Among the first to be recognized as a medicinal herb, garlic has a history that dates back some 5000 years.
A CBC article suggests eating raw garlic twice a week can cut the chances of lung cancer by almost half. In addition to cancer fighting properties consuming fresh garlic is a wonderful way to boost your immune system. The jury is out whether or not similar results can be achieved with cooked garlic.
Your challenge then becomes how to introduce fresh garlic into your daily diet for a long and healthy life. We know a few garlic devotees who carry fresh garlic with them and routinely chew on a few cloves a day the way some people chew Chiclets. Both difficult to swallow and one should be avoided altogether. So how best to consume fresh garlic?
Add fat. Adding a little fat to fresh garlic better facilitates the uptake of garlic’s goodness, in this case the allicin.
And isn’t just about everything better with a little fat? Be it butter, pork, your significant other, or olive oil, how can you possible go wrong? Fat is good. Yes, yes it is. In moderation fat is good. We need fat. Just not a ton of it. Dirt is better with butter.
Here are five easy ways to add fresh garlic into your daily diet.
1 Fresh Garlic Bread / Toast:
A slice or two of sourdough rubbed with a fresh garlic clove will lend a mild garlic flavour to the bread. For better allicin uptake mince a fresh clove of garlic and combine with a fat-pat of butter or a teaspoon of cold pressed olive oil. Now spread that on your toast and feel the heal. Fast food to help cure your ills. Unlike McProcessed McGarbage.
2 Aioli with Fresh Garlic:
Dip everything in garlic aioli; fresh veggie sticks, taco chips, bread, your finger, whatever.
To make garlic ailoi mix crushed garlic with some simple homemade mayonnaise. Really? Okay.
In a nutshell – Simple Homemade Mayonnaise:
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Up to 1 fat cup of olive oil
Combine the egg and lemon juice in a food processor and blend while slowly pouring in olive oil until emulsified and thick. That will basically do.
Add good stuff like chopped fresh Italian parsley, basil, savory, chervil, tarragon, pickles, or combination thereof to personalize this incredible dip.
3 Pesto with Fresh Garlic:
Every summer farmersdotter scoops up fresh basil from our garden and those of our neighbours. The basil gets washed and dried and is then processed with fresh garlic, parmesan cheese, olive oil and pepita (pumpkin) seeds. Pine nuts are awesome but way to expensive for the amount of pesto we consume.
farmersdotter concludes your money is better spent purchasing the best of the rest and if you want to splurge on pine nuts then sprinkle them on top at serving time. Besides, if you toast the pepitas you will achieve a lovely well balanced nutty flavour.
farmersdotter prepares enough pesto to last all year. After processing, the pesto is divided into small batches, enough for a few days, and placed into a container appropriate for freezing.
Some recipes will caution against processing the parmesan and olive if you intend to freeze your pesto but honestly farmersdotter says do it all at the same time. We eat pesto in February and it is as wonderful as pesto freshly prepared in July.
- 1 pound (6 cups packed) fresh basil
- 1 – 1/2 cups virginy fat olive oil
- 1/2 cup roasted pepita (pumpkin) seeds
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 4 – 8 cloves fresh chopped garlic
- Salt to taste
This is such a versatile recipe. Experiment with fresh or dried chili peppers to add a layer of interesting heat. Substitute a portion of the basil with Italian parsley for an earthy overtone. In season farmersdotter will use our fresh garlic scape in place fresh garlic cloves.
Regardless of which combination of herbs you choose as your base, a good quality olive oil and parmesan cheese processed with fresh garlic and nicely toasted seeds and or nuts will yield a very satisfying pesto appropriate for freezing. Just what you want in February.
4 Guacamole with Fresh Garlic:
In a bowl mix all ingredients with a fork until smooth and dip your way to long life and good health!
- 3-4 cloves of minced garlic.
- A couple of nicely fat-ripe avocados.
- 1 medium finely chopped red onion
- 2-3 seeded Roma tomatoes finely chopped
- Half bunch of chopped cilantro or Italian parsley.
- Fresh squeezed lime juice to taste
- Salt to taste
- Lime zest (optional)
5 Hummus with Fresh Garlic:
Simple is best when it comes to preparing hummus with fresh garlic. This is one recipe where you want to resist adding weird shit for the sake of personalizing it. No one cares. Do it simple and do it right.
The only oil used to prepare traditional hummus comes from tahini. If you want to be a purest you can roast off and blend your own sesame into tahini but commercial tahini is just fine. If you desire olive oil then drizzle a little on top of your hummus at plating time. Nice.
For best results use small grained chickpeas. Avoid canned chickpeas and the larger garbanzo beans as they will rarely produce the soft and fluffy texture you want.
Regardless, to achieve a soft and fluffy texture simply soak chickpeas overnight in fresh water enough to cover plus an inch or two. In the morning drain chickpeas and place them in a cooking pot. Again cover with fresh water enough plus an inch or two only this time add a pinch of baking soda. Place pot with chickpeas on a burner and slow boil until tender.
Forget the whole chickpeas have a weird-texture skin-thing going on. The baking soda has taken care of that.
Once your chickpeas are cooked tender, drain and rinse then set aside.
Process tahini, lemon juice, and garlic into a paste. Add chickpeas and process until smooth. Add the necessary salt to taste.
If desired, though not totally necessary, add the cumin and parsley to taste reserving olive oil and paprika for plating.
- 2 cups chickpea
- 4 big fat tablespoons of tahini
- 4 cloves chopped fresh garlic
- 4 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Coarse sea salt to taste
- Ground cumin to taste (optional)
- 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped parsley (optional)
- Olive oil for drizzling (optional)
- Pinch paprika sprinkled on top after plating (optional)