Did you know that the average American consumes nearly three pounds of garlic each year?
That is especially a staggering statistic considering the weight of one garlic bulb is only a few grams.
There are few spices used as frequently in our kitchens as garlic. Its aromatic properties have us addicted to this versatile plant, and it’s no wonder we consume so much of it!
However, many home cooks don’t properly prepare garlic. This can lead to a dish tasting off and prevent the flavor from living up to its full potential.
Read on to learn the importance of learning how to cook with garlic, even for home chefs.
Why Cook Garlic the Right Way?
The health properties this decadent spice are well-known and established, alongside its tasty flavor.
In order to reap the full benefits from garlic, it must be properly prepared, as many of the compounds responsible for these only work with certain techniques.
This is especially true with the compound known as allicin, which helps to combat heart disease and potentially many other health problems.
How to Cook with Garlic for Amateur Chefs
There are a few different ways to prepare garlic effectively, as well as one way to never, ever prepare it.
Here are three ways that garlic is best cooked, as well as one that will surely result in a terrible taste.
1. Roast the Garlic
One of the best ways to enjoy garlic is by oven-roasting it before adding it to a dish.
The process of roasting tones down some of the pungency of it, while bringing out the sweetness.
2. Eat it Raw
Though many people worry that raw garlic will be too strong in a dish, when properly minced and added to the right recipe, it can be perfect.
Many sauces, salsas, and marinades can be greatly improved with raw garlic. Moreover, there are proven health benefits to eating raw garlic rather than cooked.
3. Use Garlic Powder
In a pinch, there is absolutely no downfall to choosing garlic powder over fresh garlic, especially if you don’t have any whole garlic on hand. Garlic in its powdered form can also be perfect if looking for meal prep spices to use.
4. Never Burn Garlic or Overuse It
The worse thing any chef can do when using garlic is to burn it. The spice takes on a bitter and unpleasant taste when prepared in this way, and it is best avoided at all costs.
Finally, avoid overusing garlic in a dish, or using it in all your dishes. It is best balanced out with other spices rather than completely used on its own, or in excess.
Final Thoughts on Cooking with Garlic
Overall, it is not too difficult to learn how to cook with garlic, even as an at-home chef.
Most importantly, try to avoid burning it or using too much of it, as both of these can completely ruin an otherwise perfect dish.
Garlic is best used roasted, powdered, raw, or sauteed, as each of these can bring out its unique flavors in your dish.
Interested in learning more about eating fresh and flavorful plant foods? Check out our recent article on the beginner’s guide to going vegetarian.