All About Black Garlic

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What’s better than garlic? The answer is black garlic. Do you know what black garlic is? Although it may not be visually appealing, black garlic has many benefits and uses around the world. We all know and have most probably cooked with the traditional white garlic. But what makes black garlic so popular?

Black garlic is simply regular garlic that has been put under heat for several weeks to bring out all the natural sugar. It ends up looking black, smooth, and sticky. Black garlic tastes sweet with a molasses flavor and a little bit of garlic undertone. Its numerous health benefits make it popular.

Black garlic has become very popular worldwide due to the health benefits that it provides, as well as its culinary uses. It has now been increasingly recognized for its unique taste and health-boosting properties. So, what is this nutrient-rich food, and how can you make it and store it?

What Is Black Garlic?

Black garlic originated from Korea and was developed as a health product that was considered to contain several health benefits. It is freely used in the Asian market. It was only recently introduced into the American market and has quickly become a sought-after product.

Black garlic is fermented traditional garlic. It is made when freshly bought garlic slowly undergoes what is called a Maillard reaction. This chemically transforms the fresh garlic, which leads to a characteristic inky black color being produced.

Simply put, the fresh garlic develops a smooth, sticky texture, much like dates, and becomes black when the heads of the garlic rot. Yum.

If you’re wondering about the flavor, fear not because many people enjoy its rich flavor due to it having an earthier and sweeter taste than regular garlic. Another appealing factor is that it does not have a pungent odor like regular garlic.

What Are The Benefits Of Black Garlic?

Black garlic has many health benefits.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

One of the many benefits of black garlic is that it helps prevent inflammation of the skin. Inflammation easily occurs when our immune system responds to infections, injuries, and toxins that enter the body. It plays a crucial role in repairing, protecting, and healing our bodies from foreign invaders, such as bacteria.

Recently compiled reports have suggested that black garlic is an essential agent for treating inflammation and other diseases related to septicemia. One of the crucial main functions of black garlic is ensuring that your immune system can face a wide range of conditions.

Repairing Age-Damaged Skin

I’m pretty sure that we all want glowing skin. Therefore, it is imperative that you make use of black garlic to get clear skin, as it has been proven to be great at healing damaged skin. Garlic has antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties that come from allicin.

Allicin is what helps kill all the bacteria that cause acne. Allicin’s other properties are not only to reduce swelling and inflammation but also to improve blood circulation. The skin, therefore, receives more nutrients due to these beneficial effects. The thiosulfate that garlic has acts as an antimicrobial. Many people believe that if you use black garlic regularly, it will clear your skin.

Cardioprotective Effects

Like all types of garlic, like regular garlic, black garlic has many health benefits. Everyone wants a healthy heart, but unfortunately, cardiovascular diseases are prominent and the world’s biggest killers. This is where garlic comes in because it works incredibly well for your heart.

The most prominent driver of diseases like strokes and heart attacks is high blood pressure. Studies found that using garlic supplements significantly reduces the blood pressure of people with hypertension. To have a longer and better life, you need to keep your heart healthy. Incorporating black garlic into your lifestyle will help to get rid of your heart problems.

Lower Cholesterol Levels

Research has found that garlic has the potential to decrease your total cholesterol levels by up to 30 mg per deciliter. Something to try is to simmer whole cloves of black garlic in healthy oil like olive oil. Once they are soft, you can use them by spreading them on food that you find to be a little bit too bland for your liking. 

Although butter is yummy, garlic tastes better and is much healthier, especially for lowering cholesterol. So the next time you feel like toasted butter bread, spread soft black garlic on it instead. You’ll thank yourself because this is the answer to all of your health worries as it will keep your heart in excellent shape and lower your cholesterol.

Preventing Diabetic Complications

Thousands of people across the globe struggle with diabetes.

However, rest assured that black garlic ensures that you never have to encounter this condition because not only does garlic reduce heart disease incidences, which affect around 80% of people with diabetes, when consumed raw, it lowers blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of you getting atherosclerosis because no one wants clogged arteries.  

Garlic in all forms, such as raw garlic, cooked garlic, or fermented garlic, can help regulate your blood glucose and potentially lower a few diabetic complications.

Boosts Your Immune System

As already mentioned, black garlic has anti-inflammatory effects, but the boost it provides to the immune system is critical. Black garlic is very good at protecting you against several types of diseases and different conditions.

Using it regularly will help you avoid the many situations that people in their old age face, such as Alzheimer’s and diabetes. Garlic has many uses, like being an antiseptic, antifungal, and antibacterial agent.

Black garlic can help the body fight off and destroy microorganisms and viruses by ensuring that your immune system is boosted. Garlic is also said to fight infections. Crushing garlic produces allicin, its principal active ingredient, which helps boost the immune system and its functionality.

