Monday, June 17

Good Eating Monday: Garlic!

 I was outside staking up some Hardy Hibiscus out back today, tying up tomatoes, picking beans, etc. Had to apply a little powdered insect repellent on the tomatoes and beans.
Today's Good Eating topic today is Garlic!
This member of the onion family has a bad rep, but is actually extremely good for you!
It's shown to be effective for lowering blood pressure, lowering total cholesterol as a whole,  lowering heart attack risk, helping keep arteries flexible and preventing an assortment of cancers.
Garlic is also a natural antibiotic. Louis Pasteur used it on the front-lines in World War 1 to help prevent gangrene and blood poisoning and the Russians relied on it heavily during World War 2 for similar reasons, so its bacteria and virus fighting power is well established.
During cold season: the recommend dosage is 1 clove a day to prevent cold or flu and general good health.
Now you say, "doesn't it cause bad breath?" It can, though I notice different people have different levels of susceptibility.
I prefer to use fresh cloves of garlic, minced, in cooking. I read today that fresh cloves are more easily absorbed by the body then other forms.
You can buy jars of  pre-peeled whole garlic, though I'm afraid I wouldn't go through it fast enough before it went bad.
And you can buy minced garlic packed in oil, ready-to-use, but I think that type smells like a stinky, sweaty armpit. Repulsive.
You can also by garlic in various dried forms such as powder or flakes, etc, but keep in mind dried garlic, like any other dried herb, is more potent in dried form.
Unfortunately, garlic powder in a dish has the unwanted side-effect of giving my husband bad breath immediately. It's more quickly absorbed by his system then fresh for some reason, so I avoid it.
One minced clove added to stir-fry or spaghetti sauce or anything of larger quantity DOES NOT give either us bad breath!

Anyway, here's a list of helps/ cures for garlic breath:
#1) Parsley. Either mince some parsley into the dish along with garlic or munch a sprig of parsley at the end of the meal.
(I've handed my husband sprigs of parsley to chew when he comes with garlic breath from a spicy Greek lunch lots of times and parsley works, though it takes a few hours--even overnight, but that's way better then putting up with the odor for a couple days or longer!)
#2) Chew a few roasted fennel, anise or cardamom seeds.
#3) If you're a wine drinker, a glass of red with a garlic meal will help diminish the odor.
To get the garlic scent off your hands after handling it:
#1) Wash you hands with water and lemon juice.
#2) Rub your hands with a stainless steel spoon, then wash your hands and the spoon.
#3) Moisten your hands and rub baking soda between your palms.
Eat up, me hearties, yo-ho!


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