Black garlic is commonly used in Pan Asian cuisine and comes with many advantages. Here’s what you need to know about it.
Garlic is undeniably versatile – which is why so many people love cooking with it. Did you know that it is botanically considered a vegetable? But due to its typical pungent aroma, we use it as a spice or herb – to lend flavour to many types of foods. Garlic can be consumed plain or crushed, chopped, blended, powdered, etc., before being added to other dishes. Today, allow us to introduce you to a different kind of garlic that you may not have heard of – black garlic. This ingredient is equally wonderful to work with, and it will show just how amazing garlic can be.
What Is Black Garlic?
When regular garlic is aged using heat and undergoes a type of chemical reaction (the Maillard reaction), it turns into black garlic. The latter has a distinctive dark colour and also a different taste as well as texture than raw garlic. The allicin content is lowered, but this garlic is still great for health, as we shall discuss below. As for its flavour, the pungency is mellowed in black garlic. It has a slightly sweet, caramelised taste with a tangy hint – which has led some to call it umami. Black garlic is especially used in Korean, Japanese, Chinese and Thai cuisines.
Here Are 5 Incredible Health Benefits Of Black Garlic:
1. Rich in antioxidants
As a result of undergoing the fermentation process mentioned above, black garlic is richer in antioxidants as compared to raw, regular garlic. Thus, consuming this garlic can help protect your body from free radical damage, boost your immunity and improve your overall health.
2. Supports brain health
Celebrity nutritionist Lovneet Batra states that black garlic “has beneficial effects to memory and nerve system through its anti amnesic effect, improvement of cognitive impairment and prevention from neuroinflammation and neurotoxicity.”
3. Can protect your liver
The nutritionist says that this garlic can also help protect the liver from “side effects that can come from its constant exposure to chemicals, medications, alcohol and germs.”
4. May help regulate blood sugar levels:
Some research suggests that black garlic may help keep blood glucose levels under control. Its antioxidant content may further help those with diabetes.
5. May aid with weight loss:
According to Lovneet, “Black garlic is known as a prominent lipid and weight-lowering ingredient.”
Studies also suggest that this garlic may help combat heart disease and cancer. Are you now wondering how exactly to consume it? Here are a few ideas:
How To Use Black Garlic While Cooking?
Black garlic can be minced, chopped, pureed and transformed in other ways before being added to dishes. Here’s what you can do to get started:
- Add black garlic while preparing soups to make them all the more wholesome.
- Mix a little bit of pureed black garlic with your salad dressings for a unique taste (including dressings made with olive oil and mayonnaise)
- Swap out regular garlic for black garlic in your homemade dips, spreads and sauces.
- Add roasted black garlic to your mixed veggies, chicken, etc.
- While preparing stir-fried dishes, mix it with some soy sauce for a flavourful base.
- Add it to your pasta and pizzas as you do with regular garlic.
Can We Make Black Garlic At Home?
It is possible to make black garlic at home. However, the process requires several weeks and disciplined efforts. The strong flavour released during its making may not be acceptable to all, either. Hence, it is recommended to buy whole bulbs or peeled cloves of black garlic from retail/ online stores or other sources. Ensure you store them well and follow similar preservation practices as you do with regular garlic.