Garlic is a wonderful ingredient that can add immense flavour to your dish. It creates a lovely irresistible aroma when cooking in your home. It also has many health benefits. As well as being a good way to combat colds, it also aids digestion and circulation. It really is a magical ingredient.
Here are a few tips on the humble bulb:
- Latest research says that slicing or mincing garlic before cooking will enhance its health promoting properties. The more pungent the smell, the better the health benefits. It is also said that after cutting or chopping, it is best 'rested' for around 10 minutes before cooking or eating as this allows a compound called allicin to form which is where the health benefits come from. You may notice the garlic smelling stronger as this happens.
- Don't cook your garlic on high heat as it will easily burn and give a bitter taste to your dish. Garlic is best sautéed on a medium heat for no more than 15 minutes in total. Otherwise the valuable nutrients will be lost.
- Garlic contains vitamins B6 and C and contains trace elements of magnesium, iron, calcium and potassium. It also contains fructose so is not kind to our friends with fructose malabsorption. This and the glucose is what give it its lovely caramel colour and sweet taste when roasted.
- Roast garlic bulbs whole in the oven on 170°C for around 45 minutes. Then squeeze out that beautiful flesh.
- You can freeze whole bulbs of garlic and break off cloves as needed.
- Garlic is reasonably easy to grow year round so there isn't really a season for it.
- When choosing garlic, look for firm bulbs where the skin isn't flaking. If it is dry and the skin is falling off, this is generally older and not as tasty. Also look for locally grown garlic that is slightly purple in colour.