How to Select Garlic

We can’t think of many meals that can’t be bettered by garlic. But when you’re in the supermarket, do you purchase packs of bulbs or select your garlic alone? The most direct method for getting fresh garlic is by purchasing single bulbs so you can select bulbs for their best qualities. Solid bulbs usually hold the most flavor, while lighter bulbs are usually older and shriveled. If your recipe requests a designated number of cloves, follow that. Otherwise, mass isn’t as important for garlic bulbs.

Storing Fresh Garlic

When you’re buying raw, whole bulbs of garlic from the grocery store, these will keep for several months if they are kept in a dark place at room temperature. Stashing the bulbs in an area with little light will suppress the bulb from germinating. It’s essential to know that once you remove the cloves from the bulb, its shelf-life diminishes. In addition, storing them in an open container is optimal, or in a paper bag, egg carton or ventilated bag, but not plastic. As long as there is decent dry-air flow, then you‘re good to go.

Garlic is best stored in an place away from moisture and extreme temperatures like a shelf or cabinet. Garlic does not need to be refrigerated and storing it in the freezer will also lower the flavor. Furthermore, if garlic is stashed in your refrigerator or stashed in plastic bags, it has a better chance of molding. In the best conditions, entire bulbs of garlic will remain fresh for longer than you think. Older bulbs can form a bright green sprout out of the top. These are still okay to cook without the shoot, but the taste may change slightly.

If you’ve minced too much garlic for your recipe, you can place the minced garlic in a sealed container in your fridge. But remember the active sulfur compound that’s so beneficial for us diminishes within a few hours if it sits in its minced state, and refrigeration will lessen the time more. If you prefer to get the maximum health benefits from your refrigerated garlic, you should eat it as soon as possible.

Using Garlic

It’s frustrating peeling garlic for meals. An easy way to avoid the worst side of using garlic is simply to soak the garlic for a couple of hours in water before you prepare the meal. This will loosen the skin and allows you to take the wrapping right off. This doesn’t reduce or remove the health benefits of garlic.

Too Much Garlic?

Though many food lovers love garlic in most meals, you can have too much of a good thing. Some have reported sensitivities to vegetables in the allium family like onions or chives. While these plants are packed with healthy properties, they can cause indigestion if eaten in large quantities. For garlic-heavy meals, take a note from South Asian and Mediterranean kitchens and add fennel seeds or fresh parsley. Herbs like these will counteract garlic breath and other side effects.