cooking with garlic

Cooking With Garlic

Planting Garlic

If you love cooking with garlic, you should be planting your own. It’s one of the easiest plants to grow.

Fall is the time to plant garlic. You can plant it in spring, as soon as the soil can be worked. But fall planting is the recommended time for most gardens. You’ll want to plant it about a month before the first hard frost if you’re in a northern location.

Don’t use grocery-store garlic! Select a full injury-free organic head, purchased from a reputable nursery or source.  Separate the cloves a few days before you’re ready to plant. Keep the papery covering intact on each clove.

cooking with garlic

Insert each one into well drained rich soil – either in the garden or in a container – to a depth of 2 to 4 inches and 4 inches apart. Like all bulbs, make sure they are upright – with the pointed end up.

If you’re in a northern climate, mulch the area with straw, and remove it once the chance of frost has passed in spring.

Keep your growing garlic plants weed-free, and fertilize every couple of weeks with a high nitrogen fertilizer such as blood meal. Remove the flower heads or scapes, and use them in stir fries.

Now – here’s an great article from Organic Health that shares the best practice when cooking with garlic.

How to Fix the One Mistake Most People Make When Cooking with Garlic

Garlic isn’t just a food, it is most certainly a legend in it’s own right.

Garlic has been found in the pyramids of Egypt and it is even referenced in the Bible. Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, prescribed it regularly, and it was given to the first Olympic athletes in Ancient Greece to enhance performance.

Garlic has more powers that you know.

Modern research confirms what ancient healers and herbalists intuitively knew: that garlic is a potent weapon in the battle against disease. A 1999 study by S. Ankri and D. Mirelman shows that a compound within garlic called allicin is responsible for garlic’s antimicrobial, antiviral, and antiparasitic activity. It’s also been shown to combat drug-resistant strains of E. coli and could potentially battle some superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics.

Allicin isn’t actually in garlic. A compound, alliin, and an enzyme, alliinase are part of the cells in a garlic clove. These two are kept separate, however, when those cell walls are ruptured, they meet and form the all-powerful and mighty allicin.

So when you’re cooking at home, you want to be sure to rupture those cell walls in those garlic cloves using your preferred method. But don’t just toss that minced allium sativum into your pot or pan. Turns out heat neutralizes the health-giving benefits of allicin.

A 2001 study by K. Song and J.A. Milner showed that heating, microwaving, or boiling crushed garlic destroyed all the alliinase enzyme activity within it. However, most dishes call for cooked garlic rather than raw.

cooking with garlic

In order to preserve some of allicin’s healing properties, many scientists suggest chopping or dicing your garlic, then letting it stand for ten minutes to let the alliinase do its work and form as much allicin as possible before it’s neutralized by heat. So the next time you’re cooking, be sure to mince your garlic first thing, then let it stand. By the time you’re done getting the rest of your ingredients ready, those crushed cloves will have a lot of allicin moving around in their cells.

So there you have it: grow your own garlic, and follow Organic Health’s tip on cooking with garlic.

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