The Naturopathic Kitchen: Garlic 101

Garlic recipe Ingredients

You’ve heard us say it before, healthy living starts in the kitchen.  Many people find that cooking can be somewhat bland when first starting out, however, that need not be the case!  This week we highlight one of our favorites, Garlic – the stinking rose. Garlic is not only a healthy addition to your meal but a very tasty option as well!

Garlic 101

Garlic is one of the most widely used seasonings. From meat marinades and soups, to (YES) herbal tea, garlic is a versatile herb that is a fan favorite. Besides being indispensable in many kitchens, garlic is a potent medicine that has been used for centuries dating back to Hippocrates. It has been shown to help the immune system and cardiovascular health.

Where does garlic come from? Where can I find it?

Garlic can be found worldwide though it is believed to have originated in Southeast Asia. You can purchase garlic in its natural form in the produce section of your local grocer or in its powdered form in the spice aisle. Garlic may also be found in oil form. The garlic bulb itself is made up of many cloves. This is important to know so you don’t overkill an entrée when trying a new recipe.

How do I peel garlic?

There are many ways to get garlic out of its skin. If you just need a clove or two you can pick them off, then smack with a large flat blade or spatula and the skin will separate. It’s also fun for kids to try!

It can then be sliced, diced or macerated with a mortar and pestle and a pinch of salt.

How does garlic help my health?

Garlic works primarily through the sulfur component called allicin. Allicin gives garlic its distinct scent and goes through the digestive systems to release its therapeutic benefits.

What medical symptoms is garlic good for?

High Blood Pressure

High Cholesterol

Diabetes

Antimicrobial

Let’s try it out with an easy and nutrient dense recipe!

Roasted Garlic and Sun-dried Tomato Spaghetti Squash

Not a fan of spaghetti squash or pine nuts? Substitute with a noodle and/or alternative nut of your choice such as whole grain linguini and walnuts.  Dairy free? You can substitute coconut or almond yogurt for organic Greek yogurt.

INGREDIENTS

1 spaghetti squash, cooked and scooped out of the shell
1/3 c canned sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
3 T olive oil from sun-dried tomatoes
¼ c Parmesan cheese or vegan cheese substitute
½ garlic bulb
½ c sliced mushrooms
2 free-range organic chicken breasts, cooked and cut into strips (can be removed for vegan version)
1 c organic spinach and arugula mix
½ c organic cherry tomatoes, cut in fourths
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of parsley

DIRECTIONS

Strain the olive oil from the sun-dried tomato and heat in skillet. Retain sun-dried tomatoes in a separate bowl. Sauté mushrooms, chicken and garlic. Add spinach/arugula mix and sun-dried tomatoes. Stir well and add spaghetti squash. Sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes until the mixture has heated through. Dish and top with Parmesan cheese, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, crushed red pepper and sea salt. Garnish with fresh parsley. Serves 2.

Not sure about this recipe but still want to enjoy the benefits of garlic in your daily living?

Try incorporating garlic into your pastas, beans, steamed veggies, potatoes, and meats for great flavor and even better health benefits! One thing that’s great about garlic is that it isn’t selective with what it pairs with, making it a tasty match for just about any entrée or side dish.

 

 

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