Ginger is a food and medicine.

Ginger or Zingiber officinale Rosc. is a famous spice all over the world. The condiment adds flavor and aroma to various baked and cooked dishes.

However, if you are allergic to this flavorful spice, there are some substitutes for ginger that you can use.

Ginger is native to South-East Asia belonging to Zingiberaceae plant family. Along with wide usage in various cuisines ginger rhizome or root has therapeutic benefits for the health.

Ginger is a key ingredient in the traditional Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicinal practices.

The major chemical constituents of ginger such as gingerol have potent anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant, analgesic, antiparasitic qualities.

Several medical research suggest that this spice is an effective remedy for stomach disorders, nausea, vomiting, morning sickness, heart diseases, wrinkles, fine lines, neurodegenerative diseases, and even cancer. [1]

With such an impressive list of benefits and uses, you have all the more reason to flavor up your dishes with ginger.

Ginger comes in many forms such as fresh, dried, ground, and crystallized.  You can add it to food in various ways — sautée it with mixed vegetables, fish, or meat, grate it on foods or drinks, dress your salad with it, or bake tasty cookies, cake, and bread with it.

What if you run out ginger or have allergic intolerance to it?

There are few other spices that may come close to the ginger flavor and its therapeutic benefits.

Following are the best substitutes of ginger that you can use for baking and cooking.

Best Substitutes for Ginger to Bake and Cook

1. Allspice

Allspice or Jamaican pepper comes from the unripe fruits or berries of Pimenta dioica tree. The mid-canopy spice tree grows is native to Southern Mexico and Central America. [2]

At present, it is grown all over the world. Christopher Columbus encountered allspice upon his reaching the New World. Around the year 1621, the English people named it Allspice due to its flavor almost a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

substitutes for ginger

Allspice is also called pimenta, pepper, myrtle pepper, pimento, newspice or English pepper.

Allspice is an essential spice in Jamaican cuisine. In the Middle Eastern countries, allspice is used in meat dishes and stews. In European countries, the flavorsome spice is added in sausage, marinades, pickles, dessert items, fruit juices, baked foods, etc.

Allspice makes a great substitute for ginger. It’s flavor and health benefits are very close to ginger. The aromatic phyto compounds in allspice have potent health benefits to treat and prevent diseases.

You can replace ginger with brown Jamaican pepper powder in your beef, lamb, fish, and vegetable dishes and also for baked items.

Use 1 to a ½ teaspoon of allspice as a substitution for ginger in your food.

2. Mace

Mace is the aril or lacy coating from the outer shell of the nutmeg (Myristica fragrans). Once the red aril is dried, it turns into a yellowish or brown spice called Mace. [3]

Mace is more pungent than nutmeg and tastes like a combination of pepper and cinnamon.

Mace is a warm flavored and highly aromatic spice. It is an essential ingredient in Indian, Middle Eastern, Caribbean, British and French cuisines.

Ground and blades of mace can be used in numerous baked foods as a substitute for ginger. Mace goes well in donuts, cakes, puddings, custards, cookies, etc. You can also use it in your fish menu, stew, soups, eggs, sausage, and vegetable dishes.

Mace has a more pronounced aroma and flavor than ginger so use it in a small amount.

3. Cinnamon

Warm and sweet flavored cinnamon spice is the fragrant barks of the Cinnamomum verum tree.

Cinnamon can be a good substitution for ginger due to similar flavor and health benefits of the two. [4]

According to researchers cinnamon is one of the most potent therapeutic spices in the world. Its major chemical constituents cinnamate, cinnamaldehyde, and cinnamic acid show anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-diabetic, and potential anti-cancer effects just like the ginger.

substitutes for ginger

You can get cinnamon in stick (2-6 inches) or powder form.

½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder may substitute for ginger in pastries, cakes, bread, cookies, lamb, pork, beef, chicken, stew, and rice dishes.

4. Nutmeg

Nutmeg is the seed of the evergreen plant Myristica fragrans. The egg-shaped spice is a native of Indonesia. [3]

Grated nutmeg is an important condiment in Asian, Middle Eastern, Indonesian, and European dishes.

Nutmeg is as healthy as ginger. It is a folk remedy for indigestion, insomnia, bacterial infections, liver problems, etc.

The spicy, sweet, and mild-warm flavor of nutmeg may replace for ginger in various cuisines.

You can substitute ginger with nutmeg in sweet desserts, rice, pasta, lamb, sausages, eggs, and vegetable dishes.

Bottom Line

Based on closeness to flavor and therapeutic benefits — cinnamon, allspice, mace, and nutmeg are the best substitutes for ginger.

Although these alternative spices can never really replace the original taste, aroma, and flavor of ginger. One basic rule to use these substitutions is to add half the amount of the required ingredient as set out in the recipe. But you can always adjust and customize the amount based on your taste.

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