Garlic is like this faraway cousin that you don’t see often, but one who can completely change your life, and in this case, your meal. Garlic, used as a vegetable or a spice, is not only healthy but also incredibly flavorful. As we know, garlic is not the most popular item on the menu, at least not like other sophisticated modern-day vegetables such as beets, but it is the one we may need the most. Regardless of your love or hate for garlic, this 7,000-year-old food item is a vitamin that can improve not only your health, but also your cooking techniques.
Garlic has a very rich nutritional value. We all know the saying: “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.” If you compare garlic’s nutritional value to that of an apple, you’ll find out that garlic has three times more carbohydrates, 24 times more protein, 30 times more calcium, 29 times more zinc and 6.7 times more Vitamin C.
Garlic can be roasted — which creates an enjoyable smell-or stir-fried with other ingredients, which is common in many Asian countries. Garlic can even be eaten raw, which is common in many European countries, especially the Balkans. Remember that garlic can be easily overcooked, especially when fried. Burned garlic has a bitter taste and can easily ruin the whole dish, so be careful. Yes, garlic has a strong taste and smell, and too much garlic can overpower other flavors, so use it in moderation.
Want to incorporate more garlic into your diet? Try roasted garlic, the perfect appetizer for any occasion.
• Preheat oven to 350F
• Peel garlic skin and leave just enough to hold garlic together. Cut an inch off the top of each bulb. Place cut side up on aluminum foil.
• Evenly sprinkle 2 teaspoons of oil, salt and pepper on each bulb. Wrap them up with the aluminum foil and place on a baking pan.
• Bake for 45-50 minutes until garlic becomes soft, testing with a toothpick. Cool it down.
• Ready to serve. Squeeze bulb to let garlic out.
The appetizer can be served with French baguette, fresh olives and sun-dried tomatoes. This small ingredient can offer us a variety of flavors and aromas, so be creative with the use of garlic and try different recipes.
(Note: Besides all of its health benefits, over-eating raw garlic isn’t a good idea because it can be harmful to the digestive system.)
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[Photo by littlemaiba – CC BY]
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