The spicy flavor of the garlic makes your dish aromatic. You can’t imagine cooking food without garlic simply because the garlic season is over. Maybe you had grown some in your vegetable garden, or you had bought garlic in a grocery store near you. Preserve enough garlic to not fall short of supply until the next season.
Your garlic is either softneck or hardneck. You will know the difference based on the number of clovers and the size. With a softneck garlic, the clovers are small but multiple. But if you check the bulb of a hardneck, cloves are few but large.
Many groceries supply softneck garlic. After all, if you store them properly, they will last longer than the hardneck. For instance, suppose you store both types at a temperature of 32 degrees. The hardneck garlic will last for six months, while the softneck will extend up to 9 months.
Factor to Consider When Buying a Garlic
Pay attention to the skin of the garlic. It should be firm and tightly unbroken. It should also be clean, and there should be no sign of molds or even sprouting.
The garlic should have the right weight. If it’s lighter than the way it normally weighs, then the chances are high that the garlic has either decayed or shivered.
After buying or picking the right garlic for storage, you can use different methods to store them. Some of the best methods include;
Different Methods for Storing Garlic
At Room Temperature
If you are looking for a favorable condition to store your fresh garlic, worry less. You garlic can last longer if you expose them to a moderately humid environment with a temperature of 60-65 degrees. The environment should also have a free circulation of air to allow your garlic to breathe. Storing them in a sealed container will only attract molds and sprouting. So, the most appropriate place is in a mesh bag or even a loosely woven basket.
So, your house is not spacious enough to store garlic? Why don’t you put the bulbs in a small clay flower pot and store them in the far corner of your kitchen cupboard? You can use them whenever you like.
How do you deal with leftover peeled clovers? You don’t have to discard them. Keep them in a tightly sealed container, and then put them in the fridge. Use them within a few weeks. If you had not peeled the clovers, you could keep the garlic in the crisper drawer. Don’t remove them until you want to use them. If you remove them early, they will begin to sprout within no time.
What if you bought already minced garlic? Don’t worry since they are already acidified. So, once you store them in your fridge, you can use it for a long time. Note that since the garlic requires a moderate humid condition; find a way of dealing with a humid issue in your fridge. Alternatively use a freezer.
If you store your garlic in the freezer, they will last for long. Unfortunately, the garlic will lose the flavor and texture, making it taste different from fresh garlic. If you are a frequent garlic user, then this is not the best option. If you are an infrequent user, then this is the appropriate method of storing your garlic.
Pick an aluminum foil, wrap whole unpeeled garlic cloves before freezing them. If you don’t have an aluminum foil, wrap them using a plastic wrap or even put them in a freezer bag. You can also, peel the cloves, crush or puree them using a food processor or even a blender. There is no problem adding a little water to help you puree well. Spread your puree on a thin silicon sheet inside the freezer ice cube tray. After freezing, put the cubes in an airtight container before freezing them. If you need some, grate them first.
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Store In Flavored Oil
Do you enjoy making a salad dressing using some delicious garlic flavored-oil? You can easily make garlic-flavored oil. You require dried garlic slices, olive oil, and a small jar. Put the dried slices in the jar, and then add olive oil. The oil should cover the pieces.
Can you use fresh slices instead of dried ones? Don’t dare unless you have a freezer. Note that a combination of fresh garlic and oil provides a favorable condition for bacteria clostridium botulinum to thrive in. If you add the oil flavored garlic to your food, you may contract a deadly botulism illness.
After using fresh garlic to make your flavored oil, you should tightly seal the container with a lid. Put it in the freezer and scope the content with a spoon when you want to use it.
Roast with an Oven
Do you enjoy spreading some roasted garlic in crusty bread? Take a casserole dish and apply a little olive oil. Add some clean bulbs and put the dish in the oven. Set the temperature at 350 degrees and leave the cloves for 45 minutes. How will you know if they are ready? They become soft and squishy. Squeeze the fresh out, put it in the airtight container, and freeze it.
Use A Dehydrator
You can either dry your garlic using a food dehydrator or an oven. If you choose to use a dehydrator, slice the cloves with a food processor or chop them with a blender. Put the slices in your dehydrator and read the instructions. Once the slices become crisp, they are ready. Alternatively, put the slices in an oven baking dish and leave them for 2 hours to dry. The temperature should be 140 degrees.
Did you have a bumper harvest? Why don’t you store the garlic well to avoid losing them? If the season is almost over, choose the right garlic and use the method that best suits you to store the garlic.