Got a sweet tooth? Boy, do we have a great option for you! If you’re the kind of person that craves chewy candy, crystallized ginger is a tasty, naturally sweet and spicy treat that will help curb your craving and offer potential health benefits. Learn more in this blog post!
Why Try Crystallized Ginger?
There are so many snacks out there that encourage a healthy lifestyle. From nutrition bars to nuts and seeds, the delicious and nutritious options are endless. But nothing quite beats the satisfying, sweet and spicy chewy enjoyment of crystallized ginger, also known as candied ginger or ginger chews.
Ginger root (which can be consumed fresh, powdered, dried, in oil or as juice) contains a variety of nutrients for your body that may support a healthy immune system, digestive system, brain function, and cholesterol levels already within the normal range. It’s an easily accessible ingredient that not only tastes delicious in cakes and cookies, but also makes a fantastic snack on its own.
Crystallized ginger is made of ginger root that has been cooked and then lightly coated in sugar or a sugar-free sweetener. All you have to do is pop one of these soft, moist candies in your mouth, and you’re on your way to satiating hunger and temporarily calming an upset stomach.
You can buy premade, fat-free Crystallized Ginger Dices or Slices from NOW Foods that have been lightly brushed with cane syrup and sprinkled with cane sugar, for use in recipes or as a quick dessert. Or, for a fun family activity, try making your own crystallized ginger recipe at home to promote your healthy lifestyle!
Simple Do-It-Yourself Crystallized Ginger Recipe
Homemade crystallized ginger has a soft, sticky, and tender texture with tons of flavor. If you’ve never made it before, start with this easy recipe (courtesy of kitchn.com) for traditional crystallized ginger. What’s even better? The ingredients can already be found in your pantry.
1 ½ cup water
1 ½ cup sugar (plus a little extra to coat) or sugar-free sweetener like Stevia
1 cup peeled and sliced ginger root
- In a saucepan, mix water and sugar/sweetener and bring to a boil.
- Add the slices of ginger and let simmer for 20 minutes at a reduced heat.
- With a slotted spoon, move ginger to a drying rack with a pan or dish underneath to avoid a mess.
- Let sit. Once dry, this recipe suggests coating slices in additional sugar/sweetener however you might find you could scale back on the extra sweetener depending on your taste.
- Store in an airtight container.
Hungry for More? Try Another Crystallized Ginger Recipe!
Honey and Vanilla Crystallized Ginger
If you want to give your crystallized ginger a little pizazz, this recipe is a great option. Courtesy of The Healthy Foodie, it is a little more involved but is a great way to give this spicy candy a little sweetness using honey, vanilla bean, and coconut!
4 cups water
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 vanilla bean
1 ½ pound ginger (sliced or cut in cubes)
- In a saucepan, add water and ginger and bring to a boil. Lower heat and let simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes.
- Add innards of vanilla and honey to saucepan and continue simmering for an additional 45 minutes.Turn off heat and let ginger sit in the saucepan for at least 6 hours (overnight is even better).
- Bring back to boil and then simmer, partly covered for 30 minutes. Turn off heat and let cool completely.
- Repeat step 4 two more times.
- For one last time, bring back to a boil and then allow to simmer partly covered until honey is thick. Be careful not to let it burn – about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove ginger slices/pieces and place on a drying rack.
- Grind coconut and coat ginger.
- Store in an airtight container.
If you like to experiment, an interesting alternative might be to substitute the vanilla bean and honey for a few drops of cinnamon and vanilla flavored no-calorie natural liquid Stevia from NOW Foods.
The Perfect Sweet Treat
Though crystallized ginger is a great healthy snack to eat on its own, there are other fun ways to use it in the kitchen. For instance, you can use crystallized ginger in baked goods such as scones, shortbread and biscotti just to name a few!
There’s really no wrong way to make crystallized ginger. Whether it’s a simple recipe or something more involved with honey and vanilla, you are sure to have a delectable treat that goes above and beyond being a simple candy. With the potential health benefits to consider, be sure to reach for crystallized ginger the next time you have a craving for something sweet and spicy!
Have you tried your own homemade crystallized ginger recipe? Share your tips in the comments below!