Sunday was National Garlic Day…yes, I said garlic, as in, the pungent vegetable packed with health benefits and…smell, to put it mildly. In Gilroy, California, there is
actually an annual garlic festival held! I can’t say that I blame the residents of Gilroy, however. With all of the good, it’s capable of doing for our bodies, garlic deserves its own day and festival.
Some of the health benefits of garlic include:
– Great antibiotic properties due to the high sulfur content
– Aids in keeping the digestive system clean by flushing out toxins.
– Clears up blocked arteries, which helps prevent heart ailments
– Helps build our immune system
(According to newsweek.com, right now, garlic is flying out of the bins in Tunisia because consumers are hoping that its antimicrobial properties will help protect against coronavirus.I personally love garlic! I use it in many of my recipes for most of the reasons listed above as a matter of fact. In addition to traditional garlic, there’s another type of garlic that I love to use and that’s black garlic. Black garlic is simply aged garlic and the blackness of it is achieved by heating the bulbs over the course of several weeks. The health benefits of black garlic are similar to regular garlic but the aging process amplifies these benefits. It is also a good source of Vitamin C, Calcium, fiber and iron. When it comes to cooking with black garlic, you can cook with it just as you would roasted garlic and you can also powder it. As for purchasing black garlic, you can find it at Whole Foods and you can find it some places online in different forms, from bulbs to purée, to fermented black garlic. Or, you
can do what we like to do here at CGE and make your own!
Black Garlic Recipe
1. Selecting Your Garlic – any garlic type will do.
2. Cleaning – When cleaning do not wet garlic, just wipe it clean. If extra dirty, scrub with a dry cloth or slightly damp cloth and let it sit until it is completely dried out.
3. Aging/Fermenting – Using your crockpot or slow cooker, use the WARM setting (not low) and put enough garlic (the whole bulb, do not divide) to cover the bottom, but not overlap each other or touch.
4. Fermentation Duration – Allow garlic to remain on low for 3 weeks. You will know they are done when they are soft. There will be a strong garlic smell, so make sure you have them in a well-ventilated area.
- Leave the slow cooker closed during the fermenting process. Opening will disturb this process.
- Periodically check to make sure the slow cooker/crockpot is still on the warm setting.
- If you age it longer than 3 weeks, the garlic may take on a jelly-like appearance. You are aiming for soft, not jelly.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 months.