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How to store garlic and keep it fresh

Reading time:
approx. 3 Minutes

Fresh garlic can add a spicy, pungent flavor to just about any dish. Whether you're making stir-fries or roasted green beans, it's always helpful to have some garlic in your kitchen. If you bought a little more garlic than you need, that's no problem - as long as you know how to store garlic properly, unpeeled bulbs can stay fresh for up to five months.

Here are six techniques to help you keep your garlic supply fresh for as long as possible.

1. store in a cool place

Fresh garlic should be stored in a cool, dark, dry place - such as a pantry. If your pantry has a window, you should install a blind to keep out light and heat. The ideal storage temperature is around 16°C. It's fine if your kitchen is usually a little warmer, but don't store garlic in a cabinet next to the stove. Trapped moisture can cause garlic to spoil, so store garlic in a well-ventilated container, such as a wire or mesh basket.

2. store in the refrigerator

The refrigerator is generally not the ideal place to store garlic. While storing whole, unpeeled garlic in the crisper helps prevent moisture, garlic germinates faster in cold temperatures - so the pantry is still a better choice for fresh garlic. Leftover minced garlic can be stored in the refrigerator, but use it up quickly as it can begin to sprout or spoil within a few days. If you do put it in the refrigerator, store it in an airtight glass container. This is because plastic is permeable and absorbs odors. If the garlic starts to sprout or change color, it's time to throw it away. When you open it, it should be white. If it's brownish or has spots, it's going bad.

3. freeze individual portions

When your garlic is nearing the end of its shelf life, prepare it and store it in the freezer. Pulverize it in a blender and then freeze it in an ice tray. This will give you about a tablespoon that you can thaw and use. It's much easier than peeling and chopping a fresh clove every time you cook, and you don't have to worry about your hands smelling like garlic!

4. buy prepared garlic

The strong flavor of fresh garlic is not for everyone. Prepared garlic, which can be stored in oil, water or vinegar, has a lighter flavor than fresh garlic, but it has the same healthy ingredients (Note: When garlic is preserved in oil, additional calories are added by the oil). If you want to avoid the taste of vinegar or the extra calories of oil, opt for prepared garlic that has been soaked in water.

5. pickling

If you're looking for a new flavor profile for your garlic, try pickling. By pickling the garlic cloves in vinegar, you not only extend the shelf life, but also create a delicious treat.

6. roast and store

If you have a fresh garlic and don't know what to do with it, just roast it and freeze it to keep it fresh longer. Here's how:

  • Peel the outer layers of garlic and cut off the top.
  • Rub it with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Wrap the garlic in foil and place it in a baking dish.
  • Bake at 200°C for about 40 minutes.
  • Let cool and remove the cloves.
  • Store the roasted cloves in the freezer and thaw as needed. Roasted garlic has a mild garlic flavor and is great for cooking and spreading on toast or crackers.

More information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure that the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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