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7 Garlic Tricks That'll Get You Off the Jarred Stuff for Good

My Recipes logo My Recipes 19/04/2019 Sarra Sedghi

© Getty Our philosophy is that one can never have too much garlic, and hopefully I won’t have to work too hard for you to agree. Garlic is an easy way to make cheap foods taste great and add a rich depth of flavour that you just can’t get from anything else. It is an allium with no equal.

And even though garlic is one of the greatest species to grace this earth, preparing it can be a nuisance. It’s the entire reason jars of garlic line a shelf in every grocery store. Fresh garlic is always better than anything that came out of a jar, but convenience gets the best of us sometimes.

Smash, don’t peel

Garlic Cloves and Bulb for food cooking in the kitchen © Getty Garlic Cloves and Bulb for food cooking in the kitchen Peeling garlic is finicky and tedious. Smashing garlic is super effective and a great way to decompress any frustration, garlic-based or not. You can press your clove with the flat end of a chef’s knife, or just pound it with a glass container and the peels will fly right off.

Save time without buying another tool

Whether you use a grater for cheese or lemon zest, chances are you have one. Now expand its purpose by using it on garlic and saving tons of time and the money you’d spend on a garlic press.

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Shake it off, literally

You can also peel dry cloves of garlic, sans-knife, by shaking them in any closed container that provides enough space: Pyrex, two bowls, a glass bottle, you get the idea. Take a dry clove and smush it in your hand (like a nut) before relocating it to the container and shaking vigorously.

Start a roasted garlic stash

© Getty What’s better than fresh garlic? Roasted garlic. Throw a few heads of garlic in the oven while you’re roasting something else. Keep them on hand and use one whenever you want to take your garlic flavour to another level.

Make your own jarred garlic

Want the convenience of prepackaged garlic without having to sacrifice fresh garlic’s taste? Just blitz your own fresh garlic in a food processor and keep it stored in olive oil. You can make as little or as much as you need, and unlike the store-bought stuff, this minced garlic won’t have preservatives.

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Or, freeze it

You can also use your food processor to make garlic paste that’s perfect for freezing. For every two cloves of garlic, use one tablespoon of water, one tablespoon of canola oil, and a healthy pinch of salt.

Break it down with salt

Man holding garlic cloves in his hands © Getty Man holding garlic cloves in his hands Making your own garlic paste can be tricky, especially when the garlic needs to be super fine. Luckily, the only tool you need here is a knife and an ever-present pantry darling. Simplify the process by adding a little kosher (or other coarse) salt. The salt crystals act as an abrasive and help the garlic cloves break down into a finer paste. Salt will also soften the garlic’s flavour, making a version of garlic powder that’s friendlier for salads and other low-intensity dishes.

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