Garlic

In  4 cloves of fresh garlic there are 18 calories, 0.8 grams protein, 4 grams of carbohydrates, and 0.3 grams of fiber. Garlic originated in the Mediterranean, Syria, and Central Asia. Throughout the year in mild climates and late autumn in northern climates is when garlic is in season. There is no other plant food that has been the subject of as much disdain and as much adulation as the garlic bulb. Writings from Babylonia, China, and India indicate that garlic was well known in ancient times. Giant garlic was not discovered until the 1500’s.

Garlic has always been considered a medicinal plant. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that it conferred protection and strength and in the Middle Ages it was widely used as a medicine in Europe and Asia. Many superstitions surround it. The best known is it can be used to ward off vampires and centuries prior to that belief, midwives in ancient Greece would string cloves around newborns’ necks to protect them from evil spirits. In medieval times, people used to eat garlic as a vegetable but it gradually became more appropriate for use as a seasoning.

Garlic is an excellent source of manganese and a good source of vitamin B6 and C. It has important phytochemicals including thiosulfinate allicin, and S-allylcysteine which acts as antioxidants and have other functions to help fight disease.

To make sure you have garlic at hand, consider buying fresh minced garlic preserved in a light oil base to retain all the main nutrients. It can be kept in the refrigerator after opening. Before roasting raw garlic it should be cut into slices to release the phytochemicals. Bear’s garlic is native to Europe and is still harvested exclusively from the wild. Its leaves and its white flowers have a strong garlic scent. The leaves can be crushed and used to make a type of pesto.

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