Hey, Do I Really Have to Peel Ginger?

Because it’s really annoying to peel ginger with a spoon.

Kitchen, Ingredient, Fresh - Grated Organic Ginger


Kitchen, Ingredient, Fresh - Grated Organic Ginger

Photo by: GCShutter/Getty Images

GCShutter/Getty Images

The phrase "new year, new you" might be cliché, but you can totally turn over a leaf when it comes to prepping ginger. Because let’s be honest, that nubbly root — despite its delightfully zingy flavor and many impressive health benefits — is a downright pain to peel.

For years people have advocated the spoon peeling hack. Conventional wisdom says that it’s easier to peel a ginger root with the edge of a spoon than it is with a vegetable peeler. Use the edge of the spoon to delicately scrape away the skin whilst working around all the bumps and knobs and slowly rotating the ginger as you go. But I’ve got a hot take: the spoon peeling hack is a total myth. It doesn’t make any sense to gouge away at tough, bark-like ginger skin with the blunt end of a spoon. It’s simply not an effective tool.

Here’s a better idea: don’t peel your ginger. We’ve been reading questions about whether or not you have to peel your ginger on threads around the web, so we decided to consult our nutrition expert, Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC. "Ginger peel is completely safe to consume," Dana said. "I often slice off coins of unpeeled ginger and steep in hot water for the tastiest ginger tea. The peel may contain more fiber [than the rest of the ginger root]."

Dana emphasized that the peel should be washed thoroughly before you use it, just like any produce with edible skin. And yep, the skin is tough and fibrous so consider how you’re going to use that unpeeled ginger. In most preparations, such as this Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry, you’ll be finely chopping or grating the ginger before cooking it, so you won’t notice the skin. Even when you’re throwing it into a Smoothie, most recipes ask you to grate or slice that ginger first (see our Kiwi-Ginger Zinger Protein Smoothie and Green Smoothie). In the rare event that your dish involves larger slices of raw ginger (if you’re making candied ginger, for example), you’ll probably want to peel it first.

Next time, when you’re confronted with a piece of ginger, save your spoon for what it’s meant for: eating a giant bowl of ice cream soup.

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