Saturday, April 18, 2009

An Ode to Garlic

Now I don't think I grew up really thinking much about garlic. I'm not sure my parents used it fresh for cooking and I never really had a taste for it. Interestingly though as you start to change the way you eat your tastes preferences change and now it is almost a game to see how much garlic I can put into... everything.
Let's start with the fact that garlic has medicinal properties recognized by the Israelites, Chinese, Japanese (who made medicine from it to fight the flu) and Romans (to name a few). It says in What Would Jesus Eat that it was used as an antiseptic in both world wars. It's antibiotic properties come from it's smell. It's an antioxidant... big word in today's news... cancer killer. Wikipedia says it helps to cure/prevent heart disease, regulate blood sugar levels, speeds up the recovery of strep throat, it's an antimicrobial and prevents the growth of all kinds of nasty things in your body such as tumors.
Okay and then the nutrients: Vitamins A,B,B2 and C, protein, potassium, calcium and name a few. It's got folate which is tough to get and good for pregnant mommas. It's got a whole list of phytochemicals but I don't know what they mean and if you do by all means check it out!
Cooking garlic reduces it's vitamin/mineral content so you can just throw garlic salt or garlic powder out the window (literally). [Besides after hearing about my Gramma's job in an onion factory where here job was picking the dead rats, hammers and nails out of the dried onions before they were turned into onion powder I've pretty well steered clear of all kinds of dried produts I can easily get fresh]. Now you can eat a clove raw each day like my husband (blech!) OR just put it in last when sauteing so it cooks for less time. The only way I have found that I can get garlic into my body raw is by making hummus.
1/2 - 1 cup dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1/2 cup tahini (I add more than that)
1 TBL olive oil
2 garlic cloves
Juice of 1 lemon (1 1/2 TBL lemon juice)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
Soak the beans overnight in plenty of water. Drain them, add fresh water and cook in a sauce pan for a couple hours (depending on how much you made - they will be fairly tender when done). Puree the chickpeas, oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt and cumin (now once I accidentally grabbed the cinnamon... that was interesting) in a blender or food processor. I like to add some of the cooking water from the beans, it gives the hummus a smoother texture. Take all this out of the blender, place into a bowl then stir in tahini. Now you can adjust whatever you need to make it taste the way you like it. Get some crackers, carrots, celery, or a spoon and enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. Looking around for recipes lol and had to comment here... I am so going w/ canned chickpeas next time i make hummus. I broke a blender the last time I used dried... Hummus is a staple here so I can't afford to keep doing that lol