I'm looking for some alternative ways to preserve garlic. I've done it
in oil before but am interested in other methods. My favourite way is
to simply hang the bulbs in a cool, dark and dry place, but that only
seems to work for 8 months or so before it deteriorates and I'd like
to make it last until next harvest. Has anyone tried freezing the
cloves, either peeled or unpeeled? If so, what is it like after
thawing. TIA for any ideas.
i'd never pack anything low acid into oil for
storage as there's a risk of botulism.
i'm picky about off-notes from freezing if the
container isn't super air-tight so i've found out
that grinding the garlic up, drenching it with
lemon juice and then packing it into jars for
freezing works well for dishes where you won't
mind the lemon/garlic combination. you could
of course use vinegar or any other acidic juice
you'd like. i'm not sure i'd want to go just
straight ground garlic as there's alway the trace
bacteria that can hang on to most root vegetables
and then you'd be in trouble if it managed to
get going... so i'm much happier and feel safer
to have the garlic stored in something acidic.
i've also made garlic relish with vinegar, sugar,
some crushed red pepper flakes and then canned
that. seems to be keeping very well. use it for
any sauce base (blender or leave it alone if you
drying also works well for garlic.
i plant extra cloves down deeper in the fall and
these i pull at any time after they start growing
again to be used as a green garlic. you can do
this up until the bulbs start hardening the tunics
around the cloves.
your post reminds me that i have some garlic that
is in the garage i should look at and probably
clean up and process. now is about when it usually
starts sprouting and putting out shoots and it's
a good mid-winter project. the worms love the
Apparently that is not recommended at all. Botulism is a possibility in
garlic in oil or so I've read. Bits of mine went a funny turquoise
colour when I did it in oil and that put me right off.
but am interested in other methods. My favourite way is
I haven't tried it but I suspect that pulverising it (the chef's way
with the side of a knife and salt) and then freezing in it tiny portions
I managed to buy very tiny plastic containers with snap on lids designed
for carting small amounts of salad dressing away from home and they
would be ideal - they'd hold about a tablespooon full.
By growing "too much" (or enough) I get adequate survivors in the stored
(in a box in the basement, too warm) stuff though I do lose quite a bit
towards the end, and some of what's usable is quite soft. It is cured
first for several weeks in dry shade.
Information primarily targeted at commercial growers suggests storing at
30-32F / -1-0C and 60-70% humidity. Domestic refrigerators are generally
too warm for ideal storage.
Extension info aimed at consumers suggests freezing (among other things)
and includes "freeze the whole head" as an option. I might try freezing
"roasted" cloves in a glass container (have not, but if I was going to
try it, that would be my guess at a good approach. I don't want
garlic-vanilla ice cream, for instance, and the roasted garlic is
already mushy, so I don't imagine the texture would be too far from
normal after freezing. I regard the "roasting" process for garlic as
needing quotes since it's mostly steaming in foil, really. There's a
little caramelization. I prep cloves and do a pie-plate full rather than
fussing with roasting heads.
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