Eat More Garlic!


Don't hold back when you cook with this incredible bulb.

By FamilyTime

 

Nearly everyone loves garlic but not everyone knows how to make the most of the edible bulb.

 

It's the flavor that so many of us adore in Italian, Chinese, Indian, Greek, Thai, Mexican, and so many other cuisines. It's touted as a health benefit and, if you dabble in the supernatural, believed to ward off vampires!

Garlic for Health
Garlic is good for us. While some garlic lovers credit it with curing everything from the common cold to the flu, it does have valuable antioxidant properties and is a mild antibiotic, too.

Garlic is good for heart health, many natural health experts believe. There are indications that it lowers LDL cholesterols, helps lower blood pressure, and prevents plaque buildup in arteries. It may also prevent blood clots and help remove heavy metals such as mercury from the body.

The Goods on Garlic
Garlic is a small bulb consisting of 12 to 16 individual cloves. All are separately wrapped in a papery white, ivory, or purplish skin that also holds the bulb together. Once harvested, garlic, like its close cousin the onion, keeps at room temperature for several months.

While garlic is available all year long in produce shops and supermarkets, freshly harvested garlic is best. Smallish white heads of American garlic are available all year long, although the small purplish Mexican and Italian garlic is in season in the springtime.

Elephant garlic is a separate type of bulb, more closely related to leeks than to ordinary garlic. It can be the size of a small orange and its cloves are far milder tasting than those of true garlic.

Buying and Storing Garlic
Choose dry, smooth heads of garlic. Avoid any that feel soft or are so dry they crackle when pressed.

Store whole bulbs at room temperature for up to two months. Don't seal them in a plastic bag or canister but let them sit in an open bowl or garlic storage jar with good air circulation.

Do not refrigerate fresh garlic bulbs. The humidity in the refrigerator encourages sprouting