Ginger used in tea can be reheated and reused up to four times. Adding fresh lemon, honey, and cinnamon can boost its taste.
If you’ve just finished a great cup of tea with ginger and now you’re wondering what to do with the ginger, don’t worry; there are plenty of ways you can use leftover ginger whether it was used in the tea or not.
Whenever I think of ginger, the first thing that pops into my mind is tea, particularly when I’m not feeling well in the winter.
My two cents? Buy ginger sparingly. If you’re not a big ginger user, only buy small quantities. In the past, I have been quite cheeky in the grocery store—I see no problem snapping a piece of ginger and only buying the more minor part.
Here’s how you can make the best use of that ginger, whether it’s sitting at the bottom of a teacup or sitting on the side.
What to Do With Used Ginger
Yes, that ginger you used in your tea can be reused—you don’t have to throw it out immediately.
Or if you’re still not feeling after a cup of tea and ginger or you feel bad about wasting the ginger, you can reuse it in another tea. To enhance its taste, you can add lemon and honey, or even try it in combination with another tea. Typically, ginger works best with green or black tea.
The simplest way to make the most out of the leftover ginger at the bottom of the mug is to eat it. You already consumed some anyway from the tea. That said, the taste of ginger can be strong and for some, the spice can be overwhelming, so understandably, that’s not an option for everyone.
Whatever you decide to do, reusing ginger is a top idea for your health. WebMD and Medical News Bulletin list multiple ways it can help prevent some serious illnesses. The most important include reducing the risk of heart disease, preventing cancer, improving memory, lowering cholesterol and blood sugar, and easing the symptoms of arthritis.
How Many Times Can You Reuse Ginger in Tea?
You can reuse ginger in tea three to four times. Robin of Seasonal Eating says you can re-boil the ginger at least two more times after you initially use it.
She also notes that to achieve the same strength, you can simmer the ginger a little longer and you can chop the ginger up which will help stretch out its usage.
Elsewhere, Bobby of FlavCity has a ginger tea for digestion recipe and he claims the ingredients can be reused up to four times.
How to Reuse Ginger in Tea With Milk?
Milk and ginger are not always the best of friends. There are plenty of tea lovers out there who wouldn’t advise mixing the ginger and milk in tea—often, ginger is said to work better with dark tea.
However, in India and Africa, some tea drinkers do mix the two, which is said to be good for digestion—but it should be done properly.
Ellementry explains that if you add ginger to cold milk, it will start to curdle as it releases acids. To avoid this, they advise heating the milk first and then adding grated ginger.
But if you have ginger tea with milk and you’re wondering how to use it, you first need to think about how old the milk is. If the milk has been left out for a while at room temperature, it’ll probably be best to throw it away as it could make you sick.
Dassana of Dassana’s Veg Recipes recommends cashew, almond, or oat milk as an alternative to cow’s milk. She also recommends heating (but not boiling) milk separately and adding it to the ginger tea hot.
How to Reuse Ginger in Tea With Lemon
The best way to reuse ginger and lemon tea is to reheat it lightly, then add fresh lemon or lemon juice and add any extras, such as raw honey or cinnamon, as suggested by Jyothi Rajesh’s “Soothing Honey-Lemon Ginger Tea” recipe from Curry Trail.
But before we get to reheating that tea, it’s important to note that ginger lemon tea should not be kept in the fridge for longer than 4-6 days and should be reheated at a low temperature—don’t boil the tea. Though, Rajesh prefers to make a fresh batch each time.
You may also want to re-add fresh lemon—whether it be juice or slices—after heating the tea because hot water can turn lemon bitter. However, if you don’t mind a more bitter tea, you can do the opposite.
What to Do With Leftover Ginger (Not Used in Tea)
If you’ve got a handy chuck of ginger sitting on the kitchen counter unused from your tea, there are a lot of recipes online that can be used.
Depending on how experimental you’re feeling, you can find great recipes at BBC Good Food and Today. Ginger is an excellent ingredient for cakes and desserts, but also works wonders with beef and chicken recipes.
The good news is that you don’t have to use ginger immediately:
According to an article by MasterClass, unpeeled ginger can be stored in the fridge for over a month if properly stored in an airtight container or resealable bag, or up to two to three weeks if peeled. That’s plenty of time to put ginger to good use. (Just don’t forget that you have it!)
If you’re not sure if your ginger is still good to use, Listonic notes three things to look for:
- Mold. If you see any mold growing on the ginger, they suggest throwing it out.
- Weak smell. Fresh ginger has a stronger smell while rotten ginger doesn’t and may smell unpleasant.
- Mushy texture. A dead giveaway—fresh ginger should be hard and rough, rotten ginger is soft and squishy.
However, do note that not everyone agrees on the mold front. William McCoy of Garden Guides argues that mold can be cut off so long as it hasn’t gotten into the flesh, in which case you should throw it away.
Don’t have the time or patience to store ginger or are worried it would just sit around in the fridge taking up space? Sometimes I just eat it for a little harsh kick, but of course, if you have a large piece of ginger left over, that’s going to be a challenge.