Garlic is good for you right? But did you know you have to cut it the right way to get the benefits!
I love to use garlic in my cooking and I appreciate the health benefits that fresh garlic offers, but I didn't know there was a correct way to prep garlic to get its full health benefits.
My good friend Laura Szabo who is a health conscious cook (and author of Food No Matter What) prepares homemade meals as frequently as I do. Lately, she has been telling me to cut or press my garlic, and then let it to sit for 15 minutes to allow the natural disease fighting "allicin" to develop.
Sure enough, I looked it up and found an article in the New York Times called Unlocking the Benefits of Garlic, by Tara Parker-Pope explaining why garlic needs to sit for 15 minutes at room temperature after chopping or crushing to maximize its healthy benefits. It seems that George Matelian talks about this method as well in his book, The Worlds Healthiest Foods. In addition, I was able to find articles supporting and explaining this claim all over the Internet.
It turns out it is the actual pressing or cutting of garlic that allows the garlic cells to emit two substances: allin and aliinase. When the juices of these two substances have sufficient time to combine, they form the desired "allicin" which offers the health protecting sulphur. This process usually takes at least 5-15 minutes. If you don't allow the cut garlic time to sit, allicin may not have time to form.
Allicin is an organic sulphur compound considered to be the disease fighting proponent of garlic. The stronger the odor, the healthier it is for you. This same theory is also true about onions which also contain the proponents for allicin!
Garlic is a wonderful immune booster. I'll now chop, mince, or press and allow it to sit and mingle for 10-15 minutes before using it! Thanks Laura!
Tip: To help remove the garlic odor from your fingers, rub them on a stainless steel spoon or bowl and rinse under cold water.
Garlic adds a wonderful flavoring to most savory recipes. Try my spinach garlic soup, my cauliflower Aloo Gobi or my delicious creamy broccoli soup as well as many other recipes that contain garlic. All of my recipes are gluten free and or vegetarian or vegan.