I have read previously that raw garlic is amazingly good for you; it’s filled with vitamins, phytonutrients, and it improves your artery health. But what about cooked garlic? We know that in many fruits and vegetables, vitamin C content is reduced by cooking or heating, and so is it possible that the health benefits offered by garlic are too?
Unfortunately (or luckily, depending on your preference for eating raw garlic!) yes. Studies have shown that the protective effects of garlic are greatly diminished by cooking, the more so the longer you cook it for.
It’s still good for you when cooked, but adding garlic later in the cooking process, or at the very end of cooking, OR even just cooking all of your ingredients for less time (yay more vitamin C!) will help to preserve the health benefits and nutrients available.
As I’m sure you’re aware, raw garlic has an epicly strong taste – pretty overpowering for most people. BUT you can use it in hoummous! Also adding it to salads, soups, and other meals in small, finely chopped doses would work to. Here is the recipe I use for making houmous at home (I use a blender, but you could mash the chickpeas in a bowl or pestle & mortar fairly easily too):
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- 4 tbsp of fresh olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp of tahini (if you don’t have tahini, just omit it, the recipe still works ok)
- Salt and Pepper
Keep a little bit of the liquid from the drained chickpeas. Put the chickpeas, garlic, tahini, salt, pepper, and lemon juice in your blender and blend whilst gradually adding the olive oil – add some of the chickpea liquid too until it reaches the right consistency. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika.
You can also add any number of extra flavours to houmous; coriander, chilli, cumin, red peppers, mint – it’s great to experiment with!
What’s your favourite flavour?
And do you have any other clever recipes to incorporate raw garlic?