Ginger Jam

Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say. I am obsessed (need to come up with a new word, sorry) with the Trader Joe’s Ginger Spread. I probably go through a jar of the stuff a week (I put in on that infamous peanut butter and banana sandwich every morning, getting more interesting by the minute, and there are other variations as well, stay tuned I’m sure I’ll write it all down at some point). But, as with, it would seem, everything that I fall in love with at Trader Joe’s, they’ve taken it away! =( It may very well be that it is a seasonal spread and they’ll be bringing it back next year some time, that’s what happened last year, but I am so disappointed that I can’t get it anymore and what am I to do in the interim? Well, I will just have to make my own! This is really the simplest recipe you’ve ever come across, I am not kidding! I came home on Saturday this weekend and decided that I had had enough of the bland sandwiches sans ginger and I was tired of ripping up the crystallized ginger I have and trying to artfully distribute it across the bread. Too much work! So I did an internet search for ginger jam. I came across a couple of recipes and they all required a lot of peeled fresh ginger, something I definitely don’t enjoy doing (though I suck it up for my carrot ginger dressing, I mean you can’t live without that stuff, I swear!). It takes a lot of time and it’s rather messy. The recipes also called for adding in an apple, which sounds good, but I wanted to replicate the ginger spread from TJ’s as closely as possible and theirs is definitely ginger through and through. These few recipes I was looking at all called for boiling down the ginger and apples with sugar and water. Well, I thought, the crystallized ginger already has the sugar in it and what if I just add water to it and boil it for a bit on the stove? That might be just what I’m looking for. So here’s what I did.

Easiest Ginger Jam Ever!

~ ½ lb crystallized ginger
1 cup water

Put crystallized ginger into cuisinart and pulse / puree until it starts to form balls on the sides and is well chopped. I tried to aim for about a cup of chopped up ginger at this point, but it all depends on how much of the spread you want to make. Add this to a small saucepan with 1 cup of water on medium heat. Bring to boil and then simmer for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour until the spread has reached a much thicker consistency. The longer you boil it the thicker it will be. This doesn’t have exactly the same smoothness as the commercial spreads, it still has small chunks of ginger in it, but it’s wonderful, and perhaps most importantly for my purposes and perhaps yours, it’s spreadable. Enjoy!

Explore posts in the same categories: Food, ginger, recipe

4 Comments on “Ginger Jam”

  1. taylor Says:

    TJ’s yanks low selling products all the time – or they go missing for very long periods. It’s best to hoard if you find something you like. And let them know at the register when they ask you if you found everything you were looking for. They actually take note of what people want.

    I always keep ginger jelly in my fridge. Most larger grocery store will have some in the jam section…but you’ve mastered the homemade version, so…

  2. Irene Says:

    Love their Ginger Jam – try it added to cilantro in a pesto over pasta – YUM

    thanks for the recipe – I’ll give it a try

  3. Nancy Says:

    Wow, here it is August 2010 and I just tried my jar of Trader Joe’s ginger spread for the first time. (should I clean my cupboards more frequently??) It was recommended to me by a friend for marinades, etc. who loved it. So sad that I didn’t open it till now, only to fall in love with it, craving it, and now to find out that Trader Joe’s doesn’t even carry it anymore. What a mistake! They should have had more samplings with it and perhaps they would have sold more. Anyway, I decided I must make my own version of ginger spread and came across this article/recipe. Thanks so much Teagan for experimenting and putting out the recipe for all of us desperately disappointed ginger spread fans. I will definitely try the recipe in the near future. I actually have about a tsp left in the jar and might save it to compare to the homemade version. 🙂 Here is how I initially used the ginger spread: I was trying to imitate TJ’s veggie spicy lentil spread wrap sandwich- I made my own lentils, added TJs Indian relish with tamarind and also asian style chili garlic paste to the lentils. I spread the ginger spread on TJ’s lavash bread, then a layer of the spicy mashed lentil spread, and added some spring greens. I rolled the lavash and then cut into 1-2 inch slices and served as an appetizer. EVERYONE absolutely loved the lentil ginger sandwich- my brother couldn’t believe that I made it myself and my two young kids loved it too. Later I started using the ginger spread on various sandwiches and got addicted to it right away. Oh, it was delicious on TJ’s rosemary/parmasean rolls- heated and with sharp cheddar cheese, yum. I can’t believe it’s gone! But, then again, TJ’s has taken away many of my favorites, like the wasabi seaweed ?chips, the shiraki packets for making fantastic and easy rice dishes, the much better than almond joy candies and the list goes on. Oh, and worst of all, just lately they took away the BBQ Veggie Ribs- I was getting ready to attend a birthday bbq and was shocked when I could not find them at TJ’s- what a disappointment! They had taken away the eggplant veggie wraps but I requested they carry them and wow, they got them back. I told them a lot of people are vegetarians who shop at TJ’s and also meat-eaters are trying to cut back and try more veggie meals and so they shouldn’t can it, luckily, they got it back.

  4. Nancy Says:

    UPDATE on Ginger Jam!!! MIRACLES DO HAPPEN! Just found some jars of ginger jam which I am almost certain is the Trader Joe version (same unusual darling jar, size, taste, etc.) I found the jam at Ross of all places. The name of the company is “Gingerpeople” which is in Monterey, CA- and there is a website:
    The Gingerpeople website has good prices on their ginger products and they also have lots of ginger-related recipes. Have fun!

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