Have you ever had a ginger chew?
I hadn’t until earlier this year. I went out to eat with a friend, and after dinner she handed me a neatly wrapped little ginger chew. She said she often ate one after eating to help her better digest her food. I was intrigued so I ate it.
Sweet and spicy juices filled my mouth, and I was in love! It was so good. It definitely had the heat of ginger, but there was a sweetness to it that made the heat a good thing.
A week later she bought me my own pack so I could enjoy them some more.
Ginger is an amazing herb… one I’m glad to know and use often. I’ve written about using ginger at the first sign of a cold (along with a good dose of echinacea) in a Lemon Ginger Tea. Well, ginger chews are another way you can get the goodness of ginger in your system. You can use them to aid in digestion, upset stomach, gas or cramps, induce sweating, relieve nausea/motion sickness/morning sickness, and decrease inflammation among many other things.
I personally use these healthy ginger chews to aid in digestion after meals and to prevent or counteract nausea or car sickness. Below is how I make ours… its been adapted from common cough drop recipes so that it ends up chewy and not rock hard.
BTW… my kids actually love these. I didn’t think they would because they’re a bit on the spicy side, but they ask for them over and over again!
Adapted from Vintage Remedies recipe
- 2 c. pure water
- 1/4 c. shredded fresh ginger root – packed
- 3/4 c. organic cane sugar (brown sugar works too)
- 1/4 c. pure honey (no need for raw honey here)
- candy thermometer
Grate ginger root, pack it down into a 1/4 c. measuring cup, and add to water in a saucepan and simmer until half the liquid has evaporated (about 30 minutes). Strain and compost ginger. Reserve 1 cup of ginger decoction.
Grease a small glass dish (I use 7×4 inch) with coconut oil. Cut some parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan and cover it with coconut oil too.
Pour ginger decoction in a large clean saucepan. Add in sugar and honey over high heat until it reaches 260 degrees or passes a water drop test which is the preferred method.
I tried this recipe 3 times to get it right. The first time I heated it to 245 degrees, and in the end my chews were more like runs. Then I reheated the batch and got it to 300 degrees. I ended up with ginger cough drops. So finally I completely remade the entire recipe and used the water drop test. In the photo above, you can see the progression of the bubbles… how they change from light in color to a deeper color and how they go from bigger bubbles to smaller as the syrup gets thicker. When I reached stage 3 (around 250 degrees) I started doing the water drop test.
Get a cup of VERY cold water and drop a small amount of syrup in. Use a spoon to retrieve your candy. You’ll be able to feel if it’s too soft or just right. Remember… you want it chewy… not runny or hard.
When temperature is reached or syrup has passed a water test, pour candy into pan. Let sit for 30 minutes.
Turn dish over and remove parchment paper from the bottom of the candy. Using a sharp knife run under HOT water or coated in coconut oil, cut the candy into small strips (1/2 x 1 inch). Wrap in extra parchment paper for storage. Are shelf stable 4-6 weeks… longer if stored in the refrigerator.
If your candy gets stuck in your pan, you’ll have to use a spoon and scoop out bits of sticky candy to mold and wrap. Your chews will be exactly the same… it will just take a bit of extra work.
- To use to aid in digestion, use 1 chew before or after a meal.
- To help with nausea, car sickness, or upset stomach, use 2 chews every 2-4 hours.
Now if this is way too much work to go through for some ginger chews (and I totally understand), you can buy them premade here… and yes, they’re just as delicious as the homemade version!
- 1 ounce of fresh grated ginger root
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup raw honey
- 8-ounces carbonated water
- Grate ginger and weigh it using a kitchen scale. You’ll need 1-ounce.
- Place water and grated ginger in a small saucepan. Bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, immediately lower the heat until you have a nice simmer going. You want to reduce your water by half. This can take anywhere from 15-20 minutes.
- In the end, you should be left with a ½ cup of water.
- Using a stainless steel sieve, strain the ginger from the water. Pour this water into a glass jar and let it cool to room temperature.
- Once cooled, add ¼ cup of raw honey to ginger water. Mix well. Store this ginger syrup in a glass jar in the fridge until ready to use.
- When ready to use, fill a drinking glass with ice. Pour your ginger syrup over the ice, filling your glass ¼ full. Top the last ¾ of your glass off with your carbonated water. Stir and enjoy!
- Because this syrup contains water, it must be refrigerated. It should stay good for 3-6 months as is, but if you double the amount of honey it will stay good for close to a year.
- It can be tricky gauging when the water in step two has reduced in half. Feel free to strain it to see if it’s ready. If you have more than ½ a cup, add it all back into the saucepan for a few more minutes. If you end up having less than ½ a cup, no worries. Simply pour enough clean water into your ginger decoction to equal ½ cup, and you’re all set to move on!