Monday, July 16, 2012

Roasted Garlic

Garlic is a culinary and medicinal herb that has been used for centuries. Therapeutically garlic is renowned for it's antibiotic properties protecting from an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the human body. It helps lower cholesterol, increase iron metabolism, decrease inflammation and support a healthy immune system. Garlic contains many sulfur containing compounds which are excellent for liver health and preventing cancer. It is also an excellent source of selenium, one of the most potent antioxidant minerals that is lacking in our diets today. Garlic should be consumed daily for it's excellent nutritional value.

Roasting or cooking garlic does decrease it's medicinal value so it is best consumed raw. If raw garlic can not be tolerated then add freshly chopped garlic to dishes towards the end of cooking to increase nutrition. There are times however when roasted garlic is just calling your name. Always use a Tera Cotta or other ceramic dish to roast your garlic. Using aluminum foil has become a common practice however aluminum is a toxic heavy metal that is stores in the brain causing numerous issues. You can find inexpensive garlic roasters at your local health food store.

To Roast Your Garlic:
Step 1: Peel off the outer layers of your garlic.
Step 2: Using a serrated knife cut off the top 1/4'' or so of each head of garlic so that the cloves are exposed.
Step 3: Rub a dab of extra virgin olive oil on the top exposed part of each head of garlic.
Step 4: Set garlic cloves on the plate of your ceramic roaster and cover with the lid.
Step 5: Place in the oven and turn heat to 350°.
Step 6: After 45 minutes check garlic by piercing the cloves with a knife. When they are soft and golden then remove ceramic roaster out of the oven and your garlic is ready to serve.

Roasted garlic is creamy and almost buttery when cooked to perfection. Squeeze from the bottom and the garlic will squeeze out from the top. You can spread it on crackers or serve with an antipasto plate. It pairs excellent with Italian favorites like capers, roasted red bell peppers, kalamata olives and artichoke hearts.