Garlic to the Rescue!

Garlic to the Rescue!

We all know garlic is a superfood, but are you using garlic the right way to reap its benefits? Surprisingly, it is not the quantity of garlic added to your food, but rather what you do with it that matters most. Although I love to add as much garlic as possible in my cooking, using it in the right way is more important. 

Allicin, a compound has been more widely studied and most heavily credited for it's medicinal properties. 

A raw bulb of garlic contains next to no allicin whatsoever; it is produced only when the bulb suffers from damage (e.g. like mincing it with our GarlicChop). At this point, the enzyme alliinase and the amino acid alliin react to form allicin. 

Should You Slice, Mince or Grate Your Garlic?

Given that allicin only comes from damage to the garlic, to obtain the most allicin, you need to inflict the most damage. While finely chopping, crushing with the back of your knife or pulverising with a pestle and mortar are all effective means, the least-laborious method would be to mince or grate the garlic using a zester or our GarlicChop. Within seconds the solid clove will dissolve into a potent paste and if you're using our GarlicChop, you'll have no stinky fingers! 

Garlic I Like Red Wine, Let It Breath

Many of us then make the mistake of adding garlic straight into our dish. But, numerous studies have found that you can get the most goodness out of your allicin by leaving the prepared garlic for ten minutes – so just as you would let a good wine breath, leave your garlic to rest before adding it to the pan.

Heat And Garlic Don't Mix

Another mistake we make is to cook our favourite herb. Garlic's medicinal compounds are heat sensitive. 99% of allicin is lost during frying or even microwave heating. Clearly eating garlic raw is best for medicinal purposes!

The Stinky Side of Garlic

Obviously eating garlic raw does have some side effects - yes we're talking about garlic breath and its effect on your social life. To help with this after eating a garlic heavy meal, finish it off with a piece of raw parsley or even mint leaves which will neutralize your breath.

So instead of the old saying 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away' maybe we should replace the old apple with garlic!

Why not try our recipe below for our balsamic vinegrette using raw garlic. Let us know what you think!

Garlic Balsamic Vinaigrette

I double or triple this recipe and keep it in the fridge for the week to make salad prep easier. Use with spring greens or baby spinach, add berries or an apple shredded and add some nuts and seeds for added crunch and nutrition - the secret to a great salad!

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mustart
1 shallot minced with GarlicChop
1 garlic clove minced with GarlicChop
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all in a glass jar with a lid. Tighten lid on and shake vigorously until thoroughly combined. Store in the refridgerator for a week. You'll find that the oil hardens, just take out 15 minutes prior to dressing your salad.