Cooking with Garlic
Garlic is a great way to not only add flavor to your paleo-friendly recipes and cuts of meat, but it also has great health benefits. Garlic has been shown to be a natural antibiotic and have anti-fungal properties. Garlic also has antioxidants, particularly aged garlic. There is also some evidence to show that garlic can provide benefits for the cardiovascular system and cholesterol management.
When purchasing fresh garlic to add to your favorite paleo recipes, look for garlic that is plump and firm, with the papery skin around the cloves intact. Avoid choosing garlic that is soft or spongy. Once purchased, place your garlic in an open, cool, dry place, and not the refrigerator, because garlic does well when it’s stored somewhere with available air circulation. When selecting garlic to prepare paleo recipes, it’s always a good idea to buy organic, when possible. Organic garlic will have the most health benefits, and is the best choice for someone following a paleo lifestyle.
When cooking paleo recipes using garlic, the way the garlic is cut and cooked can influence the taste a great deal. Raw garlic, that has been minced or pressed, will generally release a lot more flavor than whole garlic cloves that have been cooked. When a garlic clove is cooked without being cut or chopped, the flavor tends to become sweeter, without the strong, pungent flavor and aroma that is found when working with raw or cut garlic. The smaller pieces garlic is cut into, the more flavor you will release, because of the amount of air the garlic is exposed to. When the garlic is exposed to air it causes a chemical reaction that is responsible for the strong aroma and flavor garlic is so known for. For garlic with a slightly stronger flavor than cooked, whole garlic, it’s best to thinly slice the cloves. For a fuller flavor, finely chopping or mincing the garlic is recommended. If you want the strongest, most aromatic garlic possible, crush the cloves.
When using garlic as a base to flavor soups, stir fries, sauces and stews, it should be cooked briefly before adding the other ingredients, because the flavor will be overpowering if it’s added to the recipe while raw, but when doing your paleo cooking with garlic, there are some techniques that should be followed to avoid burning. Generally, particularly when sautéed, garlic will become very bitter if it’s burned. Before adding garlic to a recipe, it’s best to cook it over medium heat, for a very short time of about 30 seconds, to avoid the bitter flavor. The flavor of garlic will become more subtle and mellow the longer it is cooked, given it does not become burned.
The options for creating delicious, paleo recipes using garlic is nearly endless, and one of the easiest ways to add flavor to any meat is to quarter a few cloves of garlic and place them in small pockets in your meats. For example, cut a few small slits in your pork roast, whole chicken, or nearly any cut of meat and slide the garlic inside, before cooking. The garlic will infuse your meat with a delicious flavor as it cooks.