Our introduction to Black Garlic...
A number of years ago we learned about Black Garlic, and so the journey began...
A friend of ours brought it over for us to try on one of her visits, and proceeded to make a baked brie with a few cloves of black garlic neatly chopped on top and warmed to perfection. She served it up beautifully on a charcuterie board with crackers, nuts and grapes. I need to also mention that this was our very first day of planting garlic on the farm, and boy did we work up an appetite!. We demolished the brie (and remaining charcuterie items) within minutes, and immediately started doing research on what black garlic was, how to cook it, and what else we can cook with it. The rest is history, as they say...
What it is...
Black Garlic is a full, raw, garlic bulb that has been slowly cooked in low temperature and with varying humidity, for weeks. During this process, the garlic goes through the Maillard reaction:
"The Maillard reaction (/maɪˈjɑːr/ my-YAR; French: [majaʁ]) is a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that gives browned food its distinctive flavor." - Wikipedia
The History of Black Garlic...
The origin of black garlic started in Korea. From there its popularity spread across Japan and Thailand, and has now made its way to North America.
Top 10 Health Benefits of Black Garlic...
Wow, where do I begin. Take a raw garlic clove, with all its benefits, and then double it! Because of the reaction that black garlic goes through during the cooking process, it absorbs all of the nutrients from the skin of the bulb as well. The following is a list of potential benefits of eating garlic:
1. High in antioxidants; black garlic can contain 10 times the amount of antioxidants as raw garlic! Antioxidants have been known to help to reduce inflammation in the body, prevent certain cancers, and help to prevent diabetes. Antioxidants can also remove the waste products in our cells before they can do harm.
2. Balances blood sugar levels due to its ability to enhance insulin production.
3. Boosts heart health. Garlic increases HDL (good) cholesterol levels, and also helps to reduce the levels of blood cholesterol and triglycerides it reduces the risk of heart disease.
4. Cancer fighting properties. Research has found that garlic may reduce the growth of colon cancer and leukemia cells.
5. Improves brain health. The high concentrations of antioxidants may help to reduce the inflammation in the brain, and may even block conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's.
6. Can stimulate white blood cell activity which boosts the immune system to fight infections, including colds and flue, and even fungal infections such as candida. The potent antimicrobial properties was used in the 1950's to treat cholera and dysentery, and to treat battle wounds in the absence of antibiotics. Garlic is well known for its antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti fungal properties.
7. Helps to maintain healthy blood pressure levels. Due to the high sulphur compounds in garlic, it has been linked to aiding in normal blood clotting and healthy blood pressure, similar to taking a low does of aspirin.
8. Contains S-Allycysteine in high concentrations which is easily absorbed by the body. SAC has been shown to assist with the absorption of allicin, which is what makes raw garlic so beneficial, and is well tolerated by the digestive system, so the chances of gastric distress are minimized.
9. Benefits liver health. Garlic has the potential to lower markers of liver injury, and increase the normal activity and metabolism of the liver. Some studies have shown that black garlic also decreases fatty liver deposits and re-balances liver cell diameters.
10. Black garlic will not give you garlic breath! Many people choose to eat one or two raw cloves of garlic on a daily basis, for all of the reasons I listed above. With black garlic, you don't need to worry about making your family or friends eyes water from talking to them after just chowing down on garlic.
Ok, but what does it taste like...
The taste of black garlic is similar to that of molasses. It is surprisingly sweet with a bit of a tang to it. Some people describe the flavour as umami-like. Our small batched black garlic will have up to 15 different types of garlic.
Also due to small batches, the consistency may shift from chewy dense caramel to that of a gummy bear.
And finally, how do I use it?
Well, we have done a lot of experimenting since we started making our own black garlic. Check out our Recipes page for a few ideas on what to do and how to cook with it. Some of our go-to's would be soup stock, mashed potatoes, diced up into salads, or thinly sliced into pastas.
Our favourite though is eating it straight up, first thing in the morning. We even give a clove to our kids, who truly believe they are getting candy with their breakfast. Don't believe us? Check out what we have in our Shop for black garlic. Go ahead, give it a try. And while you're at it, let us know if you have tried any of our recipes or are getting creative with your own. We would love to hear from you.
Spread the word, and spread the black garlic love around.
This is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP before trying any natural remedies.