginger are required to produce a single shot. In this particular juicer you’d need 1.5oz/ 43g fresh ginger root to make a shot, but do keep in mind this quantity will vary depending on the juicer and the type of ginger, as well as how fresh the ginger is.
All-in-all, juicing ginger isn’t tricky when you’ve got a juicer, and most juicers can handle it quite easily. If you haven’t tried juiced ginger, take it from us, it certainly has a spicy kick when you drink it on its own, plus ours had a bitter back note that we weren’t expecting. It’s a bit of an acquired taste and we think it’s nicer when added to a mixture of other fruits and vegetables – you’ll still be able to enjoy all the health benefits this way, but it might be more pleasant to drink. And, if you’re not convinced that a kick of ginger in the morning is a suitable replacement for caffeine, head over to our roundup of the best espresso machines for something to really wake you up in the morning.