Friday, November 18, 2016

All about Green Garlic

Green garlic is newest favorite ingredient for chefs looking to introduce a special taste to new dishes. You may have thought they had just come up with just about every permutation possible for garlic, given the garlic craze of the mid 90’s. Yet this wonderfully adaptable root, made famous by Bram Stoker, has found yet another use.

What is green garlic?

Garlic is green before it has matured, so this “new” garlic is just regular garlic that growers have plucked early. Originally, growers pulled these underdeveloped crops up early when too much garlic had grown out. As a market has started to develop for theseGarlic is green before it has matured, so this “new” garlic is just regular garlic that growers have plucked early. Originally, growers pulled these underdeveloped crops up early when too much garlic had grown out. As a market has started to develop for these types of garlic, however, growers have started to grow some fields with this intent primarily in mind. The best examples of green garlic have green tops that have not yet shown any sign of drying out. types of garlic, however, growers have started to grow some fields with this intent primarily in mind. The best examples of green garlic have green tops that have not yet shown any sign of drying out.


Preparing this garlic is easy. Just cut tips of the roots and hardened part of the leaves. Then you just slice up the garlic, as you would like. You should employ this garlic as you would regular garlic or onions. This garlic, because it is less mature than fully developed garlic, tends to have a less intense flavor.

Growing Green Garlic in your Kitchen

Another great thing about garlic is that it is so easy to grow that you can do it right in your kitchen. Just take garlic clove put it in a clear vase and fill it half way with water. You position the vase in a bright area and within a week, you should have shoots and roots. Just keep snipping them off as they grow out and you should always have anew ones growing out.

This is a good way to keep you in a fresh supply of garlic chives. They are excellent in small amounts for salads and soups. So enjoy!

Green Garlic Pizza

Here’s a new twist on an old favorite. You have probably already had a garlic pizza, but a garlic pizza using this milder variety of garlic gives you a much more subtle flavor to that tried and true food. All you have to do is finely chop the green garlic, stew it until it softens and then just mix it into the pizza sauce as you would onion. As always, fresh ingredients and your own mix work better than anything canned or prepared at some factory. If, however, you are short on time you can just use it to spice up a dull prepackaged pizza sauce.

Green Garlic Omelet

Another very tasty dish is this garlic in an omelet, which I here is a favorite of locals in the American southwest. Just mince this garlic and add it in with your favorite cheese. The combination of cheesy flavor and the subtle garlicky taste produces a completely new omelet experience.

Health Benefits

In case it has been a while or you have forgotten the many health benefits of garlic, here is a reminder. Herbal medicine gurus have long claimed that garlic can do all sorts of great things for health from fighting off the common cold to reducing cholesterol and preventing hearth disease. Although modern science has not substantiated these findings, garlic has been shown to help in fighting off parasites and in improving overall health. The era of garlic as a wonder drug that can cure all sorts of diseases has come and gone. However, garlic is still associated with a healthy lifestyle.

Finally, given the current craze for this garlic in the culinary community, it is likely that we will be seeing this wonderful root as an ingredient in several new dishes. If you ever wanted to get in on the ground floor of new trend, now is the time, also you should learn how to braid garlic. The site I listed explains everything in detail, and it will save you a lot of time.

Things You May Not Know About Granulated Garlic

There is always a question of what exactly granulated garlic is, especially in a novice kitchen. It is dehydrated garlic that is prepared from using fresh garlic that has gone through the cleaning, slicing and dehydrating phases and then milled to a desired size.

Most recipes will call for granulated garlic because it is easy to work with. There is no preparation involved and you can easily manipulate its “garlicky” flavor by how long you let it cook. It generally takes about 20 minutes to reach its release of full flavor but it is fine enough to maintain a strong flavor if cooked a shorter amount of time. 

Can Garlic Powder Be Substituted? 

The primary difference between granulated garlic and granulated garlic powder is the texture. The powder will have a flour-like consistency instead of the coarse texture of the granulated type. Most manufacturers will sell a pure version of powder, however, some times you may find that additives have been added to prevent caking or improve the flow.

In most cases, the powder form can be a great substitute. You will not want to sauté with powder though because it tends to burn extremely easy. Garlic powder can be better than fresh garlic in certain situations too such as a dry barbecue rub or something that you need to spread garlic on evenly.

What Is Garlic Salt? 

Garlic salt should never be mistaken for granulated garlic, minced garlic or garlic powder. It is actually a flavored salt that is made from table salt, dried ground garlic and an anti-caking agent which is usually calcium silicate. Garlic salt is used as a food seasoning on foods such as burgers or chile. 

What Exactly Is Garlic?

