I first found about preserved ginger while aimlessly browsing at supermarket shelves (a favorite pastime) and was super curious about it.
I love the peppery taste of ginger, added as a spice to food, especially stir-fries. The zestiness of ginger tea and the flavor that it lends to cakes and gingerbread cookies. The thin slices of gari made to eat in between sushi and sashimi. Ginger ale! The list goes on.
Ginger is not only incredibly unique in taste, but also a “superfood” – which is great, because the list of supercheap non-carby superfoods is far from exhaustive. If the hundreds of articles online are to be believed, ginger alleviates health conditions that range from motion sickness to menstrual cramps and even kills bacteria and fungus. Pretty magical stuff.
The store bought stem ginger in syrup is crazy delicious, but the sugar, man… no can do. So, I bought it out of curiosity, tasted it and loved it but the jar has remained sadly in the fridge for maybe a year now?
And there the sugary stuff is going to remain, to be used as a weapon when the day comes, because I thought, how hard can it be to DIY a keto version of this? Not hard at all! It just takes some time and 3 ingredients only: water, keto sweetener (xylitol or allulose are preferred), and ginger!
How to choose fresh ginger
- Pick ginger with smooth and shiny skin, not shriveled and pruny. 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.
Cheap as it is, I went ahead and 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 peeled the whole kg of ginger by vigorously brushing the roots under water, which sounded easier than trying to use a knife or peeler, as they are full of nooks and crannies. Still, it took a crazy long time. And all the rubbing made the the spicy vapors so strong in the kitchen that my nose and eyes started burning. I think I got high from it because I swear I started seeing some odd shapes in the pieces. For example,
and there were other way less pretty and NSFW shapes too. I’ll leave it to your imagination 😁
How to make stem ginger in sugar-free syrup
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.
Occasionally check for the water level: if the rate of evaporation is too fast you might have to add more water. If you do, add boiling water to not slow down the rate of cooking.
For how long should the ginger boil?
It took about 4 hours of simmering to soften this batch, which was my first. I know… 😕 Yours might get done sooner, so check as you go. I’ve read around that if the ginger is frozen before cooking it will soften faster. I have a full bag of washed and chopped ginger sitting in the freezer now, and after we finish with this jar I’ll try again with the frozen one to test if the cooking time will be reduced or not. I’m also considering trying it in a pressure cooker… Let’s see what happens. If you would like to try these ideas before I do, please let me know how much faster you got your stem ginger ready!
Update: I found out what happened to my frozen ginger after 6 months… it turned into mush. Really, if I lightly squeeze the ginger in between my fingers, I juice it! So, freezing the ginger definitely works for softening it, but 6 months might be a tad too long…
If you’ve made this this keto friendly preserved ginger and would like to try it in a recipe, go and check out our gingerbread and walnut rum cake!!
Share with your friends,
they might cook for you!
- 300 grams fresh ginger root, peeled and cut into one inch pieces
- 1 liter of water
- 200 grams keto baking sweetener
1. Add all ingredients to a large 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.
Freezing the ginger for a few days before using will make it soften faster.
Allulose or xylitol are the preferred sweeteners, as erythritol might cause some crystallization in the syrup - but that's ok.
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.