You might have noticed crystallized ginger in the candy or baking aisle of your local grocery or health food store. This delicious snack is made by drying ginger slices, then curing them and coating them in sugar. The result tastes like a soft, sweet and spicy candy. Lots of people use this treat as a healthier way to satisfy their sweet tooth, but there are many crystallized ginger uses that can give your meals added flavor while providing potential health benefits.
Is Crystallized Ginger Healthy?
Before we go into ways you can use crystallized ginger, you might want to learn the ins and outs of the potential health benefits that come with this sweet treat. Ginger has been used in ancient medicine for centuries, often as an anti-nausea or anti-inflammatory home remedy.
Ginger also has potential nutritional benefits. Ginger is low in fat and low in cholesterol, which makes it a heart-healthy ingredient. Although it is typically eaten in small quantities, ginger can be a minimal source for vitamin C, Magnesium, and Potassium. It also contains some iron, calcium, and fiber.
In addition to ginger’s potential nutritional benefit, it may offer other potential health benefits:
- Nausea relief. Many people use crystallized ginger, ginger teas, and ginger-heavy recipes to offer support for nausea and the symptoms associated with it. One study found that ginger may alleviate nausea associated with chemotherapy treatment, motion sickness, and seasickness. It’s also common for pregnant women to rely on ginger candies and other products to help address the nausea that is often associated with the first trimester.
- Supports energy levels. Studies show that ginger has a “thermogenic” quality, meaning that it slightly increases body temperature during digestion. A study in the journal Metabolism found that ginger may impact energy levels and increase the level of thermogenesis experienced after eating ginger. The same study found that increased thermogenesis may cause a reduction in appetite. Ginger’s spicy scent and taste may also provide extra energy when you are feeling tired or down.
- Supports a healthy internal response. Studies have confirmed that ginger naturally contains properties that promote a healthy internal response. This may be the reason why ginger has been used in home remedies for centuries. For example, in Indonesia, ginger has long been used to temporarily alleviate pain in some circumstances.
It’s important to keep in mind that crystallized ginger is candied–therefore, it contains added sugars. Limiting the amount of added sugars you eat can help you maintain a healthy weight, supporting healthy blood glucose levels already in the normal range, and support other important body functions. Just keep this in mind and limit your intake of crystallized ginger to one serving per day, so you don’t go overboard on the sweets!
Crystallized Ginger Uses
Many people use crystallized ginger as candy–they just pop a few bites in their mouth as they go about their day. However, it can also be used as a healthier sweetening option and ingredient in many foods. Here are some suggestions for crystallized ginger uses you might not have considered:
- Chop crystallized ginger and add it to dessert or quick-bread batter, such as molasses cookies, zucchini bread, banana bread, or gingersnap cookies.
- Add crystallized ginger to a vegetable stir fry to give it a little extra spice and flavor.
- Heat dark chocolate and dip pieces of crystallized ginger for a healthier dessert at your next dinner party.
- Add to your favorite salad to provide texture, sweetness, and spice.
- Chop up a good amount of crystallized ginger and cook it down in water to create a ginger simple syrup that can be added to teas, juices, and smoothies.
If you’re eager to tap into the potential benefits of eating more ginger, it’s not difficult to get started. At Natural Healthy Concepts, we make it easy to learn about a wide array of products that may benefit your health. You can shop our selection of crystallized ginger products here.
Let us know how you use crystallized ginger! We’d love to learn about your recipes and methods in the comments section below.