If you are like many people on planet Earth, you love eating garlic. Since humans first began cooking, garlic has been a crucial ingredient alongside onion in almost every cuisine such as Italian, Mexican, Indian, French and many more. So, why should you be using crushed garlic in a jar as opposed to using fresh garlic cloves when cooking?
Well, convenience is a major factor. Prepping fresh garlic when cooking can be frustrating for many time-poor people. You have to separate the garlic clove from the bulb, peel and strip away the shell, and then finely dice or cut up the clove. You could use a mincer, but you will only be skipping one step.
However, buying a jar of crushed garlic skips all the mentioned steps above without sacrificing any of the flavour. Of course, it won’t offer the taste of fresh garlic, but a jar of crushed garlic can provide its own unique delicious flavour!
How to make your own jar of crushed garlic
Many health food suppliers sell jars of all-natural crushed garlic that have been preserved in vinegar and canola oil without using any preservatives and herbs for some extra flavour. But if you can’t find a jar in your local supermarket, you can always make your own instead (or find an online health food supplier).
Firstly, you will need access to a food processor and some empty glass jars. You can also pulse the garlic for a short period if you want to make crushed garlic or pulse it for a longer period if you want to make minced garlic with a paste-like texture.
What you will need –
- Sea salt x 1 tablespoon
- Garlic cloves x 4 cups or as much as you prefer (you can never have too much garlic!)
- Dried rosemary (or you can leave out) x ½ tablespoon
- Black pepper x 2 teaspoons
- Organic extra virgin olive oil x ½ cup with some extra for adding at the end
How to make it –
* Give your glass jars a thorough wash, dry them out and then put aside. If you are wanting to store your crushed garlic in a jar in the freezer, using mason jars are best.
* Now for the hard part: preparing the garlic. It is time-consuming, but the end result means you won’t have to do this again for a long time! Break apart each bulb of garlic and extract the individual cloves. To make peeling the garlic easier, you can place the blade of a large knife flat-side on top of the garlic and give it a light ‘thump’. The skin should crack and make it easier to strip away the shell.
* Separate the garlic into two batches. Add one batch into the food processor with half of the oil, salt, pepper and dried rosemary. Give it a quick few pulses if you are wanting a crushed garlic texture or pulse longer if you are making minced garlic. Remember to stop and scrape down the sides of the blender as you go.
* Repeat with the second batch of garlic until you have the texture you are looking for.
* Now, fill each jar with your crushed garlic mixture. Make sure you leave around half an inch of space (about 1.20 centimetres) from the top of the jar. Top up the rest of this space with some extra organic extra virgin olive oil.
* That’s it! You can either scoop a spoonful onto a plate with some crackers, olives and cheese and start enjoying straight away, place it in the fridge or place some jars in the freezer depending on how much you have made.
Best ways to enjoy crushed garlic
Whether you have made your own crushed garlic or bought a jar, here are some of the best ways you can use it when cooking delicious meals:
- Curry pastes
If you are a fan of curries, then you can easily make a homemade curry paste using some crushed garlic. For a basic Indian curry like a korma, just add some crushed garlic, ginger, garam masala, tomato puree, fresh coriander, toasted cumin seeds and oil into a blender!
No matter which pasta dish you are cooking, you will always need garlic. Simply just add a spoonful (or two!) when cooking the onions before adding in the pasta sauce to simmer. Delicious!
- Antipasto platters
Impress your friends and family with a chopping board filled with delicious organic olives, crackers, a selection of cheeses, semi-dried tomatoes, marinated artichokes, and of course, a few scoops of tasty crushed garlic!
For a quick and easy marinade, add some chicken or beef into a zip-locked bag with a drizzle of organic extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of onion salt, some smoked paprika, a crack of black pepper and a scoop from your trusty crushed garlic in a jar. The options are endless!