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Garlic Basics page 1
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Garlic Basics

Garlic adds flavor to food and contains compounds that promote good health.

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  • Choose heads of garlic with cloves that feel firm. Avoid garlic that is soft or showing green sprouts or mold. 
  • You may find fresh, peeled garlic cloves in some stores. Garlic is also available whole, chopped or minced in containers with oil or water. All are convenient but may cost more than fresh. 
  • Garlic powder and granulated garlic are forms of dried and ground garlic. Both are a convenient and low-cost way to add garlic flavor. 
  • Garlic salt is a mix of garlic powder and salt. Check the Nutrition Facts label to know how much sodium is in a serving.

Garlic Math

1 clove of garlic = about 1 teaspoon chopped garlic 1 teaspoon chopped garlic = about ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

To peel a garlic clove, press firmly on the clove with the flat side of a wide knife or other flat kitchen tool until the skin and clove crack. Remove the skin and hard root end.

Store Well Waste Less

  • Store garlic heads in a container with airflow in a dark, cool and dry place. Do not refrigerate. 
  • Whole garlic heads can be stored for up to 6 months. When cloves are removed, the remaining head will stay fresh for a few weeks. 
  • Check garlic cloves regularly. Use any that are getting soft or sprouting. They are safe to use but the flavor may be mild. 
  • Rinse and dry garlic just before breaking or cutting through the peel. 
  • Refrigerate peeled garlic in an airtight container to use within a few days. 
  • Store garlic powder in a cool, dark and dry place for as long as 4 years. 
  • To freeze any form of garlic, place on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Move to a labeled airtight container to use within 18 months.

Enjoy Garlic

Roasted Garlic

Cooking with Garlic

  • Cutting a garlic clove releases compounds that react with oxygen. That reaction contributes to the strong aroma and flavor of garlic. 
  • The more garlic is chopped, the more flavor is released. Crushed garlic will taste the strongest. Sliced and whole cloves will taste milder. 
  • The flavor of garlic changes as it cooks. Adding garlic earlier in your cooking allows the flavor to mellow. Adding the garlic later will give a stronger flavor. If garlic browns too much or burns, the flavor will turn bitter. 
  • Add chopped garlic to an acid such as vinegar or lemon juice and let it sit for a minute. This brings out a light garlic flavor that works well in a salad dressing or dip. 
  • Use garlic powder in spice mixes, dry rubs, salad dressings and any recipe where you want the garlic flavor to spread evenly throughout your food. 
  • Add whole garlic cloves to flavor pickled vegetables.

Go to for tasty recipes using garlic.

Kids Can!

When kids help make healthy food, they are more likely to try it. Show kids how to: 

  • drizzle oil and sprinkle salt over heads of garlic for roasting. 
  • squeeze garlic from the cloves after roasting. 
  • prepare a plate or bowl of vegetables for dipping.
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