Lowered Risk Of Cancer

Because black garlic has potent medicinal properties and acts as an antioxidant, one of its most crucial functions is that it dramatically lowers the risk of getting cancer. The research done on garlic and cancer primarily focuses on the allium compounds of garlic.

When garlic is crushed or the tissue is damaged, an enzyme that produces allicin is released. The maturing of specific cancer types has been shown, by animal studies, to decrease because of garlic compounds.

In human cell and animal studies, the allium compounds found in garlic show multiple effects that could be important in preventing cancer.

Therapeutic Management Of Liver Injury

New studies suggest that garlic used in high doses can potentially induce liver damage, while low doses of 0.1 to 0.25g per kg body weight per day are much safer garlic doses.

The hepatoprotective effect was seen as positive when the study was first tested on rodents. In Alcoholic Liver Disease, black garlic has been advised to be added into the diet so that the liver heals at a faster rate.

Increased Levels Of Antioxidants

Black garlic is a fantastic antioxidizing agent due to its potential to clear up any and all harmful substances present in your body. Antioxidants are substances that ensure that any damage to your cells caused by free radicals is prevented or slowed down.

It Tastes Great

Beyond health benefits, black garlic is a fantastic way to ramp up the flavors in any dish to make the flavors richer with the garlic and sweet notes. Using a jarred black garlic puree as a marinade is a great tactic, or simply replacing garlic in any recipe.

Black Garlic Puree from Black Garlic North America

Where Can You Buy Black Garlic?

You can buy it at most groceries stores or online on sites like Amazon which is our preference.

Here are the top 3 black garlic products that we buy here at Cook Gem:

  • North American Black Garlic Puree – Perfect for all your black garlic needs. Use it for marinades or slathering on anything before you cook it to add a supremely rich and sweet flavor to your dish. This is our all time favorite black garlic product.
  • McCormick Black Garlic Powder Seasoning – A fast option, this seasoning mix has a lot of other spices but it is one of our favorites for adding rich and sweet flavors to meat dishes. Be careful though it had salt in it so don’t use it too heavy handed.
  • Black Garlic Cloves, Peeled & Fermented For 90 Days – Another option to mix in with garlic or replace garlic in any recipe. A bit more potent than puree if you want the extra bit of flavor.

How Can You Store Black Garlic?

Black garlic is relatively easy to store as all you need to do is place it in a tight lid container and put it in your fridge. What’s nice about it is that it can last for up to six months, so you only have to repeat the process of making it twice a year, unless you go through it quickly and demolish it because of how delicious it is.

How Can You Make Black Garlic?

You can buy black garlic at a grocery store, but they are a little bit expensive, so how about making it yourself? Can you make black garlic at home? Yes, yes, you can.

Using A Rice Cooker

If you have a rice cooker, this will go without a hitch. All you need is fresh garlic cloves, time, patience, and of course, a rice cooker with a lid and a keep warm option. Make sure that you choose solo purpled shelled garlic that is not cracked or has already sprouted. The white shelled garlic works just as well too.

  1. Clean your garlic by using a damp paper towel to wipe the outside.
  2. Place a mat at the bottom of your rice cooker and place a piece of paper towel on top of that.
  3. In goes all your fresh cleaned garlic. The amount of garlic you use is up to you.
  4. Cover the garlic with one or two more paper towels.
  5. Once you close and secure the lid of your rice cooker, plug it in but do not touch the rice cooker button. Instead, use the keep warm button.
  6. We weren’t kidding about needing time because, after all the preparation, you need to leave your rice cooker to do its thing for ten days.

After ten days, you can check on the garlic, and you will notice that it has turned black. It may be a bit too moist, and in that case, you can place it back into the rice cooker for four more days. Your house will definitely smell like garlic by day five, so keep that in mind. If possible, you can plug the rice maker outside to avoid the smell.

Using A Bread Or Dough Proofer

Another way that you can make black garlic is by using a bread or dough proofer. This is ideal because you can set the temperature and let it run for as long as you want. You need a bread pan or a baking dish as long as it has a lid, some garlic cloves, aluminum foil, and the bread proofer.

  1. Wrap each head of clean garlic, whether purple or white shelled garlic, in aluminum foil. Make sure that you wrap them tight because you want to cook them, but you want to ensure that none of the moisture gets out, so they don’t dry out too much.
  2. Place the individually wrapped garlic heads in the bread pan, other pans, or baking dish, depending on what you decide to go with.
  3. Wrap the pan or dish up tightly with aluminum foil to try and prevent the smell of garlic from wafting out and invading your home.   
  4. Place the foiled pan or dish in the proofer, set it to 140 degrees, and let it do its thing for about four weeks.

In the end, you will have perfectly made black garlic. The purple shelled garlic usually tastes sweeter than the white shelled garlic.

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