Did you know that April is National Garlic Month? People all over are celebrating this super-food loaded with antioxidants and vitamins and minerals, which with just a hint can change the entirety of your dish.
Although this bulb leaves you with pungent breath, garlic is a staple in my diet and is what I would consider the “backbone” of a lot of my savory dishes.
Garlic Health Benefits:
- Overall Blood Health: Reduces blood pressure and reduces total and LDL cholesterol.
- Boosts Immune System: Studies have shown that people who consume a lot of garlic have reduced their risk of common illnesses such as the common cold and flu.
- Cancer Prevention: Contains a compound called allicin, known to slow or prevent the growth of tumors when introduced in the body.
- Brain Health: Contains antioxidants that can help prevent Alzheimer’s or dementia.
NOTE: The most beneficial way to enjoy garlic’s health benefits is to consume it raw, as high temperatures destroy allicin (its main compound that provides health benefits and unique odor). Therefore, try to always add your garlic raw or at the very end of your recipe!
Fresh Garlic vs. Garlic in a Jar
After researching and reading a lot of controversial information between the two, I decided to do a recipe taste test myself. Without a doubt, the chicken dish flavor made with the fresh minced garlic was much better and flavorful than the jarred. Along with taste, studies have shown that the allicin content of garlic may be reduced in jarred garlic vs fresh.
Tips for Preparing Garlic:
Garlic may seem tricky to peel and mince, but there are tricks and tools that can make this easier for you!
- Once you separate the individual clove from the main bulb, soak them in warm (not hot!) water. This helps loosen the skin to help you peel it off and prevents your hands from smelling.
- “Smash” you whole garlic clove with the flat top of your knife, which will separate the individual ears, and then “smash” again to release the skin to help you peel.
- Have you ever tried a garlic press? You can find them at most stores, and mine was only $5! This is a quick and easy way to mince in a hurry.
With the warm weather approaching, try this yummy and fresh garlic salsa to add to one of your main dishes, whether that be tacos, salads, or your meats, or just to have as an appetizer with baked tortilla chips!