Originally published May 3 2015
Make your own garlic powder for an easy, inexpensive way to improve health and add flavor to meals
by Melanie Grimes
(NaturalNews) The herb garlic has been used as a flavoring since the earliest times of mankind's history. It has been found in the Egyptian pyramids and was used in temples in ancient Greece. Garlic has been used as a spice and also as a medicine. Even Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, recommended the use of garlic. Modern research has now shown garlic to have a wide variety of healing benefits. The best form of garlic is fresh garlic, because it contains compounds that break down when you cut or chew the garlic bulbs. Garlic is easy to grow indoors or out. Using the Food Rising Mini-Farm Grow Box, you can grow your own garlic year-round.
A great way to store excess garlic and for those times when you don't have access to fresh garlic is to make your own dried garlic. To grow a large quantity of garlic for drying, the Food Rising Mini-Farm Grow Box allows a non-electric method of growing indoors with no soil and uses only a small amount of water. The garlic will grow in a very small space in the BPA-free containers. Then all you need is a blender and a food dryer to make enough garlic for your needs.
Health benefits of garlicSince ancient times, garlic has been used to treat a wide variety of illnesses. Garlic has been used to treat seizures, joint disease, parasite infection, for wound dressing, and even the plague. The Egyptians ate garlic to increase their strength and stamina. Cloves of garlic were found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun (1334 BC to1325 BC). Health benefits of garlic include lowering cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, increasing athletic performance, building strong bones, detoxing heavy metals, and building immunity. Garlic is antifungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral. Research has shown that garlic can build immunity, and speed recovery from the cold and flu.
Because of the antioxidants that garlic contains, it can also help prevent dementia and Alzheimer's disease and prevents free radical damage to the body. Garlic can be used acutely to treat sore throats or ear infections. Garlic contains an ingredient called alliin, which comes from the amino acid cysteine. When garlic is chewed, the alliin releases allicin, a compound that gives off hydrogen sulfide. This hydrogen sulfide helps to relax blood vessels and it is also responsible for the cancer fighting effects of eating garlic. Because garlic helps many chronic diseases, it has even been touted as an anti-aging treatment. Many of the inhabitants of the so-called Blue Zones, where people are known to live longer than 100 years, have diets that contain a great deal of garlic.
How to make garlic powderTo begin with, you will need cloves of garlic, a paring knife, blender, food dryer or oven, trays, and storage jars.
- To start, you will need a large amount of garlic. Harvest your garlic and let it dry. If you are purchasing garlic, you may be able to find pre-peeled garlic cloves. Separate the bulbs and peel the cloves. Cut off any dry ends, but not all the ends need to be removed. Only remove any overly dry parts or any blemishes.
- Blend the garlic cloves in a blender until chopped or minced. (Do not blend the garlic into a smoothy consistency.)
- Place the minced garlic onto a food dehydrator tray or a cookie sheet.
- Turn on the oven or food dryer. If you use the oven, set the temperature to under 200 degrees. For the food dryer, use a vegetable setting of 125 degrees.
- Check often to make sure the garlic does not stick to the trays and burn.
- Let the garlic bake for a few hours. When it is completely dry and crisp, remove.
- You can leave it as minced or place back into a blender to create a powder.
- Store in air tight jars.
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