Why is Garlic Good for You?

By | October 16, 2017

Garlic is an ingredient that I use in cooking almost daily. Vampires don’t stand a chance in this house! My husband is intolerant to onions and so I rely on garlic as a key flavour in lots of dishes. We all know that garlic is good for us, with some even classifying it as a superfood but do you know why? Garlic contains Vitamin C, Manganese, Selenium and antioxidants. It is a natural antibiotic and is said to reduce cholesterol, blood pressure and reduce the chances of some types of cancer. My mum always tells me to take garlic if I’ve a cold or am run down. Garlic and honey tea anyone? Garlic contains the compound Allicin, which is formed when a clove is crushed, minced or chewed. It is this allicin which provides most of these benefits.  

 

Garlic House 

How to Store Garlic

It is best to keep garlic in a basket, a small bowl with ventilation holes or a paper bag. Storing in plastic bags or sealed containers is not recommended. My garlic house is aerated and stores garlic on the counter-top while still looking pretty!  I received this as a gift from Uncommon Goods, an online store with a mission to provide sustainable and environmentally friendly goods while supporting excellent creative design. The site is great for choosing unusual gifts and you can search by who you want the gift for, for example presents for friends or for kids etc. I am looking forward to browsing through their gifts for Christmas page shortly! 

 

Raw or Cooked Garlic?

 There are many articles on the interweb as to which is better – raw or cooked, with the general consensus being that the benefits are much less when garlic is cooked especially if it is at a high temperature. If garlic is cooked whole and the clove is not crushed or chopped, the allicin won’t form so the health benefits are reduced. However if you chop or crush the clove and leave for 10 minutes before cooking, the allicin will still form and the benefits will be preserved. So how would you eat raw garlic you might ask? Well, some people will eat the garlic raw directly off a spoon but there are easier ways! 

5 Ways with Raw Garlic

Pesto – homemade pesto is a great way to get more raw garlic into your diet. Mix with al dente pasta, drizzle over a salad, schmear over fish before roasting, there are hundreds of ways to use pesto and you can put lots of minced raw garlic in any homemade pesto. You can even add some to a shop bought pesto before serving. 

Salad dressings – balsalmic vinegar, minced garlic and olive oil is a good basis for a salad dressing.

Salad – sprinkling some crushed garlic into your salad is a great flavour hit. 

Toast – good old garlic bread but make your toast first and then spread with your butter alternative mixed with crushed garlic. 

 Salsa – tomatoes, white wine vinegar, chopped green beans and minced garlic make for a lovely salsa. 

salsa verde

 

Salsa

Simple Salsa with Tomatoes, Green Beans, Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds, Garlic and Lime Juice

  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 handful green beans or sugar snap peas
  • 25 g pumpkin and sunflower seeds
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 handful basil, torn
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  1. Add tomatoes, green beans and seeds to a serving bowl. 

  2. Add olive oil and lime juice.

  3. Crush garlic and tear basil and add to the salsa. 

 

 This post has been written in collaboration with Uncommon Goods. I received a small fee for writing this post and it will go towards the upkeep of the site. All opinions as always are my own. 

3 thoughts on “Why is Garlic Good for You?

  1. MandyM

    Mmmm! Love those ideas!

    I know it’s not really an option in your house, but tzatziki is a staple in my house. Loads of fresh garlic in there :D I wonder if tzatziki would work with a plain coconut yoghurt.

    Another amazingly garlic Greek side dish/sauce is skordalia. Basically, it’s mashed potato with vinegar, olive oil, and SHEDLOADS of garlic! It’s normally served with seafood dishes as an accompaniment, but I would happily eat it as though it were cold mashed potato salad :D

    Reply
    1. Laura Post author

      I’ve had a dairy free tzatziki on my mind for a while now I really should attempt it… I wonder if the coconut would make it weird.Skordalia sounds amazing I think they boys would eat that for sure! Thanks Mandy!

      Reply
  2. Le Coin de Mel

    I absolutely love garlic and I use it pretty much every day. I had a Maths teacher in the 6th form who would eat raw garlic cloves every lunchtime. Her breath in the afternoon sessions was awful hahaha! Thanks for joining in with #FreeFromFridays.

    Reply

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