Warning: Roasting garlic will fill your kitchen with the most delicious and irresistible aroma. Roasting a head of garlic transforms a pungent, sharp odorous head of garlic into a sweet, soft, rich, nutty flavor. Roasting the garlic converts aliin – the chemical responsible for the pungent taste and odor into a larger new molecule. This new molecule is what gives garlic its surprising new tasty flavor.
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Neuroscience Nutrition Nugget-
Garlic May Protect Against Brain Aging
Most people think of garlic as a superfood. Now a team of scientists at the University in Missouri has discovered yet another health benefit of garlic. The researchers focused on a carbohydrate derivative of garlic known as FruArg. Brain protection against aging and disease. The findings from his research provide a better understanding of how garlic may prevent age-related neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
In addition to the brain-protective effects, garlic has a ton of other health benefits. Garlic’s antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects are good for the heart, blood vessels, joints, and immune system. To get the maximum benefit from garlic, it should be eaten raw, not cooked or roasted. However, even roasted garlic has health benefits.
Farmer Fred loves to grow garlic. He takes the cloves that were left over from last year’s crop and tucks them into the nooks and crannies of the garden. I’ve even found them nestled in a flower bed. It took me a bit to figure out what that “new” flower was growing in among my Dahlias. However, one sniff told me it was garlic and not wild onions.
The Garlic scapes are the curly, thin, vibrant green stalks from the bulbs of hard neck garlic. The top of the scape will eventually become a flower if it isn’t harvested. The top is tough and stringy, but the stocks of the scapes taste like scallions or chives with a hint of garlicky flavor. They are tasty in pesto, sauteed with vegetables, and added to an omelet.
How to Roast Garlic
What do you need for roasted garlic?
You need two simple ingredients.
Whole head of Garlic: Choose a medium size head of garlic that is free of any bruises or decay. You can roast multiple heads of garlic and freeze the cloves for future use.
Olive Oil: Use extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Roasting the Garlic:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- You can roast 3 or 4 heads of garlic together. If I’m roasting multiple heads of garlic, I will use a muffin tin and put one head in each “muffin” space.
- Peel off the papery outer layer and cut the top off. You want to expose the cloves of garlic to the heat. The olive oil and the garlic juices combine to give the garlic a lovely golden color when roasted.
- Place the head of garlic on a piece of foil. The foil should be large enough to completely wrap the head of garlic during roasting.
- Liberally sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. I don’t use salt.
- Wrap the garlic head in the foil.
- Roast for 30 minutes or longer until the head is golden brown and the clove in the middle of the head is butter soft when pieced with a knife.
SIS (Simple is Smart) Tip for Storing the Roasted Garlic:
Freezer: Pop the cooled roasted garlic cloves out of the head and freeze on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze in a single layer, making it easy to separate the cloves. Once the cloves are frozen, place them in a ziplock freezer bag or vacuum pack 4 or 5 cloves in a small vacuum bag. The ziplock bag of garlic will keep for 3-4 months. The vacuum pack garlic will keep for a year.
Place the roasted garlic cloves in a small canning jar. A half-pint is perfect. Cover with olive oil and tighten the lid. Keeps in the refrigerator for two to three weeks.
Why do you need to add olive oil? The olive oil keeps the air from oxidizing the garlic. The oil “seals” the roasted garlic. After the container is empty, use the garlic-infused olive oil as a dipping sauce, drizzled over vegetables or pasta, added to pesto, or for frying onions or celery as a base for soups and sauce.
Note: DO NOT store the garlic at room temperature, as this creates the perfect environment for botulism growth.
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How to Roast Garlic
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- Aluminum foil
- 1 head garlic
- extra virgin olive oil
- optional sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C)
- You can roast multiple heads of garlic together.
- Peel the papery outer layer off of the head of garlic.
- Place the head of garlic on a piece of aluminum foil and liberally sprinkle with the olive oil and optional sea salt.
- Wrap the garlic head in the foil.
- Roast for 30 minutes or longer until the head is golden brown and the center clove is buttery soft when pierced with a knife tip.
SIS TIP for Storing Roasted Garlic
Storing in the Freezer
- Let the Garlic cool and pop out the cloves by gently squeezing the base of each clove.
- Freeze the cloves on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Put the frozen cloves in a ziplock freezer bag and store them for up to 3 months.
- Remove the cloves as needed.
Storing in the Refrigerator
- Put the roasted cloves in a clean canning jar and cover them completely with olive oil. Put the lid on tightly.
- Store for up to two weeks. Why add oil? Olive oil is a natural preservative. It keeps the garlic from spoiling by keeping out the air. Think of it as a way to seal the roasted garlic.
- Do not store at room temperature because this creates the perfect inviroment for botulism.