Enjoy Fresh Garlic? How to Pick the Best

Fresh garlic adds a powerful kick to pizzas, rice dishes and snacks. If you go to the grocery store, do you purchase canned, fresh bulbs or packs of garlic? The easiest method for getting garlic at its freshest is by purchasing bulbs individually so you can choose bulbs for their best qualities. Unyielding bulbs usually hold the most zest, while lighter bulbs are usually older and shriveled. If your recipe requests a specific number of cloves, size isn’t important, but buy the densest bulbs available.

Keep your Garlic Fresh

If you plan on buying fresh, whole bulbs of garlic from the grocery store, these can be stored for many months if they are kept in a dark area at room temperature. Storing it in a dark place will inhibit any sprouting of the bulb. It’s important to understand that when you remove the cloves from the bulb, its shelf-life decreases. Also, storing them in an open container is quintessential, or in a paper bag, cardboard carton or ventilated bag, but not plastic. As long as there is proper flow of dry air, then your cloves will stay fresh.

Garlic is best stored in an spot away from humidity and heat like a shelf or cabinet. Avoid storing it in the refrigerator or freezer because this dims the potency. Additionally, when garlic is put in the fridge or stashed in plastic bags, it has a better chance of molding. Entire bulbs can be stored for a long period. If neglected long enough, the garlic will develop a green shoot. These are still okay to cook once you remove the shoot, but may have a stronger flavor.

If you’ve chopped up more garlic for your meal, you can store the minced garlic in a sealed container in your refrigerator. But remember the active sulfur compound that’s extremely beneficial for our health diminishes within a few hours when it sits in its chopped-up form, and refrigeration will lessen the time more. If you prefer to get the most health benefits from your refrigerated cloves, you should use it right away.

Cooking Garlic

Peeling garlic is usually frustrating. A simple method for avoiding this pesky part of using garlic is simply to soak the cloves for a couple of hours in water before you prepare the meal. Soaking it loosens the skin and allows the casing to fall off more easily. This won’t reduce or change the benefits of garlic.

Can you Have Too Much Garlic?

Though garlic is great for most people, it can be too much of it. Regardless of its nutritional benefits, garlic and other plants in the allium family cause an allergic reaction for some. That said, overdoing the garlic and similar veggies causes indigestion. For garlic-heavy recipes, learn from Indian and Italian chefs and balance your dish with fresh parsley or fennel seeds. These herbs will counteract garlic breath and other side effects.