Garlic: The Stinking Rose
If you have made any of my recipes or seen my Instagram stories, you might already know that garlic is my absolute favorite food. I put it in every dish that I possibly can! Not just a clove of garlic, but 8 cloves, at least! It’s a good thing that my husband (and my family) loves garlic just as much as I do. i made my Mom's Meat Sauce recipe (recipe here) and used a whole bulb of garlic which was about 14 cloves. Garlic is believed to ward off more than vampires. It also fights off heart disease, cancer, colds and the flu. If what they say is true about garlic and vampires, I have nothing to worry about, because garlic is always in our home and in every dish I make. Besides the fact that garlic tastes amazing, it has some wonderful health-boosting benefits. Garlic has been used for thousands of years even though significant scientific studies have only been developed over the last 50 years or so. I realize that garlic isn’t something that everyone loves the taste of. However, it’s benefits should encourage anyone to at least take garlic supplements.
Supplementing with garlic:
provides immunity protection
supports healthy blood pressure levels
supports a strong heart
supports killer cell function
supports a healthy immune system.
THIS article and infographic from Delicious Living suggests 1,200 MG daily for immune-supportive effects. If you don't eat enough garlic throughout the day, you might consider taking garlic via supplements.
Hippocrates (as my mom would say "a nice Greek boy") often referred to as the father of modern medicine, famously said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” He wasn’t lying! My dad has said that to me for most of my life.
About 7 years ago, I fixed a ton of health issues with food. It's a long story, but basically I cut a lot of foods out of my diet that weren't healthy for me. They were foods that you might consider to be healthy but they were hurting me in many ways. You can read about that HERE.
Garlic contains a compound called allicin which has incredible medicinal properties. It’s antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal properties can fight the common cold, and boost the function of the immune system. So if you have a cold or get a cold, increase the amount of garlic you are having in your meals. Of course slathering bread with a lot of butter and adding garlic or garlic salt to it is not at all how this works. Adding garlic to your soups, meats, sauces, veggies and dips is what will help. Allicin, the active compound in garlic, only forms when garlic is crushed or diced when it’s raw. If you cook the garlic before crushing it then it won’t have the same benefits. Something I learned from Delicious Living and Kyolic is that you should allow your garlic to rest for about 5 minutes after chopping it before heating it. According to an article from Authority Nutrition, one study gave 146 healthy volunteers either garlic supplements or placebos for 90 days. The garlic group had a 63% lower risk of getting a cold and their colds were 70% shorter.
To get the best benefits from eating garlic, it’s best to either eat garlic raw or to crush or dice it before adding it to your dishes. Use more than 1 clove of garlic per meal. Powdered garlic doesn’t have the same benefits of fresh, raw garlic, though it still tastes good. We often use powdered garlic with raw garlic because there is no such thing as too much garlic. Did you know that California produces more than 250 million pounds of garlic each year? Have you ever driven through Gilroy, California? Gilroy is also known as “The Garlic Capital of the World,” and it smells of garlic and is divine. They even have an annual Garlic Festival in July. Here are some of my favorite facts about garlic that I have learned while searching the World Wide Web and this article:
Garlic only contains about 4 calories per clove, so eat away!
April 19th is National Garlic Day
French Scientist, Louis Pasteur, promoted the antiseptic, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic and anti-viral qualities of garlic in the 1850s.
Garlic was used in the the Medieval times as a cure for drunkenness and overeating.
If you are ever in the San Francisco or Los Angeles area then you must visit one of my favorite restaurants, The Stinking Rose. Everything is garlicy and they even serve garlic ice cream! Oh yes, it’s true! My favorite entree is the 40 clove garlic chicken dish and the fresh, raw garlic spread that they serve with their bread is out of this world! It is simply chopped raw garlic, fresh parsley, and olive oil. My family and I will easily down about a cup of it throughout our meal (see photo of Jeff and me holding the garlic spread below).
We have been there a million times as a big family over the holidays or for date nights. I even celebrated my 25th birthday there and they put a big garlic on my head - HA! Good times.
Also, when you go out to eat, don’t be afraid to ask for the chef to add more garlic to your dish. You definitely wont have to ask for that at The Stinking Rose, though. When we go out to eat I typically ask them to add a whole bunch of garlic to my dish, or ask for a bunch of raw garlic on the side… that way I know it’s raw. Sometimes they will only give me about a clove’s worth because I am pretty sure that is the amount that the average person can tolerate. I just let them know that I love garlic and politely ask for about 8 times that amount.
You can never have too much garlic, in my opinion, and a meal without garlic isn't a meal at all... unless you are allergic and that I totally understand. It's important that when cooking for other people, especially if you do cook with a lot of garlic, that you ask if your guests are okay with garlic and how much garlic they are okay with.
Here are my tips when cooking with garlic:
Make sure you use, at the absolute minimum, 2 cloves of garlic for a meal
If you like the taste of raw garlic, throw the garlic in last before serving your meal.
Add garlic to everything you possible can.
Use THIS tool to peel the garlic, you will thank me later.
Use a “Slapper Chopper” (like THIS one) to chop your garlic. It’s quicker and it won’t leave that garlic smell on your hands.
The Cuisinart chopper is my favorite garlic tool. I hate chopping garlic because of the lingering smell it leaves on the fingertips. The green tool from OXO is one of the best garlic peelers ever. It removes the skin of the garlic clove with minimal effort. Both are found on amazon.
Not at all on the healthy side of things, we just went to a San Francisco Giants Baseball game and, boy, do they have the very best garlic fries ever. My husband and I just had to get some and even asked them to pile on some extra garlic for us. Thankfully, they did! While this isn’t the best way to add garlic into your daily life, once in awhile, a really good order of hot, fresh garlic fries can really brighten your day… even when your team loses!