Have you heard people say “food is medicine”? What thoughts come to your mind when you hear that phrase (especially the word medicine)? Is it pharmaceuticals and big pharma, over the counter drugs, supplements (vitamins and minerals), protein drinks, or other health giving products? We, at Farm Girl Fresh, believe that nutrient rich food can offer healing benefits, thus, it can be considered a type of medicine.
One of those healing, medicinal foods is the vegetable garlic. Yes, it is considered a vegetable, not an herb or spice. Garlic is thought to reduce inflammation, boost your immune function and have powerful antibacterial, antiviral properties.
In our kitchens, we consider garlic a culinary staple. We use it in our broth, stir-fries, soups, roasted vegetables, dips and many other prepared dishes. Keeping a jar of garlic cloves covered in olive oil makes for quick and easy preparation. Simply pull out the cloves that have already been peeled and mince as needed when cooking. The olive oil gets infused with the garlic and is delicious used as a salad dressing, poured over steamed veggies or even on top of your scrambled eggs. We replenish the cloves and oil to continually have this on hand.
How do you know if the garlic you are purchasing is fresh? Look at the bottom of the bulb. The freshest garlic bulbs have roots pointing up from a mounded bottom. Garlic grown outside of the US is usually from China and have roots that are down inside a concave bottom of the bulb.
This is a photo from our local CSA of garlic drying after harvest. In our book, Eating Pure in a Processed Foods World®, we teach you how to grow your own garlic and prepare it for winter storage (pg. 117), how to make your own garlic powder (pg. 118), and, we share some delicious tasting recipes (garlic fries, white chicken chili and a garlic marinade to name a few).