Garlic not only enhances the flavor for many foods but it is a healthy addition to a well balanced diet. Doctors state that adding garlic to your diet can help decrease many medical issues. Whether that is true or not, the taste is great and it is almost always incorporated into any dinner menu.
The gardener must pay close attention to the leaves of the garlic. Once they begin to turn brown, check them daily. As soon as you find that the leaves are approximately a third browned, it is usually time for harvesting.
Garlic is a very tender herb. It does bruise easily which means it can become unusable quickly. The gardener must gently lift the bulb from the soil. Never pull on the stem as the stem will break readily and you will lose your garlic. Harvesting garlic carefully yields the most usable produce after harvest.
Once the garlic has been unearthed, it must be dried. With your hands, brush as much soil as possible from the bulb. Do not wash it with water as that will increase the chances of decomposition. Nobody wants garlic that is rotten.
Proper Fresh Garlic Storage
Garlic must be stored in a cool, dark place. It must breathe and will not store well in a plastic bin or air sealed container. Depending upon how much garlic you have harvested, the plastic net bags from oranges work well for keeping garlic. If your garlic harvest was vastly larger, an inexpensive net laundry basket will certainly do the job to help keep your crop fresh. The key is to ensure proper airflow and to check on the garlic weekly. If any seem to be getting soft, remove them. Should any begin to sprout again, cut off the growth and use immediately. Too much growth will cause the garlic to taste bitter.
Other Garlic Storing Options
This is a favorite way to use and preserve fresh garlic. It lasts about six months and is absolutely delicious. Try this and you will love it.
Garlic bread can be bought in the freezer section at local grocery stores. Even the most expensive brands taste frozen. Making your own will make your family think you baked your own bread and created this wondrous feast for their taste buds. In all honesty, all you will need to do is make the spread for the Italian Bread that you bought for a dollar.
Use a non-stick cooking spray to spritz a frying pan for cooking. Chop the entire garlic bulb and sauté it in the pan. While cooking the garlic, let a full pound of butter soften. Once the garlic is cooked through, allow it to cool. Put the garlic and the softened butter into the blender and run it on the liquefy feature. Once they are completely blended, pour the mixture into a plastic tub and refrigerate. If you are making large quantities, this can be frozen safely for nine months.
This garlic butter is great for making garlic bread. It is also awesome to put on steaks after they have been cooked for an added zip. Shrimp and Chicken are also delicious with this mixture.
Fresh garlic can also be sautéed and kept in the freezer. Once cooked and brought to room temperature, the garlic should be put into an airtight bag or container and stored in the freezer. Also, try freezing unpeeled garlic, drying or pickling garlic.
Garlic enhances the flavor of many foods. Proper storage and preservation will allow the gardener to enjoy fresh produce months after harvest time. Be sure to follow proper safety measures and never use any garlic that has started to mold or get soft.