Tips & Tricks
Vampires, Take Heed—Garlic Is All We Need
By now you know that garlic offers a variety of health benefits, from reducing cholesterol and combating heart disease to simply containing a large amount of vitamins and antioxidants, calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium among them. But did you know garlic can be used to make, of all things - glue? Read on for more fun facts, tips, and tricks about garlic.
SHOPPING FOR GARLIC
When shopping for garlic, there are a few key things to look for that will help you find the freshest bulbs. First, you want to make sure the skin is tightly bound, especially around the pointy tip. If there are some loose peels fraying at the bottom, that’s okay, but the tighter the better, especially at the top. Second, when grasping the bulb, the garlic should be firm, without any give; if you can squish into it, it’s past due. Third, make sure there are no green sprouts peeking out of the top at the store. These may grow over time in your home, and that’s fine, they’re actually entirely edible, but you don’t want to purchase sprouted garlic, as the shelf life will be shorter. Fourth, it’s common to give your produce a sniff and make sure it smells good; if you can smell the garlic wafting off the bulb, do not purchase, as it has gone bad. (This writer once accidentally bought an extremely aromatic garlic bulb; the entire apartment smelled like garlic for days!) Keep those four tips in mind and you’ll buy fresh garlic, every time.
If you store your garlic correctly, it can last for up to six months! Keep your bulb fully intact in a cold, dark place (not the fridge), and it will last the longest. Or, when removing individual cloves, be sure and be gentle to the surrounding cloves, no piercing or breaking them open. The longer the cloves remain in their peels attached to the bulb, the longer they’ll last.
If you prefer to get the tediousness out of the way and peel all your garlic at once, the single unpeeled cloves will last around three weeks. (And, if stored in our GarlicMachine Garlic Press, they’ll be that much easier to mince, as well!) If you’re planning ahead and would like to mince a bunch of garlic as meal prep, we recommend doing this no more than a few hours before the garlic is needed; chopped garlic lasts a day at most, unless covered in olive oil which will give it two days.
There are countless ways to savor garlic:
- To start, you’ll want to remove the individual garlic cloves from the bulb. To do this, you can tear away the skin until you reach a clove, or you can press gently down on the garlic head with a pan or pot. This will loosen the cloves and help you separate as many as needed. Once on their own, you’ll need to remove the remaining skin from the cloves. We recommend using our GarlicCone Garlic Peeler, or you can press down on the clove with the flat side of a knife to help remove the skin. If you’re using the clove whole, you’re all set! If you need to chop or mince, we suggest our FreshForce Garlic Press, which is 25% more efficient than conventional garlic presses, or chopping the clove finely with a sharp knife.
- Wrap your garlic in foil, drizzle with olive oil, and roast in the oven; when ready, it makes for a delicious spread on crusty bread.
- Infuse olive oil with garlic and herbs—we like rosemary and thyme—for an extra flavorful dipping sauce.
- Simmer with cream, add chocolate, and enjoy a curious—but tasty!—garlic chocolate truffle.
- If you’re feeling under the weather, we recommend garlic, honey, and lemon tea; it’s very soothing on your throat.
- If you’re feeling good as new, we suggest adding garlic-stuffed olives to your next martini for a fun twist on a classic drink.
Save Your Scraps
- Crush the skins from your garlic head using our Mortar and Pestle, and add to your homemade bread dough; this will add a mild depth of flavor, as well as nutrients from the skin.
- Throw any leftover pieces of garlic—skins and all—into your next homemade stock for an even more flavorful soup base.