Learn how to roast garlic, what roasted garlic tastes like, and if cooked garlic is as healthy as raw garlic.
Garlic, the unassuming kitchen staple that comes from the onion family, has a long history of being used for its medicinal properties.
Why Is Garlic Good For You?
Did you know that when you add garlic to your pasta sauce or soup you’re also adding a boost of nutrients?
While garlic is often thought of as simply a flavoring agent, it is actually very high in vitamins and minerals, like maganese, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and selenium. Garlic also contains antioxidants, which help protect the body against cell damage.
Adding garlic to your diet has been found to reduce cold symptoms by 60-70%. So during cold and flu season, be sure to stock up on your garlic!
Benefits Of Eating Garlic
Garlic contains compounds that have some powerful medicinal properties. There have been many studies done about the benefits of eating garlic.
It can be useful to:
- reduce fatigue and increase energy
- fight infections
- improve high blood pressure
- lower levels of LDL cholesterol (that’s the bad kind)
- prevent brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
- help detox the body from heavy metals
- improve bone health, particularly in post-menopausal women
Is Cooked Garlic As Good For You As Raw?
One of the main medicinal compounds in garlic is called allicin.
You know the characteristic garlic smell that is released when garlic cloves are chopped or crushed? What you’re smelling is the allicin.
It is thought that allicin is most potent in crushed or chopped, raw garlic cloves. However there are still many beneficial properties of garlic that are retained after cooking.
So don’t worry if eating cloves of raw garlic sounds like too much to stomach. Cooking with garlic and eating roasted garlic is still a great way to reap the many benefits that garlic has to offer.
The Flavor of Roasted Garlic
The thing about eating garlic (especially for medicinal purposes) is that raw garlic packs quite a pungent flavor.
Learning how to roast garlic helps you tone down the punch and caramelize the sugars in the garlic cloves. This results in garlic with a much more mild and sweet flavor than that of raw garlic.
Roasted cloves of garlic are so creamy, they spread like butter. And they’re full of delicious, aromatic garlic flavor.
How to Roast Garlic
You’ll soon see that learning how to roast garlic, helps you transform your garlic into a sweet, spreadable, garlic goodness!
Some recipes will have you slice the top off of your garlic clove and douse the clove in olive oil before roasting. While tasty, the added fat really is unnecessary. Garlic bulbs roast up just fine on their own.
Ingredients & Supplies
- whole garlic bulbs (learn how to grow your own garlic )
- garlic roaster (find a terra cotta one here, silicone roaster here, or cast iron roaster here – or use aluminum foil in a pinch)
- Preheat your oven to 375°F.
- Remove any loose, papery wrappers from your garlic bulb (leaving the bulb intact).
- Place whole bulbs inside your garlic roaster (or wrap the whole bulb in aluminum foil if you don’t have a garlic roaster).
- Place garlic roaster into the oven. Bake for 45 mintues, or until very soft. Cooking times may vary depending on the roaster used. (If using foil, place the wrapped bulbs on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake.)
- Remove the roasted garlic from the oven and enjoy warm, or let it cool and store the roasted garlic in the refrigerator to be used in 1-2 weeks. To easily remove roasted garlic, trim the top off the bulb with a knife and squeeze roasted garlic out, or remove individual cloves carefully with a blunt utensil and peel.
How to Use Roasted Garlic
The sweet, caramelized flavor of roasted garlic is easy to get addicted to. While eating raw garlic can get old and boring, getting more roasted garlic into your diet is incredibly easy. There are so many ways to use roasted garlic!
- Make roasted garlic mashed potatoes
- Add extra depth to pasta sauce
- Whisk into a salad dressing
- Flavor quick soups
- Spread on crackers or crusty bread with a pinch of salt
- Blend into softened butter
- Chop and mix with green beans (or any vegetable, really)
- Blend up some roasted garlic hummus
How Long Does Roasted Garlic Last?
When kept in an air tight container in the refrigerator, roasted garlic should be used within 1-2 weeks.
If you’d like to roast more garlic than you will use in a couple of weeks, freezing it is your best option for preservation.
Roasted garlic can be frozen as whole cloves or as a mashed paste, depending on how you want to use it later.
To freeze cloves of roasted garlic, place the peeled, individual cloves of roasted garlic on a baking sheet or plate in the freezer. Once frozen solid, transfer the garlic cloves to an air-tight container.
You can also mash the peeled, roasted garlic cloves and freeze them by the teaspoon or tablespoon in an ice cube tray. (Use a dedicated ice cube tray for this because the tray will smell a bit like garlic afterwords!) After the paste freezes solid, remove the cubes from the tray and store them in an air-tight container. This way you have easy access to individual portions of roasted garlic paste!
Do you know how to roast garlic? What is your favorite way to eat this sweet, spreadable goodness?