Bountiful California Garlic
Garlic is more than just a savory ingredient – it’s a “superfood” with many potential health benefits. The distinctive taste of garlic can be expressed in many ways. Mince garlic and mix it with some basil and olive oil for a pungent explosion of flavor. Slowly roast whole bulbs to create a savory spread for bread and other foods. Or simply add cloves to your favorite recipes, to impart that great garlic taste as you cook.
California is the largest producer of commercial garlic in the United States.
Multiple studies have proven that California garlic tastes better than any other garlic, rating higher on the Brix (flavor) scale. California’s unique combination of warm Mediterranean climate and rich, fertile Central Valley fields create the perfect growing conditions for garlic. There’s literally no other place on earth like it.
Resources via: The Garlic Company
Garlic Health Benefits
Garlic — known to some as the stinking rose — is used by many cuisines around the world to add flavour to food, but it’s also been used as a natural medicinal ingredient for centuries, both in its fresh plant form and as a supplement. Here are 11 ways to enjoy garlic’s many health benefits and some other lesser known facts:
Immune System Boost:
Garlic was used to fight gangrene during the world wars—probably not a concern of yours, but it may be able to help you fight off a more modern-day ailment. This herb could help keep those cold-weather colds and flus at bay. The superfood’s antioxidants can help your immune system run well.
Get Those Antioxidants:
Here’s a reason to crush a few garlic cloves into your next meal — garlic is a great source of antioxidants, which we know play an important role for our health. The evidence is varied, but there is some research supporting garlic’s potential benefits. One of those benefits might be beating bad skin: those antioxidants can kill the bacteria that are sometimes a cause of acne. Next time you have a pimple, try rubbing on a sliced clove of raw garlic.
Get Heart Healthy:
Studies have shown that garlic can benefit the health of your respiratory and circulatory system in several different ways. Let’s count them: it could help with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease and artery hardening. The research on each condition and how garlic can help is varied, but research into what it can do for atherosclerosis and blood pressure is promising.
Garlic has anti-inflammatory properties — one study identified four sulphuric compounds in garlic that helped cut inflammation. People who suffer from auto-immune diseases might be helped by including garlic in their diets — Dr. Andrew Weil includes it in his Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid. As well, if you have psoriasis — a skin condition related to inflammation — try rubbing garlic oil directly on the affected area for relief.
Prevent Food Poisoning:
Some research indicates that garlic’s anti-bacterial properties might help to prevent food poisoning by killing bacteria like E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella enteritidis.(The affect would only apply with fresh garlic, not aged.)
Remove a Splinter:
OK, this isn’t as serious a medical concern as some of the others we’ll address — but everyone knows a deep splinter is really annoying! Garlic is involved in an old folk remedy for splinters that involves placing a slice of garlic over the splinter, then securing it to your skin with tape or a bandage. Try it and let us know if it works!
Beat Athlete’s Foot:
Along with its anti-inflammatory properties, garlic has anti-fungal properties as well. Give those itchy feet a soak in garlic water to cut the fungus that causes athlete’s foot (otherwise known as ringworm of the foot). Or you can use this approach and rub raw garlic straight on your feet.
One study from India found that mosquitoes apparently hate garlic — great news for people who are fans of natural bug repellents and not fans of pesky nippers. You can either apply the garlic directly to your skin, or just keep some nearby to try to keep the bugs out of your general vicinity.
Banish Cold Sores:
Here’s another folk tale that might have something to it — if you get cold sores, try applying some crushed garlic directly to the affected area. The anti-inflammatory properties may help you feel better by cutting the sore’s swelling. Some say that taking garlic supplements can also help to prevent them and get rid of them more quickly.
Allicin is a sulphur compound similar to the one found in onions, and it could offer a host of health benefits. (It’s also what gives garlic that unmistakable smell!) Allicin is an unstable compound so it can change very quickly once outside of garlic’s fresh form.
Let It Sit:
If you know you’ll be adding garlic to a dish, crush or mince it a bit before you plan to add it. It gives the alliinase enzymes in the food a chance to get working. Changing the temperature or pH of the garlic by putting it in food or heating it prevents this from happening, so you might not be getting the full health benefits of garlic if you toss it in the pot right away.
Resources via: Huffington Post
Garlic Fun Facts
- Garlic is actually considered both a vegetable and an herb.
- Garlic is said to fight off evil spirits and keep vampires away.
- If your garlic has sprouted, it is still usable although it has lost some of its flavor and health benefits.
- The smell of garlic can be removed by running your hands under cold water while rubbing a stainless steel object.
- All varieties of garlic (and there over 450) are members of the Lily family.
- Fresh garlic is generally odour-free until crushed.
- In many cultures, garlic is also considered a powerful aphrodisiac.
- Garlic is a member of the onion family which also includes leeks and shallots.
- Garlic’s pungent flavor is due to a chemical reaction that occurs when the garlic cells are broken. The flavor is most intense just after mincing.
- If your rose garden is being attacked by aphids, an excellent home remedy to get rid of them is to spritz the leaves and blooms with a mixture of crushed garlic and water.
- When picking out garlic at the grocery store, choose firm, tight, heavy dry bulbs.
- At ancient Greek and Roman marriages, the brides carried bouquets of garlic and other herbs instead of flowers.
- Touted as: The Garlic Capital of the World, the fragrant city of Gilroy, California hosts a popular Garlic Festival every year.
Resources via: Pop Sugar