Have you ever bought too much garlic and it started to sprout before you could use it? Turns out those bright green shoots don’t mean it’s gone bad. A new study says that garlic sprouted for five days has significantly higher antioxidant levels than fresh garlic. If you throw them away, you are making a big mistake as you can get a lot out of this powerful food.

Why you shouldn’t throw away the sprouted garlic

It’s a strange concept, but it makes more sense when you consider the current trend for “sprouts”: A growing number of food companies and restaurants are offering sprouts, nuts, and legumes as the process actually improves nutrient composition. of your food. With this new study, it is clear that the same is true of garlic.

Phytoalexins from sprouted garlic: the best

Here’s what’s happening: “Plants are very susceptible to attack by bacteria, viruses, and insects during germination, “says study author Jong-Sang Kim, PhD. “This leads them to produce a variety of chemicals called phytoalexins to defend themselves. Most of these are toxic to microorganisms and insects, but beneficial to human health.”

Sprouted or not, garlic is always a good option. Either way, garlic has healthy sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin, which studies suggest slows atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), lowers blood pressure, and reduces the risk of certain types of cancer, says Alison Massey, RD, a registered dietitian at Mercy Medical Center.

How to use garlic sprouts

Ideally, its flavor is best appreciated when eaten fresh. Garlic sprouts are great at:

  • the top of the baked potatoes
  • green salads
  • vegetable salads or scrambled in egg salads
  • pasta salads
  • sauces
  • as a quick topping over hummus or guacamole
  • in detox vegetable smoothies

How to germinate garlic

Place the sprout or whole bulb in a small cup or bowl. Using a clear container really helps you see when the water needs to be changed and you can watch the roots grow. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the cup and touch only the bottom of the cloves. Do not submerge your teeth or the water will become cloudy, smelly and the teeth will begin to rot. Not well.

The garlic cloves will start to produce roots very quickly after a few days. It is good practice to change some of the water in the cup or container when it starts to look a bit cloudy, which is every two to three days. No soil is required because the green shoots that rise get all their nutrients from the individual tooth. Lots of light and fresh water will do you very well.

You can start harvesting garlic sprouts when the sprouts are 3 inches tall; there could be 2 to 3 buds growing on each tooth. Try not to remove more than a third of the growing wands. Green leaves capture the sun’s energy to grow taller.

Like a green onion, garlic sprouts grow from within a single sprout. Cutting the main shoot down from the nail will not produce more shoots. The shoots will grow to a height of 10 inches if left alone.

How to harvest sprouted garlic

Use sharp kitchen scissors to cut what you need for your recipe. Two inches of a sprout leaf can make about 1 tablespoon of sprouts.

Alternative way to grow garlic sprouts

Pick a sunny spot if you have it. A little shade is fine too. You can plant the garlic cloves directly into the ground about an inch deep and watch the sprouts grow after a couple of weeks. If you want to move the sprouted garlic cloves from the inside to the outside, you should transplant them into the ground without problems.

Plant each clove 4-6 inches apart each. Keep the soil moist, not soggy, for a couple of weeks, allowing time for the roots to adjust to taking water from the soil on their own. Garlic is tough and easy to grow. Harvest the sprouts in the same way as above, removing only one-third of the tops of the leaves or removing an entire leaf if other leaves are growing with the same clove.

Just have fun growing them. It’s more fun than painstakingly removing tiny sprouts from each tooth, and so much better than throwing all that potential away.

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