Preserved Ginger in Sugar-Free Syrup

Now you can have delicious, sweet and spicy homemade preserved stem ginger in syrup, with zero sugar!

This easy stem ginger recipe is perfect for eating solo and adding to keto & low-carb recipes. The sugar-free ginger syrup is delicious in drinks, and a jar of this preserved ginger makes a wonderful homemade gift!

An open mason jar filled with homemade preserved ginger in sugar-free syrup.

Sugar-free preserved stem ginger

I love the peppery taste of ginger, added as a spice to food, in ginger tea, in gingerbread cake and cookies, in ginger ale and ginger cocktails, and as a spicy kick to bring up the warmth in keto mulled wine.

And preserved stem ginger in syrup is a delicious way of having the ginger, just by itself, as a sweet treat.

The problem is, store bought stem ginger in syrup is just chockful with sugar! Definitely not keto friendly, and any health benefits you might expect from eating this mighty superfood are utterly nullified by the high sugar content.

That’s why I created this sugar-free, low-carb and super keto preserved stem ginger recipe, that you can make in the comfort of your own home with just 3 ingredients!

Preserved stem ginger cut into small pieces.

The ingredients

Making this easy keto preserved ginger recipe just takes some time and 3 ingredients only: water, keto sweetener (like allulose), and stem ginger!

Erythritol is a fantastic keto sweetener and it could be used as well, but it can cause some crystallization in the syrup, because of its properties. For this reason only, it’s best to use allulose or xylitol.

Ingredients for keto preserved ginger - water, sweetener and stem ginger.

How to choose fresh ginger

  • Pick ginger with smooth and shiny skin, not shriveled and papery. The skins should also be on the thinner side, and you can test this by scratching the surface with your nail, it is good if it easily peels off. Imagine that you’ll have to remove this skin later…
  • The root piece should feel heavy for it’s size, as an indication that it’s still full of moisture and not drying up.
  • The freshest ginger will snap when broken. Try to tear an arm off. If it offers resistance, feels elastic or if it starts bending before it breaks, don’t buy it.

The easiest way to peel ginger

Peeling ginger can be done easily with a small spoon or knife:

  1. Use a small spoon: Hold the ginger root with one hand and use the edge of a spoon to scrape away the skin, starting from the top and working your way down.
  2. Use a knife: Choose a paring knife, which is easier to handle. Peel the larger ginger surfaces as you would a potato, then make small cuts at the little knobs to open the skin and then use your finger nails to peel it away.

A vegetable peeler is not ideal for peeling ginger, as the surface of the roots is very uneven and full of little knobs. The same goes for vegetable brushes (like coconut fiber brushes). I’ve tried, as I’ll describe below, without much success.

I find it better to work with a bowl of water, and soak the ginger as I peel it. This will help remove the peel, as it remains soft, and the water catches them as you work.

Frozen ginger skin becomes brittle so it’s easier to peel. Let the ginger thaw before peeling to avoid freezing your fingers!

Mason jar with homemade preserved ginger without sugar.

But, the first time I made this recipe… I’ll share what happened so you can avoid making the same mistakes:

I bought almost 1 kilo of ginger root and decided to just wash and peel all of it all at once, and keep what I was not going to use prepped and frozen for another time. Big mistake – I should have frozen everything before starting!

I peeled the whole kilo of fresh ginger by vigorously brushing the roots under water, which sounded easier than trying to use a knife or spoon (it’s not), as they are full of nooks and crannies.

All the ginger rubbing made the the spicy vapors so strong in the kitchen that my nose and eyes started burning. I then started seeing some odd shapes formed by the roots. For example,

A piece of root ginger resembling a bunny.
A ginger bunny

A piece of ginger root resembling a cat.
A ginger cat

and other way less pretty and NSFW shapes too. I’ll leave it to your imagination 😁

How to make stem ginger in sugar-free syrup

The LikeHotKeto sugar-free preserved ginger is really simple to make, and impossible to get wrong. You’ll just need to boil the ginger with the water and sweetener until it’s softened!

Just make sure to follow my tips above for choosing the freshest ginger and how to peel it to get the best results!

Making preserved ginger without sugar, step by step.

In a regular pan:

It doesn’t get any easier: Just add all ingredients to a pan and bring it to a boil, stirring until the sweetener is completely dissolved.

