Ginger is a tangy spice which lends its distinctive flavor to gingerbread and ginger ale. It is a standard pantry spice and is often used in Chinese and Indian cooking. Ginger spice comes from a rhizome, which is the root of the ginger plant. One way to preserve the ginger root is to dehydrate the rhizome, which removes the moisture. The leaves of the ginger plant can also be dehydrated. A home food dehydrator is typically a countertop appliance used to dehydrate food. While an oven can also be used, it will take much longer and use more energy.
Things You'll Need
- Sharp knife
- Ginger root
- Ginger leaves
- Food dehydrator or wire meshed tray
Cut the ginger root into thin slices. Keep the slices equally sized, and slice as thin as possible.
Arrange the ginger slices on the rack of a food dehydrator; do not overlap the slices. Do the same with the ginger leaves. If dehydrating in the oven, use wire mesh trays.
If you are drying both the sliced root and the leaves, do not place them on the same tray. Use separate trays, as they will require different processing times.
Turn your food dehydrator on and set the temperature to 95 degrees. If using the oven, turn the temperature as low as possible. Don't use the oven method if you can't set the temperature below 150 degrees. Ideally you want 95 degrees, but most ovens won't go that low.
Set the food dehydrator trays in the appliance and close the lid. It should take between one to three hours for leaves, and two to six hours for root slices, depending on humidity factors. If using the oven, set the wire mesh trays on a rack in the oven. Spread them apart, to allow for ventilation. Turn the ginger every few hours and keep the oven door propped open about 4 inches. This may take considerably longer.