In the UK people love their afternoon tea so they know how to make a very good cuppa! Here's how they do it.
Garlic Health Benefits and How to Cook with Garlic
Research shows that the health benefits of garlic are very real, and that it is important to include garlic in your diet.
However, this can come at a cost, as some people cannot bear the smell or the taste, and this could mean that you may be allergic.
Go Easy on The Garlic
My father was a professional chef in London who taught his students that garlic is used in cooking in order to enhance the flavors of a dish. He used just a hint because it should never overwhelm other ingredients and flavors. I do this in my cooking and I have had no complaints so far!
There is little doubt among experts that you will be more healthy if you include just a little garlic in your meals each day.
This article has information about the health benefits of garlic, as well as tips on how to buy it, varieties, and a few delicious recipes with garlic as the main ingredient.
Please leave your comments and add recipes and anything you think we should know about garlic, your views are very important to us all.
I also have a great lens on juicing for example, which is all about the health benefits of green juice.
Ail - Health benefits of garlic
Health Benefits of Garlic in Brief
Eating a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables and fruit is the best way to ensure a healthy body. Add to this regular exercise and you are well on the way to being fit.
Traditional Chinese medicine has used garlic for over 3,000 years.
Garlic has approximately 100 chemically active compounds. It is part of the Allium family - like chives, onions and leeks. These all are reputed to have great healing properties.
When you crush garlic, a sulphur compound called Allin, changes into Allicin and this is where the antibiotic properties are found.
Garlic is said to :
- Boosts the immune system. Protects against free radicals and lowers bad cholesterol
- An antibiotic ( but is not a substitute for antibiotics if you have a serious infection to fight off)
- Is used to help with congestion, minor skin infections, toothache, earache, warts,symptoms of Candida
- Detoxification - protects the liver while it releases toxins.
- Maintains healthy lungs
- Maintains healthy stomach
- Good for the heart. Thins the blood and prevents clots. Help iron flow round the body. Protects cell walls and opens up the blood vessels.
- Some evidence shows that it can lower blood pressure and stabilize blood sugar levels
- Can also reduce the inflammation caused by various kinds of arthritis
The list is so long. This short video explains more:
Simple & Clear
Let the garlic sit for about 15 minutes after you have cut it or crushed it because this will help increase the enzymes and compounds and make it even better for your health.
Garlic Soup - Delicious and Very Healthy
Have you ever tried Garlic soup? It's a very popular Italian dish that doesn't actually taste of garlic.
My aunt used to make it for us when we were kids in Italy. She lived in the foothills near Genoa, where wild garlic grows everywhere.
We walked for what seemed like miles uphill to visit her, and it was the thought of her cooking, garlic soup, home made pesto, lamb garnished with wild herbs and garlic, that put a spring in our otherwise weary steps! These memories still make my mouth water today.
Her garlic soup was delicious, and it didn't taste of garlic - at all but it was sweet and flavorsome!
Here's the recipe:
Healthy Garlic Soup Recipe
1 1/2 pints of water
4 diced potatoes
1 diced carrot
2 diced celery sticks
1 diced onion
4 peeled garlic cloves (or more if you like!)
1/2 teaspoons thyme
All the vegetables should be diced to a similar size and they should be added to boiling water in a large saucepan. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are well cooked.
Puree the cooked soup and serve immediately with croutons if you wish. A dribble of olive oil can be added to the top.
'Shallots are for babies; Onions are for men; Garlic is for heroes'
— Author unknown
Healthy Garlic! - Is my message coming across?
Try to eat it raw as much as possible. Do not cook on a high temperature or for too long as over cooking will limit its benefits.
Black Garlic - No bad breath and double the health benefits.
Have you ever heard of black garlic? This is aged garlic. It doesn't make your breath reek because it doesn't have a strong smell. It’s absolutely delicious.
Black garlic is just as good for your health, if not more! It has nearly double the amount of antioxidants than raw garlic.
It tastes of molasses! It is a jelly like substance, which melts in your mouth. You can spread it on your toast - that's how delicious it is. A real delicacy.
Found in Garlic
high levels of manganese - calcium - vitamin B1 - B6 and C - phosphorus - copper - potassium - selenium - tryptophan
The Garlic will boost the flavour of any dish
Chew Raw Parsley - it will Reduce the Odour on your Breath
A very useful gift - It's very pretty I think.
How to choose your garlic in the store
There are as many as fifty different varieties of garlic grown round the world. Some are white, some are purple, some are small and others are big - there is even an amazing variety called the Elephant Garlic.
But basically they all do the same job, they add flavor to your dishes, and they all work in the same way.
How can you tell when garlic is ripe?
When you are in the shop look out for these signs - regardless of the variety.
- don't take any notice of the color it is not an indication of it's ripeness
- look at the skin, make sure it is nice and tight, not lose or papery.
- check that the garlic has no shoots growing out of the top
- give it a squeeze and make sure it is firm. If you can tick those boxes, then buy it!
Store it in a drawer or in the fridge it will last you for weeks.
PS These tips go for onions too!
Cooking tips for Garlic
- Let the garlic sit for about 15 minutes after you have cut it or crushed it because this will help increase the enzymes and compounds and make it even better for your health.
- Do not cook on a high temperature or for too long as over cooking will limit its benefits.
- Add it to the food when it is almost cooked but, if you don't mind the garlic smell that will remain on your breath, you can add it at the very end and eat it raw.
Such a simple but delicious sauce for your pasta
Quick, Delicious, Authentic Genoese Pesto
It's very simple. My grandma used to make a more creamy version, but nowadays we're more health conscious so we have to cut down on using too much cheese and whey and all those wonderful things they used to use in Italy when I was a girl.
