Garlic is a great addition to the medicine cabinet and the kitchen and has a long recorded tradition in medicine, cooking and of course to ward of vampires.
Ancient Egyptians used garlic and cloves were found in King Tutankhamen's tomb. The slaves building the pyramids were supposedly given garlic to make them strong. Some of these slaves were the Jews who apparently came to love garlic. Garlic became part of the Hebrew Talmudic Law which stipulates its use in certain festival dishes. In fact, the Ancient Romans referred to the Jews as garlic eaters.
During the Exodus, the people complained to Moses “We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic” Numbers 11:5 NIV
The Greeks also loved their garlic and there is evidence that the first Olympiads at garlic for strength and agility. I suppose that makes garlic the first “performance enhancing” drug.
Interested in How to Grow The Best Garlic ? Check out my article that will tell you how.
Garlic In The Medicine Cabinet
Garlic has many medicinal properties.
Stimulates digestive organs
Emulsifies cholesterol and loosens it from arterial walls
Reduces high blood pressure
Removes chelators such as heavy metals
Here is an easy to make garlic syrup which is great to use for colds, coughing and the flu.
Slice up a pound of garlic cloves into small chunks
Pour a quart of boiling water over the cloves.
Let the mixture sit for twelve hours.
Stir in one cup of cane sugar
Make A Garlic Spray To Repel Pests
Garlic makes a great spray to repel pests in the garden such as Japanese beetles, cabbage moth caterpillars and weevils. It also can be used on pets to repel fleas.
Put several cloves in a blender
Add enough water to cover the bulbs
Puree the mixture for several minutes
Strain the garlic out using cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer
Put the “juice into a spray bottle
Save the pulp for cooking uses
What Is The Deal With Black Garlic?
Black garlic is the latest rage among garlic aficionados. Black garlic is simply aged garlic. It becomes black through a slow heating fermentation process which lasts several weeks.
You know how wine gets better with age? Well so does garlic! And it still contains all the same antioxidants as raw garlic.
Black garlic is all the rage for us however it has been produced and eaten for hundreds of years in South Korea, Japan, and Thailand.
It tastes sweet and syrupy making it very popular in cooking. And it looses the strong allicin taste that sometimes causes your tongue to cringe.
Black garlic is great spread on bread, used in sauces and soups.
Black Garlic Spread
7 ounces Cream Cheese
2 tablespoons of Sour Cream
2 Black Garlic cloves
2 Green Onions; finely slice the green parts
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a food processor, process all of the ingredients together until well combined.
Great with veggies such as carrots and celery. You can also spread it on crackers or chunks of French bread.
If you have the time, let it sit in the refrigerator for an hour. This allows the flavors to marinade and get better.
Soulmate makes my favorite “store-bought” black garlic.
Garlic In The kitchen
Garlic is not only good for you, it adds a certain zing to your dishes.
There are many ways to cook garlic and add it too your favorite dishes.
Roasted Garlic is one of my go to recipes. I then add the roasted garlic to vegetables or pasts dishes. It also pairs well with bread and dipping sauce. Just dip a nice crunchy french bread in some olive oil then spread the roasted garlic on top. Yum!
To Roast Garlic
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Remove the paper outer layer from cloves and trim off the ends.
Place cloves on a baking dish and sprinkle extra virgin olive oil on top
Roast for twenty minutes
One medium sized clove equals one half teaspoon of minced garlic.
One of my favorite garlic recipes is Skordalia, a Greek garlic sauce. This sauce is fabulous with cooked vegetables or as a spread on pita bread.
Check out this video from Greek Chef Akis Petretzikis
Dealing With The Smell
OK - there is one small drawback to garlic. It does have an odor!
Thomas Nash, the famous poet from the 1500’s wrote “ “Garlik maketh a man wynke, drynke and stynke”
There are several ways to deal with the smell.
During preparation you can use a garlic press instead of using your hands to hold and cut. Pressing garlic actually releases more flavors from the clove.
Author, Ame Vanorio, is the director of Fox Run Environmental Education Center where she teaches classes in organic gardening, alternative energy and wildlife conservation. She is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and environmental educator. Ame lives on her farm in Falmouth, KY with a myriad of critters.