Looking for a simple recipe to make chewy ginger candy (not crunchy) using fresh ginger? This one is for you! And if you or someone you know is experiencing pregnancy nausea, this ginger candy may help!
We don’t eat a lot of sweets, but there are certain exceptions… Homemade chewy ginger candy is one such exception.
When The Tyrant was dealing with bad first trimester pregnancy nausea, our chewy ginger candy recipe really came in handy. It’s simple to make, delicious, and has medical benefits (backed up by good research) as well.
Does medical research show that ginger helps reduce pregnancy nausea?
Dr. Ann M. Bode, PhD (co-leader of Molecular and Cellular Biology research sections at The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota) and Zigang Dong, M.D., Dr.P.H. (Professor of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics at University of Minnesota), reviewed the current scientific research to determine if ginger did indeed have proven medicinal benefits. Their summary findings were published in the book, Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects, Second Edition.
Excerpts from their findings as to ginger’s ability to treat nausea in pregnant women are summarized below:
1. “…several controlled studies have reported that ginger is generally effective as an *antiemetic (Aikins Murphy 1998; Ernst and Pittler 2000; Jewell and Young 2000, 2002, 2003; Langmead and Rampton 2001; Dupuis and Nathan 2003; Boone and Shields 2005; Borrelli et al. 2005; Bryer 2005; Mahesh, Perumal, and Pandi 2005; Chaiyakunapruk et al. 2006; Thompson and Potter 2006; Quimby 2007).”
*Antiemetics are drugs or chemical compounds that effectively reduce nausea and vomiting.
2. “Several double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials have indicated that ginger consumption is effective and safe in helping to prevent nausea and vomiting during pregnancy (Portnoi et al. 2003; Willetts, Ekangaki, and Eden 2003). Randomized trials suggest that although ginger might not be as potent as some treatments (Jewell and Young 2000), its consumption for treating nausea or vomiting or both in early pregnancy has very few or no adverse side effects and seems to be effective (Niebyl 1992; Jackson 2001; Vutyavanich, Kraisarin, and Ruangsri 2001; Jewell and Young 2002; Niebyl and Goodwin 2002). In fact, ginger has been reported to be as effective as dimenhydrinate (i.e., Dramamine) in treating nausea and vomiting in pregnancy with fewer side effects (Pongrojpaw, Somprasit, and Chanthasenanont 2007).”
3. “In a later randomized, double-blind, controlled trial, pregnant women were randomly divided to receive either 650 mg of ginger or 25 mg of vitamin B6 (3xd/4 days). In this case, ginger actually appeared to be more effective than vitamin B6, with only minor side effects (Chittumma, Kaewkiattikun, and Wiriyasiriwach 2007). These results were supported in an additional trial in which pregnant women with nausea were randomized into groups to receive either 1 g of ginger/day or 40 mg of vitamin B6/day for 4 days. Results of this trial indicated that compared with a baseline, nausea and vomiting in the ginger group were significantly less than those reported by the vitamin B6 group (Ensiyeh and Sakineh 2009). A systematic review of the results of other double-blind, randomized, controlled trials, uncontrolled trials, case reports, and observational studies indicated that ginger is superior to placebo and as effective as vitamin B6 in relieving the severity of nausea and vomiting, with no reported side effects or adverse effects on pregnancy (Borrelli et al. 2005). A similar review of the literature regarding the safety and efficacy of ginger in the management of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy revealed that ginger appears to be a relatively low-risk and effective treatment for these symptoms (Boone and Shields 2005). Importantly, no differences in birth weight, gestational age, or frequencies of congenital abnormalities have been observed between ginger-treated and untreated mothers (Willetts, Ekangaki, and Eden 2003). A survey of a group of obstetricians and gynecologists revealed that most of them would recommend taking an antiemetic (71.3%), and specifically ginger (51.8%), to patients suffering from moderate to severe nausea (Power, Holzman, and Schulkin 2001).”
Can you grow anti-nausea plants in your garden?
We’ve been growing ginger for years at Tyrant Farms. I also grew ginger for Oak Hill Cafe & Farm last summer.
