Ginger juice is a delicious, healthy drink that can be incorporated in a variety of recipes, including fresh juice blends and ginger shots. Raw ginger comes in the form of a dry, hard root that may not appear very juicy at first glance. However, extracting ginger juice at home is a simple process as long as you have the right tools. It can be used as a drink on its own — sometimes taken as a wellness shot — or mixed in with other juices if the flavor is too strong.
Prepare the Ginger Root
First, thoroughly wash the root with warm running water and pat it dry. You don't need to peel the skin before juicing. However, make sure to inspect the ginger and remove any broken knob ends or blemishes.
If you notice that the root is shriveled, tough or has dark or soft spots, it's likely spoiled. Luckily, a nice fresh "hand" of ginger is easy to find inexpensively at the grocery store.
To preserve fresh ginger for later juicing, toss it into the freezer. Frozen ginger has the added benefit of being much easier to grate, which also makes it easier to juice.
Use a Juicer
If you own a juicer, making your own ginger juice is straightforward. Simply chop the ginger into 1-inch chunks and then insert the chunks into the juicer's feed tube.
Use a Grater, Microplaner or Food Processor
If you don't own a juicer, you can still prepare fresh ginger juice at home. First, grate the ginger root to expose the inner pulp. You can use a few tools to grate ginger, including:
- Ginger grater: Ginger graters are designed especially for this purpose. They can be found in specialty stores.
- Lemon zester: In lieu of a ginger grater, a lemon zester works just as well to grate the ginger root. Use it the same as you would with lemon.
- Microplaner: A microplaner, like one used to grate cheese, also works well to grate ginger.
- Garlic press: A garlic press effectively minces the ginger root into fine pieces.
- Food processor: To use a food processor for this purpose, first chop the ginger roughly and then blend it into a mash.
Grate the ginger into a bowl lined with cheesecloth. If you don't have cheesecloth on hand, clean pantyhose or a thin dish towel can also work. Then, gather up the cheesecloth and squeeze the juice into the bowl. You will be left with dry pulp in the cloth, which you can then discard.
Ginger Shots, Ginger Juice and Other Recipes
The resulting ginger juice can be blended with other juices for healthy ginger shots or fresh juices. Common juices to include in ginger shot recipes include lemon juice, carrot juice, beet juice and fresh apple juice.
You can also add ginger juice to smoothies, desserts and cooked goods. The juice is commonly used in many East Asian recipes, for example. Fresh ginger juice lasts for one to two days in the refrigerator. To prolong the shelf life, put it into the freezer, where it will last for up to six months.
Ginger juice features a number of health benefits. The spicy root is a natural anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. It boosts the immune system, soothes the stomach, speeds up your metabolism and aids digestion. Another ginger shot benefit is that it helps regulate blood sugar.
Another feature of ginger is that it can act as a palate cleanser. While it normally isn't served as a juice at sushi restaurants, you may often see a small pile next to your sushi roll.