I don't usually use a pestle and mortar either, although I would if I have the time because it's such a wonderfully traditional thing to do. Sometimes I use one when I make fresh pasta or Gnocchi - but this is a quick pesto for convenience so I use a food processor.
|Prep time||Ready in||Yields|
Serves 4 people
- 4 bunches Basil
- 50g pine nuts
- 40 -50 g parmigiano cheese
- 20g pecorino chees
- 1 clove of garlic
- extra virgin olive oil
- Pick the stems off each leaf of the basil - take care to remove it all or it will make the pesto taste bitter. Wash the basil and place in a clean dry tea towel. Gather up the edges and give it a good shake over the sink, to get the water out. The basil must not have water on it or the pesto will be watery.
- Put each of the following in different little bowls or little piles round a plate: Finely chopped garlic. Finely chopped (creamed) pine nuts, grated cheese.
- Place the basil leaves in the mortar or food processor. Whiz or pound until the leaves start to give out a green liquid. Add most but not all of the ingredients on your plate or in each bowl, including the cream cheese.
- Mix it all together and add seasoning. Continue adding ingredients until you have the exact flavor you need and give it all a final whiz or mix. If you do want it to be a bit more creamy then add a very small amount of plain yoghurt - it won't alter the flavor at all.
- Add some olive oil to the top of the pesto, not too much, it must not be too oily.
- At the same time, boil a large pot of water, add salt, put in the pasta -or spaghetti. Boil for a few minutes till it is 'al dente' ( "to the tooth" meaning cooked so that it's not too soft or not too hard). Just taste it as it is boiling -keep checking and take it off the heat as soon as it is to your liking.
- When the pasta is cooked strain away the water, saving a couple of spoons in case you need them for the pesto.fulls. Put the pasta back in the pot, add the pesto, and a spoon of the hot water if it is too dry. Mix everything together and serve immediately with some parmigiano cheese sprinkled on top of each plate.
- For a real Genoese dish: add cooked green beans and a few boiled potatoes at the point when you when you mix the pesto into the pasta - that doesn't sound like much, but believe me it's absolutely delicious particularly with spaghetti. Serve with a fresh green or mixed salad.
Add it to the food when it is almost cooked but, if you don't mind the garlic smell that will remain on your breath, you can add it at the very end and eat it raw.
Growing Garlic Books - Would Make Fabulous Presents
Beauty Benefits of Garlic
Garlic is rich in sulphur and has been proven to be good for skin, hair and nails. It makes skin smoother and fresh in appearance. Hair becomes more silky and sleek, and nails become stronger. Garlic also prevents dandruff and skin damage.
Interesting Reading About Health Benefits of Garlic - Medical Reports
- Nutritian Gateway
Effect of garlic on cardiovascular disorders: a review
- University of Maryland Medical Centre
A comprehensive account of various findings.
- ACS Symposium Series
Garlic: A Review of Its Medicinal Effects and Indicated Active Compounds
GARLIC - Tell us what you think of it
Do you cook with garlic? Do you enjoy the flavor? Do you have a way of hiding the smell it leaves on your breath? Any tips would be very much appreciated.
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© 2013 Giovanna
Please leave a comment - Help Improve Our Health!
Giovanna (author) from UK on October 06, 2015:
wow I really do admire you - I would love to do this but I worry about my breath - how do you cope with that?
Tom on September 25, 2015:
I eat a clove of raw garlic and wash it down with Apple Cider Vinegar every day. I have not had an out and out, put-me-on-my-back cold since 2001. That's 14 years!!
I swear by this. It can be hard to do at first, but if you can get by the taste, you are good to go.
Giovanna (author) from UK on October 01, 2014:
Thank you very much indeed for visiting my hub. Let me know what you think of the black garlic - it's delicious!
Edith Rose from Canada on September 30, 2014:
We use garlic in almost everything we cook. Never heard of black garlic, but I will start looking for some. Going to try the soup recipe.
Giovanna (author) from UK on April 22, 2014:
@TapIn2U: I love it too -I still haven't tried the black garlic -but I will -keep forgetting to order it! Thanks for your visit and really kind comment.
TapIn2U on April 14, 2014:
I know some people who could not bear the smell of it but I just love it I put it on a lot of dishes! Plus amazing health benefits, too! Fantastic lens! Sundae ;-)
Giovanna (author) from UK on February 05, 2014:
@LouisaDembul: I haven't tried black garlic yet either. I keep meaning to! I'm sure it's delicious -I like the idea of it being odorless. Thanks very much indeed for your visit and comment.
LouisaDembul on February 05, 2014:
I had never seen black garlic before, that's really something! According to your proverb I am a heroic man....love both onion and garlic!
Giovanna (author) from UK on October 09, 2013:
@Meganhere: It's really delicious -like Onion soup, not at all as you'd expect -but better! And so good for you. Have you ever tried black garlic? Thanks for your visit.
Meganhere on October 08, 2013:
I love garlic. Thanks for the garlic soup recipe. I'm going to try that.
Giovanna (author) from UK on October 06, 2013:
@julieannbrady: Me too! I even put it in put green juice - that would sound really disgusting to lots of people! Thanks for visiting.
julieannbrady on October 06, 2013:
I just love the smell and taste of garlic! I think I even sweat it. Good thing it is healthy for us.
anonymous on September 20, 2013:
wow, black garlic! I`m a little intolerant to normal garlic and I try to avoid it in kitchen. I need to find more about this black one and try it.