Garlic! Garlic! Garlic!
If you're like me, one of the things you love most about fall is the garlic harvest. With that in mind, here are a couple of easy, healthy recipes featuring my favourite fall veggie, as well as some tips on cooking and storing garlic to get the most health benefits from it:
No-cook garlic dip
2 cups chickpeas (cooked or canned)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve with raw veggies, seed crackers, or your favourite food to dip.
Aglio e olio
5oz (⅓lb) of spaghetti or spaghettini (whole grain or gluten-free)
4 tbsp low-sodium vegetable broth
4 cloves garlic
red pepper flakes to taste (omit if sensitive to nightshades)
3 tbsp (or to taste) extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste
Cook spaghetti al dente, according to pkg instructions.
Chop or press garlic, let sit for 5-10min
Heat broth in a stainless steel skillet over medium heat. When broth begins to steam, add garlic and red pepper flakes, cover, and sauté 2-3 minutes.
Turn off heat, add cooked pasta, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss well and serve.
Optional add-ons: baby spinach or arugula added just before adding pasta, black olives, fresh basil or oregano leaves, fresh chopped tomato, cooked chicken or baby shrimp
Recipes from "The World's Healthiest Foods"
You probably already know about garlic's antimicrobial and immune-boosting properties, so I'm going to share with you a couple of things you might not know:
1) The longer you cook garlic, the more nutrient loss you incur. Cooking garlic for 5-15 minutes results in minimal nutrient loss, but longer than that increases the loss. 45+ minutes of cooking results in a substantial loss of nutrients and flavour, so try to wait till the last few minutes of cooking to add your garlic.
2) Pressing or finely slicing or chopping garlic may release more allicin (the active compound in garlic), and letting it sit for 5-10min allows the allicin to form.
3) The best way to store garlic is uncovered or loosely covered, in a cool, dark place, away from heat and light.
4) Fun Fact: Garlic is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world, dating back 5000+ years!