Garlic is an amazing super plant that can be used in so many ways for a variety different things. Most people know that garlic is a great, natural way to fight off colds and flu so we thought winter was the perfect time to talk about garlic and all of its wonderful health benefits, uses and some other interesting facts!
Selecting and Storing Garlic:
When choosing your garlic make sure it feels firm, tight and dry. Avoid any garlic that feels soft or damp, looks shriveled or has begun to sprout.
Store your fresh garlic uncovered in a cool, dark place away from exposure to heat and sunlight. Generally, if stored correctly, whole garlic bulbs should keep fresh for about a month. Once the garlic is broken it will begin to reduce in shelf life. Always inspect the bulb before using and remove any cloves that look dried out or mouldy.
Garlic is mainly used in cooking; it can be either chopped or minced and added to dishes for added flavour.
Garlic can also be used for a wide range of medicinal purposes including treating acne, cold sores, toothaches, colds and flu, repelling mosquitoes, mites and fleas, or as an anti-inflammatory.
Health Benefits and Nutritional facts:
The health benefits of garlic are endless. Garlic contains a compound called Allicin, which has potent antibacterial properties. As mentioned above it can be used to treat many ailments. Garlic is also:
low in: saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium.
high in: calcium, Vitamin C and B6 and manganese
helps to: lower blood cholesterol levels, reduce the build-up of plaque in the arteries and improve metabolism of iron.
Fun Garlic Facts:
10 interesting (and kind of crazy) facts about garlic. Did you know…..
- There are over 300 varieties of garlic grown throughout the world.
- The smell of garlic can be removed from the fingers by running your hands under cold water whilst rubbing a stainless steel object.
- April 19th is National Garlic Day. Let’s remember to celebrate with some garlic bread!
- Garlic can be used to make glue. No, really. The sticky juice found in garlic cloves can be used as an adhesive, especially for delicate projects that involve fragile items like glass.
- Garlic is one of the oldest cultivated crops. It was fed to the builders of the Great Pyramid in Egypt in the belief that it gave them strength and endurance.
- Garlic is said to fight off evil spirits, and keep vampires away.
- If your garden is being attacked by insects an excellent home remedy to get rid of them is to spritz the leaves and blooms with a mixture of crushed garlic and water.
- Garlic is a member of the Lily family, which also includes onions, leeks and shallots.
- The psychological term for fear of garlic is Alliumphobia. Any readers afraid of garlic?
- The most cloves of garlic eaten in one minute is 34, achieved by Deepak Sharma Bajagain of Nepal. Don’t try this at home!
How to grow your own garlic:
Did you know that you can easily grow your own garlic using the garlic you buy from The Organic Place. Please note you need to use untreated garlic for this to work so only organic will do!
Anytime from mid-March up until the end of June is considered the best time to plant garlic in Melbourne and surrounds.
Here’s how to do it:
- Choose a sunny, well drained spot in the garden or in a pot.
- Break the garlic up into separate cloves.
- Plant the cloves about 1.5 to 2cm deep in the ground with the pointy tip of the clove facing upwards.
- Ensure you weed the plants, water regularly and fertilise through their growing season using a complete fertiliser.
- You can expect to harvest about 7 to 8 months after planting.
So there you have it, everything there is to know about garlic! Have you got any interesting facts or uses to add?