Garlic-y Goodness: A Background on Cooking With Garlic

By Uloop Archives on March 26, 2016

source via flickr

Cooking in college can be a struggle for a lot of us. Not knowing how to cook, not having enough time, or just not caring enough to do so are all hurdles to creating your own meals at home. Creating your own healthy, tasty meal is simple though. All you need is garlic. Garlic is part of the onion genus and is closely related to the onion, shallot, and leek. It can be used in tons of dishes and really adds flavor to any meal it’s added in. Buying fresh garlic and mincing it up is cheap and simple and the benefits are plenty. Also, not only can garlic spice up your kitchen, but it can provide some nice health benefits too. With a rich history and positive health benefits, adding garlic to a meal should be an easy choice.

History 

Garlic has a long history that dates back to roughly 5,000 years ago. Originally cultivated in Asia, garlic can now be found all over the world. References to garlic have been made in ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, and India. These references vary from religious practices, like leaving piles of it at crossroads for the goddess Hecate, to medical, like prescribing it to people with respiratory problems. Ancient people also used it as a cure all for tiredness and to make people more productive, according to AllicinFacts.

Medical 

Even in modern times, garlic and garlic supplements are used to help people with ailments. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, garlic is used to help battle heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and to boost the immune system. Eating garlic on a regular basis might also help protect against cancer. It may also help combat against the common cold if taken in daily supplements during flu season.

As with most things, taking supplements can cause side effects. Some side effects to be wary of if consuming garlic consistently is upset stomach, bloating, and a stinging sensation if handling too much fresh or dried garlic. Also, don’t forget that garlic can leave a pretty strong smell so brush those teeth after consuming it!

Please refer to the University of Maryland Medical Center here for more information about garlic and how it may interact with some prescription medications.

Consumption

Adding garlic to your kitchen’s spice collection shouldn’t be a hard choice. Purchasing fresh garlic from the produce section is the best way to get the most flavor and the most health benefits out of it. When purchasing garlic, look for the cloves to be firm and dry. If they feel sort of soft or squishy, you should choose another one since those are not as fresh and wouldn’t be as tasty.  Garlic runs fairly cheap, at around a little over a dollar for a head of garlic.

source via flickr

Once purchased and brought to the kitchen, keep it in a dry place. It is recommended not to be put into the fridge because it can cause the cloves to sprout and spoil faster. When using it to cook, it is best to mince it up with a knife (or use a garlic press) and add it to whatever you’re cooking. Throwing it in a pan with some oil and veggies makes for an easy, tasty side dish!

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