Garlic the Super Food

Mon, Feb 1, 2010


Garlic, a simple and easy way to flavor food is also one of the most used super foods. Most of us have only known to use it to flavor our food. It’s used around the world in many types of cuisine from places such as the Mediterranean, parts of Asia, Middle East, North Africa and parts of South and Central America. Besides the dishes that we use this wonderful member of the onion family for, what else do we really know about garlic?

It is not certain where it originated from, although many believe it first came from Asia and has been known to exist for at least 6000 years. It has been used in food and as a medical “cure all” for about as long as it’s been around, it’s even thought to be an aphrodisiac and black garlic was thought to bring immortality!

Used for health purposes, garlic is thought by some to help prevent such ailments as heart disease, high cholesterol and blood pressure, and cancer. Though these cannot be confirmed, there are other things that garlic is believed to help as well, like the common cold, acne, and as a natural way to repel not only vampires and loved ones but such insects as mosquitoes and fleas. Garlic also has the added benefit of being high in antioxidants. Just remember garlic in moderation is best.

Now if the health benefits don’t make you want to keep garlic around, just think of all the wonderful things you can do with it when it comes to cooking! The flavor of garlic raw is on the spicy side but can be toned down quickly just by cooking it. You can roast, chop it up and sauté it or even ferment it like they do in Korea (black garlic), making it sweet and tangy all at once. Another great way to use garlic is to rub a clove on crusty bread to give it more flavor.

You can also flavor oil with garlic, though if you choose to make your own, you must remember to make it fresh and use it immediately. Even though it’s best to throw it away afterward, if you decide you want keep it, it must be refrigerated quickly and it keeps for up to a week. Never keep garlic-in-oil at room temperature, as it can cause food poisoning. Commercially made garlic-in-oil has chemicals or acids that eliminate the risk of it spoiling.

When choosing garlic to buy, choose bulbs that have the cloves tight together as they are fresher. Store whole bulbs and cloves at room temperature and kept dry, as dark and cool can make it sprout.

Garlic can flavor your food, help keep you healthy and give you something to talk about and all of those benefits outweigh any bad breath, besides if you feed the people around you as well, no one will notice!

Here’s also something to think about:

“Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good.” – Alice May Brock

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This post was written by:

Rochelle - who has written 324 posts on Made in Kitchen Blog.

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2 Responses to “Garlic the Super Food”

  1. Bonnie Says:

    I love garlic in almost everything. Good to know that if it is kept at room temp it would cause food poisoning.
    Good to know.

  2. Rochelle Says:

    Me too! If it’s a savory type of dish, it’s rare that garlic doesn’t go in it for me :)

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