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Garlic can be eaten raw or cooked. Cooking tempers the flavor (and lessens garlic breath). To prepare garlic for cooking, remove the papery skin and the hard root end from each clove, then chop according to recipe directions. (Some research has shown that cutting or crushing garlic activates its enzymes and that it's beneficial to wait five minutes before continuing with the recipe.) You can infuse olive oil with garlic by simmering a half cup of oil in a saucepan with 2-3 chopped garlic cloves. Garlic can be roasted, which creates a soft, caramelized texture and sweet, rich flavor.
Note: Garlic is also sold in powdered or granulated form, which is appropriate for use in recipes like dressings, sauces or dips. Garlic powder is not a good substitute in recipes that call for sautéing or cooking fresh garlic. Granulated garlic, garlic powder and garlic salt are three different ingredients and shouldn't be used interchangeably, so pay attention to your recipe. Avoid garlic salt if you're watching your sodium levels.
Healthy Recipes that Feature Garlic
Chef Meg's Favorite Ginger-Garlic Sauce
This versatile recipe can be used to add bold flavor as a marinade or sauce for grilled meats or vegetables.
Low-Fat Slow-Cooker Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Perfect for a crowd, this recipe can be made ahead for family gatherings.
Chef Meg's Grilled Citrus Garlic Flank Steak
Garlic adds a ton of flavor to this healthy, lean cut of beef.
Chef Meg's Herb-Roasted Garlic
Sweet, softened roasted garlic is terrific on toasted bread slices, or in soups and stews.
So, what are you waiting for? Start adding more garlic to your meals--the flavor and health benefits will be worth the garlic breath!