Thursday, March 28, 2013
Garlic is synonymous with certain styles of cooking, but to me, it’s also part of the welcoming of spring. An Easter Brunch with deviled eggs, roast beef, and garlic asparagus spears are a sign that the flowers will bloom. I can shed the sweaters and coats and breathe the warm spring air.
Garlic with its assertive, sweet flavor is loaded with cholesterol lowering components. It can prevent blood clots and is beneficial for fighting high blood pressure by breaking down compounds that trigger blood vessels to release hydrogen sulfide. Studies have shown that in regions where garlic is eaten most providently, prostate cancer incidences are lower. It may be the sulfur compounds that help reduce tumor growth and prevent cancer cells from spreading. “Fresh cutting garlic cloves breaks its cell and releases stored enzymes that react with oxygen. That triggers healthy sulfide compounds, such as allicin, to form, “according to EatingWell.com. When you allow the fresh-cut garlic to stand for 10-15 minutes before cooking, it allows those compounds to fully develop before the heating process from cooking inactivates the enzymes.
Garlic is so versatile that all the ideas of how to cook with it are too numerous to list here. If serving to guest, be aware that some people have digestive reactions to garlic, so check with your guests in advance if it’s a concern.
(photo: @2008 Clay Irving, Flickr)