Thursday, November 29, 2007

Chop Garlic First: Your Heart & Health Will Thank You


The New York Times ran a great article on unlocking garlic's health benefits through cooking. I love this -- we all know garlic is good for you, but instead of reaching for a pill, just incorporate it into what you eat!

And for any of you who've been reading this blog for any length of time, you KNOW we love our garlic around Casa Dena.

What thrilled me was to learn that "The concentration of garlic extract used in the latest study was equivalent to an adult eating about two medium-sized cloves per day." What cracked me up was that the NYTimes posited this as a "downside." As if two cloves per day per person is the most ridiculously unachievable goal ever.

Are you kidding me? When I cook, I'm at least getting two cloves per person in there. At least. And when we eat out, if there's a menu item that mentions garlic, I'm all over it. So I'm lucky, I guess.

But really -- I feel like it's an urban myth that garlic is hated because of its strong scent and flavor. But I feel like everyone I know loves it as much as I do. What's going on?

What about you: do you love it or hate it? And if you hate it, do you eat it anyway, because you know it's good for you?

One more important thing to note about cooking with garlic: "Many home chefs mistakenly cook garlic immediately after crushing or chopping it, added Dr. Kraus. To maximize the health benefits, you should crush the garlic at room temperature and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes. That triggers an enzyme reaction that boosts the healthy compounds in garlic."

So now, I am chopping my garlic first, trying to give it as much time as possible to do its magical little thing. But no pre-chopped garlic for me; it loses its special oils if it sits around for days. Plus I like cooking from scratch with garlic. And then I can adjust the size of my chop. Sometimes you really do want it sliced thinly, or chopped into larger bits.

1 comment:

  1. I love the garlic - because of and despite the strong flavor before (and after) you eat it. Don't know why it gets such a bad rap.

    As long as everyone you're eating with partakes in the smelly offering, you all end end up being equally odorific which cancels it out. After all, you are only stinky if you're the only one who smells bad.

    My fave is to roast the whole bulb in the oven and use as a spread for bread and crackers. Just cut the top off a bulb, drizzle with some olive oil, and bake til soft and squishy.

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