Excuse my Swahili, but garlic is f***ing awesome.
It’s the one ingredient that appears in almost every culture around the world. Garlic is not only an incredibly versatile “seasoning”, but provides endless health benefits.
So why aren’t you eating more of it?
What it does for you
- It can prevent the development of cancer, primarily colon and stomach cancers
- It can prevent heart disease and high cholesterol
- It has been found to help regulate sugar levels in the body
- It functions as a natural antibiotic. Aged garlic is more powerful than standard garlic. Black garlic is even more powerful than aged garlic.
- It can improve your mood and treat symptoms for insomnia, fatigue and anxiety
- It makes food BETTER
How to prepare it
First decide how you are going to use it.
If you want a mild garlic flavor, add whole cloves to the pot and remove them before serving. For medium garlic flavor, chop up the garlic. For stronger flavor, mince the garlic very fine. And for super garlic flavor, grate it using a microplane.
When to add it.
Another contributing factor to the strength of the garlic flavor is how much it has been cooked. The longer it is cooked (in most cases), the more the garlic flavor can lessen and change. The exception would be if you are cooking garlic all by its lonesome. It gets sweeter and nuttier as it cooks.
Don’t burn your garlic.
If you do, start over and wash your pan. Burnt garlic is NASTY, and its nastiness will spread throughout your entire dish.
A few easy ways to use it
- Rub a raw garlic clove on toasted bread. The clove will melt against the heat.
- Add chopped garlic to olive oil in a saucepan. Once garlic sizzles, turn off heat and let sit for 20m. Strain and you know have garlic oil for cooking and drizzling.
- Blending salsa, soup or sauce? Throw in a clove or two of garlic.
- Trim off the top of a head of garlic (not the root end) to expose the cloves. Drizzle with olive oil, wrap in foil and roast in the oven until caramelized and soft. The garlic will be sweet, creamy and delectable. Spread on EVERYTHING. Here’s a great (and short) video on how to do it.
How to store it
- Store garlic at room temperature if it still has it’s “leaves” intact. The fridge will cause it sprout, and spoil faster.
- For peeled garlic, keep it in the fridge.
- Eating garlic can help ward off mosquitoes
- After handling garlic, rubbing your hands on stainless steel will get rid of the garlic smell
- The Cherokee tribe used it as a cough expectorant
- It was used as an antiseptic during WWI and WWII
- It is used as an adhesive in China
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder equals 1 clove of garlic, but the flavor will be different
Well garlic is obviously a contributor to less than pleasant breath. But if you like garlic, then who cares really. Wear it as a badge of honor.
What are your favorite ways to use garlic?