Selecting Garlic

Fresh garlic brings an aromatic kick to pizzas, stir fry and other meals. But when you go to the supermarket, do you purchase the bulk bulbs or purchase your garlic individually? The most direct method for getting garlic at its freshest is by buying bulbs individually so you can choose bulbs for their best qualities. Unyielding bulbs typically hold the most zest, while lighter bulbs are typically weaker and shriveled. If your dish asks for a specific amount of garlic, size isn’t important, but buy the firmest bulbs available.

Keep your Garlic Fresh

If you plan on purchasing raw, garlic bulbs from the store, these will keep for many months if they are stored in a dark area at room temperature. Stashing the bulbs in an area with little light will suppress the bulb from sprouting. It’s important to know that once you separate the cloves from the bulb, its shelf-life diminishes. Also, placing them in an open container is quintessential, or in a paper bag, cardboard carton or mesh bag. Just take into account that there is proper flow of dry air, then you‘re good to go.

Garlic should be kept in an arid, ventilated place such as a shelf or cupboard. Garlic does not need to be refrigerated and keeping it in the freezer also dims its healing properties. Plus, if garlic is refrigerated or stashed in plastic bags, it has an increased chance of molding. In the best conditions, your bulbs of garlic can keep flavorful for a long duration. If left alone for long enough, the garlic will develop a green sprout. The cloves are still edible without the sprout, but the taste could vary slightly.

For those times that you chopped up more garlic for your recipe, you can place the minced garlic in a sealed container in your refrigerator. But remember the sulfur compound, allicin, that’s so beneficial for us diminishes within a few hours if it sits in its minced form, and the fridge will decrease the time even more. If you prefer to get the most health benefits from your refrigerated garlic, you should use it as soon as possible.

Cooking Garlic

Peeling garlic before cooking can typically be annoying. An easy shortcut to avoid this pesky aspect of cooking with garlic is simply to soak the garlic for a couple of hours in water before you start cooking. This will loosen the skin and allows the wrapping to come off more easily. This doesn’t reduce or remove the garlic’s benefits.

When Garlic Causes a Stink

While most people enjoy garlic in most meals, you can have too much of a good thing. Some have reported sensitivities to vegetables related to garlic like onions or leeks. That said, overloads of garlic or onions causes indigestion. For garlic-heavy dishes, learn from Indian and Italian cooking and add fennel seeds or fresh parsley. These herbs can fight bad breath and the smelly effects.