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Garlic: Full Flavor at Low Cost

What is one ingredient you simply can’t do without in your kitchen?  Of course it’s difficult to choose only one, but at the top of my list is garlic.  I can honestly say I use it in more of my entree and side dishes than any other ingredient.  The aroma of garlic sauteeing in olive oil has always brought back memories of Sunday afternoons and my mother cooking a big pot of spaghetti gravy on the stove.  Today, I’m the one making those pots of gravy, but I use this veggie in so many other dishes. 

garlic

Since garlic has so much flavor it’s a terrific way to add taste to your recipes and help reduce the amount of sodium.  A popular way to use garlic is by sauteeing it in olive oil and adding greens, like spinach or kale.  I’ve expanded this by adding other veggies like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, mushrooms, cauliflower and zucchini.  Two or three garlic cloves sliced thin will add enough flavor for a pot filled with veggies.

Another way to enjoy garlic, with a different twist on its flavor is by roasting it.  Once roasted, you can combine the softened garlic cloves with pureed garbanzo beans, olive oil and a little lemon juice for a delicious hummus spread.

Raw garlic is pretty potent–a little goes a long way.  I find that when I use raw garlic it’s best to finely mince the garlic.  I like to add raw garlic to things like salsa or homemade dressings.  Again, it enables me to reduce or even omit salt entirely, especially when I’m including other herbs and things like citrus juices for flavor.

Another great thing about cooking with garlic is how budget-friendly it is.  One nice-sized bulb will cost you less than a dollar.  As much as I cook with it, this will last me about a week, so I typically buy two bulbs per week.  Fruits & Veggies–More Matters has a Top 10 List on using garlic if you’re not used to cooking with it.  There are even some great recipes included.  Give it a go–once you start using this tasty veggie, you’ll become an instant fan!

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