Ginger is quite easy to grow and can be grown in any climate zone, either in-ground or in pots/containers. Check out our detailed step-by-step guide to growing ginger and closely related turmeric, if you want to give it a shot!
What is baby ginger and how is it used?
One big benefit of growing your own ginger is you can produce “baby ginger.” Baby ginger is younger and more tender than the typical fully mature ginger rhizomes you get at a grocery store.
Baby ginger is ideal for making the best possible ginger candy (among other culinary uses). If you can’t find baby ginger at your regular grocery store, call Asian grocers in your area to see if they carry it.
If not, you can still make this recipe, but you want to bump up the initial cook time in the instructions (below) from 30 minutes to 45-60 minutes to make sure your mature ginger is rendered more tender.
Crunchy ginger candy versus chewy ginger candy
There’s no difference in ingredients between crunchy/hard ginger candy and chewy ginger candy: ginger, water, organic sugar. The only difference is in cooking technique and timing.
So, to make really good chewy ginger candy, it’s important that you pay careful attention to the instructions and process photos below! The reason we’ve figured out this recipe is because The Tyrant doesn’t care for hard ginger candy, but she loves the softer, chewier version.
Chewy ginger candy preparation photos
Recipe: Tyrant Farms’ chewy ginger candy
Chewy ginger candy
Most ginger candy recipes produce rock-hard candy. This is a simple yet delicious CHEWY ginger candy recipe made with three ingredients. It really comes in handy if you're experiencing nausea during pregnancy or otherwise.
- 1 lb ginger (preferably baby ginger)
- 1 lb organic cane sugar
- water (see instructions for quantities/ratios)
Remove any dirt or lose scaly skin from the ginger (we don't bother fully peeling our ginger, but you can if you want to).
Slice ginger into 1/8 pieces using a sharp chef's knife or mandoline.
Blanching - Place sliced ginger into a saucepan. Add water to a level a couple inches above the level of the ginger. Do NOT add sugar at this point. Turn heat to medium high for a low boil (or just below boil) for about 30 minutes until ginger slices are beginning to soften.
Strain ginger out of water. Pour unsweetened ginger water into another container and set aside.
Weigh your ginger so you can determine how much sugar to add during the next step, because you'll add equal amounts sugar as ginger. For instance, if you have 1 pound cooked ginger, add 1 pound sugar.
In saucepan, add cooked ginger, equal parts sugar, and enough *water to barely cover the ginger. *Instead of 100% tap water, we add 50% ginger water from previous step + 50% water. This helps intensify the ginger flavor in the final candy. If you're a ginger fanatic, you could also use 100% ginger water and no tap water.
Turn to medium heat and cook for 15 minutes, stirring regularly (every minute or so). The purpose of this step is to: a) infuse the ginger with sweet flavor, and b) further tenderize the ginger pieces.
Next, turn the heat up to high and stir constantly for about 5 minutes. The water will begin to rapidly evaporate. Do not let the mixture cook completely into a thick candy like texture or the ginger pieces will turn out hard and crunchy. Remove from heat and strain ginger pieces after about 5 minutes, and before the water has completely evaporated.
Strain the ginger and allow to cool to the point you can touch it. Save the "ginger syrup" for adult beverages or ferments.
Prep your ginger candy drying station as follows: place parchment paper on to baking sheets, then place drying rack on top of parchment paper.
Add organic cane sugar to large bowl. Once the ginger has cooled, toss the pieces in the sugar to evenly coat their surface. Strain the ginger out of the sugar (a spider strainer works great here). Place on to drying racks.
The ginger candy can be eaten immediately at this point, but it may take up to 3 days to fully dry on the rack. The longer it dries the less chewy it becomes as the ginger pieces lose moisture. Alternately, you can dry it in a dehydrator.
To store: layer sheets of parchment paper and ginger in airtight container and store in fridge. Properly stored and refrigerated, the ginger candy should last for 2-3+ months.
Whether you’re just looking for a delicious ginger candy recipe or you’re a pregnant momma looking for nausea relief, we hope this chewy ginger candy recipe is a big hit!
Related articles to sink your teeth into:
- How to make your own probiotic ginger or turmeric bug drink
- How to organically grow your own ginger and turmeric
- Recipe: Calamondin orange marmalade with baby ginger