Garlic is in the same family as an onion, it is a very hardy, bulbous perennial plant. Its spicy and pungent flavor mellows tremendously and sweetens when it is cooked. It is virtually odorless until it is cut, then an enzymatic reaction takes place and produces that distinct garlic aroma. 

Granulated garlic finds its place in kitchens around the world. It is often paired with tomato, onion or ginger in a large variety of dishes with a few favorites being pasta dishes, garlic bread, bruschetta, canapĂ©, soups and stir-fry. 

Many oils are also often flavored with garlic to be used on vegetables, meats, pasta, salads and bread. It is a wonderful ingredient that can be added to many recipes that don't call for it or used as a substitution for salt for a more healthy approach to a dish. 

Health Benefits 

In movies, garlic has been keeping vampires away for years but that is not the only thing this healing food can fend off. Adding granulated garlic to your diet can actually make you a whole lot healthier and prevent a few serious diseases. 

One of the most popular healing properties garlic is known for is with colds. It contains an extract that improves your immune system and gives your body a natural defensive boost to fight off the sniffles. It also not only has antiviral properties but anti-fungal ones as well so it can combat infections.

A healthy system is a key element in fighting off cancer. Garlic is able to help reduce cancerous cell formation and can virtually block cancer related compounds from forming. Research has proven that garlic can slow the growing rate of a tumor and in some cases, even reduce the size. 

Additionally, adding granulated garlic to your diet can help to prevent and treat heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels and reducing the chance of plaque forming on your arteries. It is also proven to protect the aorta, which can be damaged by age, smoking and a poor diet. Garlic is a key ingredient to good health.

Types of Garlic

All though there are several hundred different varieties under cultivation and several varieties of wild garlic as well, we generally view garlic as belonging to one of two types, the hard neck garlic and the soft neck garlic. There are several varieties of each of these types we're likely to be familiar with, but many varieties are not terribly familiar. One of the types we see in the supermarket on occasion is the very large Elephant garlic, which, although it has a garlic-like flavor is in truth not a garlic, but a leek.

Hard Neck, Soft Neck, And In-Between - The hard neck and soft neck types are genuine garlic. Garlic belongs to the species Allium Sativum, and the hard and soft neck types are two subspecies, Ophioscorodon and Sativum, respectively. Some of the more familiar varieties of the hard neck species include several Purple Stripe varieties, the Porcelain, and the Rocambole. Two distinctive soft neck groups are the Artichoke and Silverskin garlic. Three types of garlic that have both hard neck and soft neck characteristics are the Creole, Asiatic and Turban garlic.

Garlic plants are generally easy to grow, if you select the right variety. Some do well in warmer climates while others do better in cooler climates, and the cloves or bulbs will die in the ground if the weather is too warm. Garlic cloves can either be eaten raw or cooked. The strength of the cloves varies according to the variety, although of the two types of garlic, the hard neck varieties are generally stronger in taste. The flowers and leaves of the plants can be eaten as well, although most eat only the cloves or bulbs.

Hard Neck Garlic - Of the hard neck varieties, the porcelain garlic are probably the most attractive, They are the garlic found in the supermarket noted for their thick parchment like outer skins. The cloves, which make up the bulb, are usually fairly large, there typically being five cloves per bulb.

Rocambole garlic are not nearly as attractive as are the porcelains but some consider them better tasting. They have a tendency to be anywhere from off-white to brownish in color with purplish streaks or splotches. Rocamboles tend to be quite strong and hot.

Soft Neck Garlic - Of the soft neck types of garlic it is the artichoke garlic that is most commonly found in stores. The cloves are smaller than is the case with the porcelain, but the bulbs are still quite large, and consequently there are many more cloves. Of all the garlic varieties, the artichokes are considered the easiest to row, with California being a major producer of the variety.

Silverskins are another popular soft neck garlic and are often displayed in braids. Silverskins are among the best garlic for storing. Silverskins with few exceptions tend to be very hot varieties.

Medicinal And Culinary Uses - Whether you choose hard neck or soft neck types of garlic , you have a plant that has a rich history, both as a medicinal plant and as a culinary one. In olden times, strings of garlic (presumably Silverskins) were worn around one's neck to ward of spirits. If the cloves were ever crushed, it's fair to say that people probably kept their distance as well. Garlic is also thought to be somewhat effective in preventing high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer. While such claims are seemingly far fetched, they do seem to have some validity, if for no other reason than garlic is exceeding rich in vitamin C. vitamin B6, fiber, and carbohydrates, and is a very good source for a number of essential minerals - zinc, calcium, and magnesium to name three. As far as culinary uses are concerned, the list is practically endless. If you are wondering when people started using garlic, you can find the history of garlic here. It is amazing that people started using garlic such long time ago and that they knew the medical benefits of it.