Garlic is such a big culinary superstar that it is impossible to imagine any kitchen without it. But did you know it also has many curative properties, including helping to regulate your blood pressure? So, here’s how to store garlic properly in order to get the most out of its flavor and health benefits.
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- How to store garlic
- How long can you keep fresh garlic?
- How can you tell if garlic has gone bad?
- Other Useful Tips
How to store garlic
Can garlic be kept at room temperature?
The best way to store garlic at room temperature is in a cool dark and dry place with good air circulation, such as inside an open paper bag in the pantry.
Garlic can also be kept at room temperature after drying or dehydrating it. For this, you can use either a food dehydrator or an oven. Before drying the peeled garlic cloves, slice them up or mince them through a garlic press. Then, bake the garlic at about 140°F/60°C for a few hours. Once the garlic becomes crisp, take it out and allow it to cool. Afterward, the dried garlic can be kept at room temperature for many months as long as it is kept in a sealed airtight container.
Can you store garlic in the fridge?
Chopped garlic or peeled leftover garlic cloves can be kept for a few weeks in the fridge in an airtight container. Make sure you use refrigerated garlic as soon as possible.
Do not use the refrigerator for long-term storage, as it stimulates garlic sprouting.
Can garlic be kept in the freezer?
Indeed it can. Although freezing fresh garlic will change its stability, texture, and flavor, it’s a great way to use leftover garlic that you don’t want to waste.
One option is to peel the cloves, chop the garlic finely, and then wrap it in a plastic freezer bag.
Another method is to freeze unpeeled garlic cloves wrapped in either aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Doing so will keep it as dry as possible during the freezing process.
How long can you keep fresh garlic?
|At room temperature||In the refrigerator||In the freezer|
|Whole garlic bulb expires in…||6 months||–||–|
|Unpeeled garlic cloves expire in…||7-10 days||–||–|
|Peeled garlic cloves expire in…||–||1 week||–|
|Fresh chopped garlic expires in…||–||1 week||10-12 months|
How can you tell if garlic has gone bad?
Look. If garlic has brown or yellow spots on it or other signs of discoloration, then it has gone bad. Mold growing on the skin is also another sure sign that garlic is no longer good to use.
Also, if the outer layer looks dry or has dents or bruises, you should throw away the affected cloves as the damage done to the flesh will make it go bad quickly.
Sprouting garlic, however, isn’t a sign that it has gone off. In fact, it’s still good to use. Just chop off and discard the sprout, and then use it as you normally would. However, when sprouting it does mean that the garlic will have a milder flavor.
Touch. Garlic should always be nice and firm when picked up. If it feels soft, mushy, or has come significantly come away from the skin, it has gone bad and should be chucked.
Smell. If the garlic has become rotten or mushy, it will release a pungent odor. So, if you get a whiff of any unpleasant smells that aren’t the usual strong garlic aroma, it means that this is the right time to bid farewell to your garlic.
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Other Useful Tips
How to Make Your Own Garlic Oil
Garlic can be used to infuse your favorite oil, such as olive or linseed oil, to make your very own garlic oil.
First, peel the garlic cloves before adding them into a glass jar or plastic container filled with oil. Alternatively, you can make a puree by mixing the two ingredients together in a blender or food processor. Next, directly pop the mixture into the freezer. Leave it to infuse for at least a week. The longer the garlic stays in the oil, the stronger the flavor of the oil will be.
Be sure to keep the garlic oil in the freezer. This is because if it’s kept at room temperature it increases the risk of botulism, which can be fatal.
How to Roast Garlic in Olive Oil
Roasted garlic is easier to digest. Therefore, roasting garlic before adding it to your food is a great way to incorporate it into your dishes if you are sensitive to raw garlic.
To roast your garlic:
- Preheat your oven to 400°F/200°C
- Remove the outer layer of the garlic bulb
- Cut off the top of the cloves before putting them on the baking tray
- Sprinkle olive oil over each head before wrapping them in aluminum foil
- Bake them until very soft. This will take around 30-40 minutes.
What Are the Health Benefits of Garlic?
Garlic helps lower cholesterol levels because of its high antioxidant content. What’s more, garlic contains a high amount of sulfur that is good for cleansing the digestive system and extracting toxins. Garlic extract is also believed to relieve some illnesses like the common cold and flu.
The anti-cancer properties of garlic, like inulin, saponins, and flavonoids, help fight some kinds of cancer, such as colorectal. Consuming garlic also slows down the growth of cancer cells and minimizes inflammation. These powerful elements can also help reduce blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.
How Do You Store Fresh Garlic Cloves?
To keep them fresh, put in an open paper bag or wire-mesh basket at room temperature in a place out of direct sunlight. Doing so will protect garlic against moisture and light, both of which trigger mold growth.
Do You Need To Refrigerate Garlic Cloves?
You can keep unpeeled garlic at room temperature for up to 6 months. However, it is still wise to use it as soon as you can. That’s because it can still be exposed to moisture and light, even when stored properly, increasing the chances mold will grow.
However, peeled or chopped garlic cloves should be refrigerated in plastic wrap or in a sealed container.