You are likely addicted to fresh garlic with a strong taste and smell. Have you ever heard of black garlic and its health benefit? Here is what you need to know about the health benefits of black garlic.
Health Benefits of Black Garlic
What is black garlic?
Black garlic is a type of ancient garlic that is made by heating a whole bulb of garlic for several weeks. Black garlic is normal fresh garlic that has been fermented for months and changes to black with time. Black garlic is kept in the humidity control environment for several weeks with a temperature range of 60-90. During the [process there are no additives to the garlic, preservations, or burnings of any kind.
The Asian people were the first to use the product because they realize the health benefit of black garlic and the easy way of making them. Currently, it has become mainstream in major parts of the world. Like the common raw garlic, black garlic has antioxidants and other important nutrients that help in improving health and in preventing serious health-related issues. It has a unique flavor that makes your meals taste delicious. It can be added to different types of food or even energy drinks.
Is black garlic fermented?
Over time, you have been confused if black garlic is fermented or not. Many myths have arisen suggesting that black garlic is fermented. Fermentation is the process of chemical breakdown of substances by yeast, bacteria, or microorganisms and it is often used in food production. The truth is, black garlic is not fermented the black color comes as a result of the Maillard process. The process involves a chemical reaction of sugars that brown the food and it is used in the production of hundreds of flavors.
What is black garlic used for
Black garlic is health beneficial and useful in the regulation of sugar levels. Although the black garlic has been heated for months it does not lose its initial beneficial nutrients that help in the regulation of blood sugar levels. Black garlic has an impactful benefit to people with health issues such as diabetes, and kidney failure among others because when it reduces the level of blood sugar hence preventing serious diseases.
Another health benefit of black garlic is the reduction in the risk of heart diseases. If you consume black garlic it helps to lower the levels of triglycerides and cholesterol which intent to cause some serious heart diseases.
Many types of research have been done on the health benefit of black garlic in the fight against cancer. The studies found that the antioxidant properties that are found in black garlic are beneficial in the fight against cancer. The property reduces the damage to cells and limits the growth and the spread of cancer cells in the body.
Black garlic is beneficial and useful in improving cognitive functions, memory, and the immune system. The presence of antioxidants properties in black garlic provides health benefits by reducing the inflammation in the body and preventing mental disorders hence boosting the immune system in the body. The antioxidants fight free radicals and prevent oxidative that can lead to damaging of the important cells in the body.
How to make black garlic
Have you been curious to know how to prepare black garlic? Black garlic is a health benefit and you want to make them at home. It is easy to prepare black garlic at home because you use the already available materials. The two methods to prepare black garlic is using a dehydrator and a slow cooker. Using both methods it will take a few weeks for the black garlic to be ready and the end results will be worth the time consumed. Here are the steps to make black garlic if using a dehydrator or slow cooker which are beneficial for your health.
If using a slow cooker
- Gather the raw garlic, and remove the dirt from the bulbs using a clean sponge. Do not remove the cloves from the bulbs and make sure that it is dry so that they will not interrupt the process.
- You need to set the slow cooker to warm. Do not cook it, just put it to low heat to provide the required temperatures and humidity for aging.
- Put the whole unpeeled clean garlic bulbs into the slow cooker. Make sure you leave enough space between the bulbs so that they do not touch each other.
- Make sure you cover the cooker very well for the bulbs to cook with the required steam.
- Allow the bulbs to sit uninterrupted on the warm setting for 2 to 3 weeks until the cloves become soft and turn black.
- Check the slow cooker regularly to make sure the setting is still at the required temperatures and it has not switched off.
- When ready store bulbs in an airtight container for up to three months. Then squeeze out cloves as needed to get the end product of black garlic.
If using dehydrator
- Gather the required ingredients. Remove all the dirt but do not peel out the head of the garlic.
- Wrap the garlic head in plastic wrap. Make sure you use several layers of tinfoil.
- Cover the garlic to trap the moisture. This is important because it prevents the garlic from drying out due to trap humidity.
- Lay the garlic slices on the dehydrator tray and make sure that they are in a single tray.
- Dehydrate at around 66ºC/150ºF
- Wait for 3 weeks for the black garlic to be ready.
How to store black garlic
Black garlic lasts quite for a long time provided you preserve them properly. The peeled or diced black garlic cloves and the puree should be stored in airtight containers in a cool and dry place. Black garlic can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 weeks and in a refrigerator for up to 6 months. It is also stored in the freezer for 1 year without spoiling.
Why black garlic is good for you
Black garlic has a lot of health benefits to our bodies compare to ordinary garlic. The heating process of black garlic causes it to produce more antioxidants than raw garlic and it is important in preventing some serious health issues. Antioxidants are compounds that assist in protecting your body cells from oxidative damage, which may lead to various serious diseases. Consuming black garlic is important as it reduces the risk of getting heart diseases, reduces sugar levels, and increases cognitive functions.
For ages, Black garlic has been used in Asian countries for medicinal properties because of its capability to fight several diseases. Black garlic has a component called Allicin which is responsible for killing germs. The other nutrients that are present include Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, magnesium, sodium, folate, phosphorous, zinc, manganese, iron, and calcium. This makes black garlic to be more anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory to fight the foreign germs in the body.
Black garlic survives for quite some time if it is stored well. The longer it is stored the longer it gets sweeter and adds more flavor to your food.
How to use black garlic
While you may be familiar with fresh raw garlic, black garlic may be a delicious addition to your diet.
You can use black garlic in various ways and in different tasty recipes. Here are some of the ways you can use black garlic to enjoy its health benefits.
- You can enjoy the sweet black garlic on its own. Just like ordinary garlic, you can consume black garlic without adding any food.
- Mash your black garlic with potatoes. This will give the mashed potatoes a unique color and smell.
- Spread your black garlic on the toast and top it with an egg for more yummy results.
- Mash some of the black garlic gloves with some soy sauce and chili to make the stir fry sauce.
- You can slice the black garlic and use it on the top of your salads
- You can use the black garlic to make soup
How does black garlic taste?
The flavor of the black garlic has balsamic vinegar with a mild sweetness that tastes like molasses with the notes of the soy sauce. Due to the aging process the cloves dry and become much softer than the ordinary garlic and become more sticker. This makes the cloves of black garlic have a tender texture. Generally, the black garlic tastes sweeter, sour, and salty it is a kind of chocolate and vanilla. It also has a smoky taste because of the aging process.
Is black garlic natural?
Black garlic is natural. They are fresh raw garlic that has been put in the humidity for a few weeks until it turns color. Nothing is added to the garlic it is fully natural. During the aging process, the enzymes that give the garlic its strong aroma breaks down giving it the black color.