Can you eat garlic when it sprouts?

In this article we are going to answer the question, can you eat garlic when it sprouts? We are also going to answer why garlic sprouts, what to do with sprouted garlic, how to prevent garlic from sprouting, and some recipe ideas. 

Can you eat garlic when it sprouts?

The answer is yes! You can eat garlic when it sprouts. Those green sprouts can give a bitter taste to whatever you are cooking so you can try to cut as much as you can. Just simply cut the sprouts and remove them from the center. If there are too many sprouts, the recommendation is to buy more garlic, you’ll thank me when you finish your dish!

Remember, it is not the same when garlic goes moldy. When it turns bluish-green and it is anywhere on the clove, usually it’s more in the exterior part, you better throw it away. Sprouts look more yellowish-green.

There was a study done a few years ago that shows that sprouted garlic has more antioxidants. So, it is safe to eat your sprouted garlic, just remember that it tastes bitter. 

Why does garlic sprout?

Garlic sprouts normally because it has been exposed to too much heat or light. Sprouts grow when the garlic or allium ages. How do you notice when sprouts grow? When you cut your garlic, the green sprout has grown from the center. 

It is normal when garlic sprouts. When you buy it at the grocery store or your local market, it usually has been sitting for a while there. If you think about it, it has been a while since it was recollected. 

What to do with sprouted garlic?

Just cut the sprouts from your garlic. Remember, if you are doing a dish that depends on garlic flavor you better throw it away because it will give a bitter flavor to your food. 

If you are doing a recipe that calls for one or two cloves you can use it even if it has sprouts but if you are doing a garlic sauce, a recipe that calls for more than 10 or 20 cloves, you better use a new one. 

How to prevent garlic when sprouted?

You don’t have too much control over how grocery stores keep the garlic but when you get home it is better to keep it in a cool room, the temperature is better at 55 or 66 Fahrenheit, that’s about 12 to 18 degrees. You can store it in a paper bag or a breathable basket. 

  • Keep in a cool dry place
  • Avoid direct sunlight
  • Good air circulation
  • Freeze it 

Tips to store garlic:

Whole BulbCool dark place, well ventilated60-65 FahrenheitIt can last for months
Cloves (Individuals)Store right awayYou can refrigerate them or freeze themIf in your cupboard, use them within 10 days

What are the benefits of sprouted garlic?

According to the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, the result of a study done in 2014 shows that it’s beneficial to eat sprouted garlic. 

The result showed that when you let garlic sprouts the antioxidant activity is much higher than in garlic with no sprouts. Many people leave some food spots so they can consume more antioxidants in their diets. 

It’s important to highlight, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, that warm and humid conditions are the ones that help garlic to sprout but also can cause some pathogens such as Salmonella and Ecoli. So you should clean it very well when you eat. 

How to use sprouted garlic?

You can use sprouted garlic just as you use normal garlic, just remember that sprouted garlic can taste bitter. So, it depends on how much garlic you need in your recipe. 

For example, if you are making a sauce that doesn’t cook the garlic for too long, you better use new garlic. But if you are doing a recipe in the slow cooker with some chicken, onion, and some vegetables, you can use for sure sprouted garlic.  

Here is a recipe with sprouted garlic that you are going to love, click here


In this article we answered the question, can you eat garlic when it sprouts? We also answered why garlic sprouts, what to do with sprouted garlic, how to prevent garlic from sprouting, and some recipe ideas. 

If you have any questions, please ask me!


What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.