Then, bring down the heat to very low, cover the pan, and let it simmer until the ginger gets softened. You can check this by piercing a piece with a fork. It should go through without much resistance.

Ginger roots can have different textures to start with, and some will take longer boiling time to soften than others. It can take about 2 to 3 hours for fresh ginger, less if frozen.

It’s important to keep an eye on the level of water throughout the cooking, as you don’t want it to dry out. Add a little more water when needed, boiling so not to bring down the temperature which would prolong the cooking time.

In an pressure cooker or instant pot:

To make this sugar-free preserved ginger in a pressure cooker or instant pot, heat the water before adding to the pan first, so it will dissolve the sweetener straight away as you mix.

Close the pan, set pressure to high and cook for 60 minutes until the ginger is softened. Let pressure release naturally.

Finely chopped sugar-free stem ginger, ready to be used in recipes.

Hot tip: Freeze the ginger

My first batch on the stove top (not on pressure cooker) took nearly 3 hours of simmering to soften!

You can decrease the cooking time to half that, or even less, using ginger that has been previously frozen for a few days.

Ginger will get naturally softer when frozen, and it will be easier to peel as well. But, there is a time limit.

I left a bag of ginger in the freezer for a few months and it turned to mush. For real, if I lightly squeezed the ginger in between my fingers, I’d juice it!

That’s definitely not the consistency you want for a preserved stem ginger, so if freezing I say don’t go past one month.

Homemade keto stem ginger in mason jar, fresh ginger knobs.

Storage

Keep the sugar-free preserved ginger in an airtight container – a mason jar is ideal – in the fridge for up to one month.

It’s important that the ginger remains submerged in the syrup so that it stays fresh for as long as possible.

If you’ve made this this preserved ginger and would like to try it in a recipe, go and check out my keto gingerbread cake – with real ginger!


An open mason jar filled with homemade preserved ginger in sugar-free syrup.

Preserved Stem Ginger in Sugar-Free Syrup

Yield: 400 grams/ 14 oz jar
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

The super easy sugar-free homemade preserved stem ginger is deliciously sweet and spicy! It's great in keto & low-carb recipes, cocktails or by itself as a healthy sweet treat!

Ingredients

Instructions

Preserved ginger in a regular pan

  1. Add sliced ginger, sweetener and water to a pan and bring it to a boil, stirring until the sweetener is completely dissolved. Bring down the heat to very low, cover the pan, and let it simmer.
  2. Check the the pan for the water level at about every 30 minutes. If the water is not covering the ginger pieces anymore, add more boiling water.
  3. Simmer until the stem ginger gets softened. You can check for doneness by piercing one with a fork. It should take 2 to 3 fours, less time for ginger that has been frozen.

Preserved ginger in pressure cooker

  1. Boil the water. Add the hot water, sweetener and the ginger to the pressure cooker or instant pot. If needed, add more water to reach at least the "minimum" level mark inside the pan. Stir well to dissolve the sweetener.
  2. Cook fresh ginger for 60 minutes on high pressure, previously frozen ginger for 40 minutes. Let pressure release naturally.

Notes

*Freezing the ginger for a few days before using will make it soften much faster. If using fresh ginger, it takes about 2-3 hours in a regular pan and 60 minutes in a pressure cooker/instant pot. It can take about half this time for previously frozen ginger.

**Allulose or xylitol are the preferred sweeteners for the ginger syrup. Erythritol can be used, but it might cause some crystallization in the syrup.

Store the ginger in an airtight jar in the fridge, fully submerged in the syrup.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 25 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 20Total Fat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 76mgCarbohydrates: 4.5gNet Carbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0.5gSugar: 0.4gProtein: 0.5g

Nutritional information is provided as a guideline only. Different brands of ingredients may have different nutrition facts. If you are doing a very strict form of keto, such as for medical purposes, please do remake the calculations using the nutrition facts from the labels of the ingredients you selected. Net carbs calculated exclude carbs from insoluble fiber and the sugar alcohol erythritol.

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9 Comments

  1. If it stays submerged in the syrup, it will keep for a long time (at least one month in the fridge, but I’ve kept for longer). It can grow moldy on the top if it’s dry, though.

  2. I am a huge fan of condiments and little preserved goodies to keep on hand for salads and snacks. This ginger is easy to make and great on so many things!

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