“Our food should be our medicine. Our medicine should be our food.” Hippocrates, 460 BC – 377 BC
Garlic is not only a delicious (one could say essential) addition to many meals, it is also one of the most widely used medicinal herbs in history.
Garlic has a whole host of health benefits: it is anti-bacterial (the original antibiotic) and anti-fungal; it is anti-viral and can boost your immune system; it thins the blood and can help prevent heart disease; it can help control blood sugar; it helps lower cholesterol, atherosclerosis and blood pressure; it helps relieve arthritis; and it may help prevent cancer.
A lot of good reasons for eating garlic regularly.
While eating cooked garlic is beneficial to your health, some studies show that raw garlic is better. This is because heat destroys the beneficial enzymes and reduces it’s medicinal magic.
The downside is that chewing on a clove of raw garlic doesn’t taste that great. Many health gurus suggest shooting a clove of garlic straight down the hatch every morning, maybe with the aid of a little honey.
There are much more enjoyable ways to consume this great natural medicine.
Here are ten tasty ways to incorporate raw garlic into your everyday diet. Make them fresh at home to get the best taste and the most benefit from the ingredients.
Fresh pesto is a delicious way to eat raw garlic, and you’re getting the goodness (and anti-odour properties) of the fresh herbs as well. I like to eat pesto tossed through some zucchini noodles.
Garlic cuts through the creaminess of the avocado beautifully. Serve as a dip or as a topper for a variety of Mexican dishes.
Garlic and tomatoes make an excellent paring and salsa is a great way to enjoy the two. Add a good amount of chilli if you’ve got a cold, to help with decongestion.
Another tomato and garlic paring, add some minced garlic to chopped tomatoes and basil for a fresh toast topping. To make a complete meal, add some sliced avocado.
Freshly made dips like hummus and baba ganoush are a great way to eat raw garlic. Dip in some fresh veggies or use as a spread.
6. Salad dressings
Add some crushed garlic to your salad dressing. For a simple cold-fighting vinaigrette, mix together some finely minced garlic, fresh lemon juice, a little mustard and a good lug of olive oil (taste and adjust). For a twist, add a little raw honey to taste.
Aioli is simply mayonnaise with crushed garlic. It makes a great dipper for fresh seafood or to serve with tuna rissoles.
Gremolata is usually chopped parsley, lemon zest and garlic, although there are many variations. It is traditionally served on osso bucco. Use with any meat dish to give a zesty flavour. It is also great with fish or tossed through steamed vegetables or boiled potatoes.
9. veggie booster
No lemon and parsley? Simply toss some minced garlic through freshly steamed vegetables or boiled boiled potatoes with a little butter to give them a tasty lift or stir through mashed potato (I have a decided fondness for garlicky mash, although I usually boil an unpeeled clove or two with the spuds before squeezing out the flesh and mashing it into the potatoes).
10. Compound butter
Compound butter is an easy way to add flavour to any dish. Spread on toast, add a pat to cooked vegetables or go retro and top a good steak with a pat of flavoured butter. Flavoured butter can be frozen for a quick and easy addition to a meal. Here’s a great post with ideas for different flavour combos.
Garlic is a frugal yet effective medicine and preventative. But this medicine doesn’t need a spoonful of sugar to make it go down. Instead, use it in these recipes to enjoy not only the medicinal benefits, but also garlic’s great taste.