Fun With Garlic
After my last post on the Amazing Health Benefits Of Garlic, there has been several readers’ requests to share more about garlic usages, remedies and recipes. Firstly, thank you for liking my earlier article, and your appreciation have encouraged me to write this next chapter on having fun while reaping more health benefits from this wonderful plant.
As mentioned in my previous article, garlic is one of the most common food seasoning and condiment globally, and is also a powerful health food which many may have taken for granted. For maximum health benefits, garlic should be crushed or chopped, and left to sit for several minutes before consuming it raw or cooked. Crushing garlic activates the alliinase enzymes in the garlic’s cells, and the sitting allows these enzymes to convert some of the garlic’s allin into allicin.
Raw is the best form of garlic consumption if you are able to tolerate pungent smell, while cooked or fermented are good alternatives if you absolutely do not wish to eat raw garlic. Here are both Western and Eastern recipes and remedies that are recommended to enjoy your garlic…
Eastern Natural Garlic Remedy For Cough And Cold
The garlic is used by the Chinese as a common treatment for coughs and colds. Below are a few popular remedies, especially useful when you prefer using a natural remedy for younger children :
- Remedy One : This is the simplest and most effective way to consume garlic for those of you who do not mind the sharp taste of raw garlic. All you need to do is put a clove of peeled garlic in your mouth and chew it lightly until you can taste the garlic juice. Swallow the garlic juice slowly. Continue to lightly chew the garlic in your mouth and swallow the juice for about an hour. This remedy has been proven to rapidly relieve the itchiness in your throat and alleviate your cough.
- Remedy Two : Crush 30 cloves of garlic, add 200ml boiling water and 10 grams of rock sugar and continue to boil the 3 together for a few minutes. Drink this remedy like a tea for at least once a day, or 3 times a day for serious cases of the cold. This remedy will rapidly alleviate cold symptoms and reduce phlegm with improvement seen the next day, and recovery in about 3 days’ time.
- Remedy Three : Steamed Garlic Water
Day 1 : Add 2-3 cloves of crushed garlic (for children) or 7-8 cloves of crushed garlic (for adults) into a bowl of water. Cover the bowl with a lid, and put it into a steamer and steam it for 15 mins. Consume the garlic water 3 times a day, and for those who do not like the taste of garlic, this remedy is effective even if you do not need to eat the garlic.
Day 2 : Steam the garlic at the same dosage as Day 1, but please add a piece of rock sugar (child) or 2 pieces of rock sugar (adult) to the water.
- Remedy Four : Young ginger Garlic and Brown Sugar – For those with asthmatic-type cough coupled with white phlegm, which are symptoms of a “cold” cough (vs “heaty” cough), this remedy will be recommended. For children’s remedy, you can boil 3 slices of young ginger, 3 cloves of garlic, half a spoon of brown sugar for 10 mins at medium heat. Consume 3 times a day for best results in serious cases. For adults, use 7-8 slices of ginger, 7-8 cloves of garlic, 1 spoon of brown sugar.
For those who are not familiar with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), here’s an explanation of the concept of Heatiness vs Coldness in TCM :
“Heatiness” and its opposite, “coldness” is a categorization of factors that cause certain types of illnesses. These factors can be food- or weather-related, e.g. durians and chocolates are considered “heaty” foods because they possess factors that cause ailments that are associated with excessive “heatiness”, such cough with sticky phlegm, chapped lips and mouth ulcers. On the other hand, watermelons are considered “cold” foods because they can cause ailments such as fatigue and aching joints – illnesses caused by excessive “coldness”.
Western Garlic Healthy Recipe — Slow Roasted Garlic Tomatoes
• 8 ripe Roma tomatoes
• 6 cloves of crushed garlic
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 6 teaspoons thyme Salt and pepper
• Heat oven to 300°F.
• Core out each tomato and cut a 3/4 inch deep X shape in the end of each tomato.
• Sprinkle inside of tomatoes with salt and pepper.
• Stuff each tomato with 1 clove equivalent of crushed garlic and 1 teaspoon of thyme.
• Coat olive oil in the bottom of a shallow baking dish, place tomatoes in a row, and bake 1.5 to 2 hours. This recipe makes 6 servings.
Garlic Fun Facts
“A nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat.” – Old New York Yiddish proverb
Making Your Own Black Garlic
As mentioned in my last article, white garlic becomes black garlic after a month-long fermentation process under controlled heat and humidity. The result is a jelly-like texture that is free from odour and taste like fig. While the fermentation process reduces the level of alliin in garlic, the resulting black garlic has high concentrations of sulfurous compounds like s-allylcycteine (SAC), which is associated with various health benefits including inhibition of cholesterol synthesis. Therefore, while black garlic is lower in alliin, it provides other health benefits in the form of antioxidants. Some Japanese researchers found that black garlic was more effective than fresh garlic in reducing the size of tumors.
Besides buying commercially available black garlic which can be expensive in the long run, you can make your own black garlic using a garlic fermenting machine. These are easy to use and definitely more economical than the commercially-ready black garlic. Below are a few good garlic fermenters in the market :
Garlic is a super food with amazing health benefits and equally excellent medicinal benefits. I hope you will enjoy cooking up your own garlic-based meals and making your own black garlic to share with your family and friends. Garlic is also extremely handy in dealing with common cold symptoms as a most natural remedy. Have fun with it !