I grew up with a steady supply of fresh ginger in my kitchen. While some kids woke up to the smell of pancakes or eggs and bacon, I rose to the sweet and slightly spicy scent of my mother’s ginger tea, a cup of which warmed me up on cold winter mornings and settled my stomach for the breakfast I’d prepare for myself before school (I was a very picky eater). Nowadays, my mornings begin with a strong cup of coffee, but I always have some fresh ginger on hand in case I’m feeling tea or am cooking something that could use a little extra oomph. But once in a while I reach into the crisper of my fridge to find that I’ve forgotten to replenish my stash: All that’s left behind is a shriveled up and slightly moldy knob that’s headed straight for the trash.
If you find yourself there, too, there’s still hope! When it comes to the best ginger substitutes, it’s certainly easier with some recipes than others. For example, apple pie cookies would be fine with a substitute, but in something like gingery spice cake (or my mom’s tea!), where ginger plays a main role, you might just need to head to the store. Regardless, there are likely a few items knocking around your pantry that can do the trick.