Selecting Fresh Garlic
Fresh garlic brings a flavorful kick to eggs, stir fry and other meals. When you’re in the store, which do you pick? The minced, fresh or bulk garlic? The most direct method for getting fresh garlic is by buying single bulbs so you can choose bulbs with the best traits. Firm bulbs usually carry the most flavor, while softer bulbs are usually weaker and shriveled. If your meal requests a certain number of cloves, size doesn’t matter, but pick the firmest bulbs you can find.
Storing Fresh Garlic
If you plan on purchasing fresh, whole bulbs of garlic from the store, these will keep for several months if they are kept in a dark area at room temperature. Storing the bulbs in a dark place will suppress any budding from the bulb. It’s essential to understand that once you separate the cloves from the bulb, its shelf-life decreases. Additionally, storing them in an open container is optimal, or in a paper bag, cardboard carton or ventilated bag, but not plastic. As long as there is good dry-air circulation, then you‘re good to go.
Pantries and cabinets are the ideal spaces to keep garlic because they’re away from moisture and heat. Don’t refrigerate or ice garlic because this dims the healing properties. Furthermore, if garlic is stashed in your refrigerator or stashed in plastic bags, it has an increased chance of molding. Whole bulbs can be stored for several months. Sometimes, a little sprout will develop from the tip of the garlic. These are still okay to cook once you remove the sprout, but the flavor may vary slightly.
If you’ve minced too much garlic for your recipe, you can keep the minced garlic in an air-tight container in your fridge. However, the sulfur compound, allicin, that’s extremely beneficial for us decreases within a few hours if it sits in its minced form, and the fridge will lessen the time more. When you want the most health benefits from your refrigerated garlic, you should consume it as soon as possible.
Preparing Garlic for Cooking
It’s annoying to peel garlic sometimes. The best shortcut to avoid this pesky aspect of using garlic is simply to soak the garlic for an hour or two in water before you prepare the meal. Soaking it will loosen the skin and allows the casing to fall off more easily. This won’t lower or change the garlic’s benefits.
When Garlic Causes a Stink
Though garlic is great for most people, you can have too much of a good thing. Despite all their advantages, garlic and other members of the allium family generate allergic reactions in some. However, overloads of garlic and similar veggies can cause indigestion. For garlic-heavy meals, learn from South Asian and Mediterranean cuisine and add fresh parsley or fennel seeds. Herbs like these will fight garlic breath and the smelly effects.