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Be Generous With Garlic

By Alana Sugar, April 26, 2010  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Alana Sugar
I love Julia Child. She cracks me up! Here’s what she had to say about garlic: “Garlic, which used to be considered exotic, if not ‘suspiciously’ foreign, probably subversive, and certainly very ‘lower class’ is now the darling of food lovers and all of our chefs….” I wonder: Did Julia know about the terrific health benefits of her darling garlic? Did she know what a great super-food it really is? Long ago, garlic was revered for its healing abilities. It was used as a remedy for the digestive tract, skin, respiratory system and lots more. Mentioned in both the Bible and the Talmud, garlic was cultivated in the Middle East over 5,000 years ago and has been studied and reviewed countless times since then. Its use in China was first mentioned in A.D. 510, and Louis Pasteur studied it in 1858. Garlic’s active constituent is a sulfur compound called allicin, which becomes potent by crushing or chewing the fresh garlic cloves. (Yeah, right, let’s all have a garlic-chewing party!) Allicin then produces other sulfur compounds, which have numerous health benefits, one being cardiovascular support. And it’s got antioxidant benefits as well. Eating garlic on a regular basis may protect the GI tract and, rumor has it, reduce the risk of being stalked by a vampire. If you’ve shied away from garlic in the past, I urge you to consider a change! Start sweet with roasted garlic. Here’s how to roast whole garlic pods: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Place two whole, unpeeled garlic pods in a small baking dish; drizzle with two tablespoons of olive oil and bake, uncovered, for one hour. Let them cool, then peel or squeeze the cloves into a small bowl. Throw the peels away and mash the delicious garlic pulp into a paste. Now, spread this thinly on toasted baguettes, add it to salad dressings, pesto, sauces, hummus, bean dips and anything else you can think of. If you try it on a baguette, lay a slice of fresh mozzarella over the top. Then layer with fresh ripe tomato, basil slivers and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Unspeakably delicious! (I got this idea from one of our recipes.) Once you’re ready for greater garlic gaiety, here are some ideas for ways to use it: Is garlic a darling in your kitchen? Got a favorite way to cook it or use it raw? I’d love to hear!
Category: Healthy Eating




12th Man says ...
Isn't it funny that, through trial and error and simple observation, our ancestors learned so many of the benefits of certain foods, without laboratories or the FDA or universities? I wonder, do we still have that ability, to just watch and learn?
04/26/2010 7:38:37 AM CDT
screwdestiny says ...
I used to hate garlic when I was a child, but now I use it all the time when I cook. I still don't like a really strong garlic flavor, but I don't mind it at all when it's mild.
04/26/2010 11:12:52 AM CDT
Margo says ...
I have a very easy way to use garlic. I take a clove and infuse the flavor into olive oil over fairly low heat in a skillet. I remove the garlic clove and then throw in a bag of fresh baby spinach and wilt it down. Great side dish!
04/26/2010 3:20:04 PM CDT
RM - InBoundmarketingpr says ...
Ok, my mouth is literally watering as I am reading your blog.. Oh so delicious... Always know garlic is good for you.. Will definitely try one of your recipes..The garlic mushroom in wine sauce sounds really, really good.. Yummmy... I'm hungry, let me go roast some garlic..Gotta go!
04/26/2010 4:54:58 PM CDT
Cheryl says ...
Mmmm...Margo I do that too, but I mince the garlic and leave it in the olive oil, and add pine nuts. Delish!
04/26/2010 6:19:15 PM CDT
tigerfish says ...
In a soup that I don't start up cooking from oil, I add garlic at the last step. Cook the soup, turn off heat, add crushed whole peeled garlic to the cooked soup, cover pot so that remaining heat of the soup will slowly infuse the garlic flavor and not overcook the garlic under high heat.
04/26/2010 9:45:32 PM CDT
Cynthia says ...
I love garlic and soft or cream cheese. Is there a savory cheese cake with garlic in it out there?
04/29/2010 11:36:49 AM CDT
vaughnm says ...
We don't know of a product offhand, but maybe one of the other readers will. Sounds delicious!
04/29/2010 12:51:24 PM CDT
Rox Church says ...
I love garlic and I use it a lot in my kitchen. Lately, my husband has become the biggest fan of Argentinian Chimichurri sauce. I put a big bunch of parsley leaves in the food processor with a cpl leaves of basil and oregano, all grown in pots here at home -, plus a handful of garlic cloves and process until finely chopped - not mushy though. I transfer into a small glass bowl and add olive oil, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste. Let it rest in the fridge to allow the flavor to meld together and it's ready! Eat with whatever you want :) I love on top of a Grass Fed chunk of meat.
04/30/2010 6:02:07 AM CDT
targetk says ...
For those bold and brave... Try putting raw garlic (a lot of cloves) in a mortar and pestle with a little water and sea salt. Make it into a paste and top pan grilled tilapia with it. Wow! What an awesome punch of garlic.
04/30/2010 12:00:16 PM CDT
Aisha Mabruki says ...
when I was a child I had a ear pain for quite sometime. My grandmother crushed three finger of garlic and boiled into four tablespoon of olive oil. She let it cool down but warm and dip piece of cotton ball and squeeze two to three drops of the oil in my ear. No more pains after few minutes uptodate. I used the same treament for my family and friends.
05/01/2010 9:54:36 AM CDT