Garlic is a versatile ingredient you can add to your kitchen. It can be used as a seasoning, a source of vitamins and minerals, or even as an all-natural remedy for various ailments.
But what happens when you harvest whole fresh bulbs of garlic? How do you preserve fresh garlic the right way?
Before learning how to preserve fresh garlic, you need to know this!
Fresh garlic is a delicious addition to many dishes and can be used in everything from stir-fries to soups to salads. But how long does it last? It’s the question that we need to answer before learning how to preserve fresh garlic!
Garlic is a plant that can be stored for up to 6 months after being harvested. However, the quality of the garlic will deteriorate over time. Fresh garlic stored properly should still have a strong aroma and firm texture.
Garlic is ideal to be stored in a cool, dark place such as your refrigerator or pantry. It should not be stored in plastic bags or wrapped tightly in aluminum foil, which will cause it to sweat and rot prematurely.
You can conclude if your garlic has gone bad by checking the following.
Before preserving fresh garlic, make sure to check its color. It has most likely spoiled if it is brownish or yellowish instead of white with brown spots.
Likewise, before you preserve fresh garlic, you need to check its smell. If it smells sour like vinegar rather than fresh like cut grass, it has most likely gone bad.
How to preserve fresh garlic the right way?
You can follow these ways on how to preserve fresh garlic.
1. Store it in a cool, dry place.
You don’t want to preserve fresh garlic near heat sources or in moist environments. If you’re storing a whole head of garlic, keep it somewhere where air can circulate around it, and make sure there’s no chance of water getting in. It’s not ideal placing a whole garlic head in the refrigerator.
2. Store it without peeling.
Try not to peel the skin off before storage if you’re planning on eating the cloves within a week of harvest or purchase. It’s best if they stay intact through storage so that they don’t dry out too much when exposed to air. If you do need to peel them, though, wait until right before cooking and storing them so that they don’t dry out even more than they already have been!
3. Store using olive oil.
Store whole heads, not cloves, in olive oil. This will help keep them fresh without having to worry about molding or rotting from too much moisture exposure.
Things to take note of before knowing how to preserve fresh garlic
Although preserving fresh garlic is easy, there are still things you need to keep an eye on.
- Don’t wash your garlic until you’re ready to use it! If you do, water will get into the cloves and cause them to rot faster than if they were dry.
- If your garlic begins to sprout or mold, throw out any roots that have gone bad and use only the bulbs that are still good.
- Choose firm and plump bulbs with tight skins and no discoloration.
- Remove any excess dirt from the root end of each bulb with a damp paper towel, then trim off about 1/4″ from the tops of each bulb.
- Keep an eye on the clove’s neck. If it turns brown and wilts, it’s time to get rid of it.
- Do not use plastic bags or containers when storing your garlic. Garlic needs air circulation around it in order to stay fresh.
How to use preserved fresh garlic?
To use preserved fresh garlic, simply peel off the skin and slice it into uniform pieces. If you’re using it in a recipe that calls for minced fresh garlic, you can also opt to mash or chop the preserved fresh garlic before adding it to the dish.
Where can you use preserved fresh garlic?
Preserved fresh garlic is a great way to add flavor and pizazz to your dishes without adding any time or effort. It’s easy to use, so you can enjoy it in nearly any dish!
Here are some of our favorite ways to use preserved fresh garlic.
- On toast
Just spread on your favorite bread, add some cheese, and put it under the broiler for minutes, just right until the cheese melts and browns. Delicious!
- In mashed potatoes
Add it right to your mashed potatoes instead of regular garlic powder. The texture will be different, but it will still taste amazing!
- In soup
Add a dollop of preserved fresh garlic right into your soup instead of using regular garlic powder. It’ll give it a bolder flavor that’s perfect for winter weather!
Tips for using preserved fresh garlic
Here are some tips for using preserved fresh garlic.
- When adding preserved fresh garlic to a recipe, you can use 1 tsp per every two cloves of fresh garlic called for in the recipe.
- You can also add preserved fresh garlic at the end of cooking time, just before serving the finished dish. This will allow the flavor to shine through but will keep it from burning or becoming bitter when cooked too long over high heat, as fresh garlic might do!
- You can consider substituting half of the quantity called for with salt-free dried herbs like basil or thyme. This is when you want to make sure that your dish isn’t going to be overpowered by the flavor of preserved fresh garlic and still have it contribute lots of flavor without being too strong or overpowering.
Fresh garlic has a shelf life of just two weeks before its flavor starts to fade, so if you plant a lot of garlic or buy it in bulk, preserving your fresh garlic ensures that you’ll always have access to fresh-tasting garlic that doesn’t need to be refrigerated.
And that’s it! You can now preserve fresh garlic, and you’ll never have to worry about it going bad.
We hope this article provides the information you need on how to preserve fresh garlic. With these tips and tricks, you can now store your fresh garlic for months to come!