Can you eat green garlic?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “Can you eat green garlic?” with an in-depth analysis of green garlic, the nutritional composition of green garlic, how to store and prepare green garlic as well as the ways to use green garlic. 

Can you eat green garlic?

Yes, you can eat green garlic. The whole green garlic is safe to consume. Green garlic can be eaten raw in salads or sliced for sandwiches or it can be sautéed, stir-fried as well as simmered in a soup. 

For a light side dish, add lightly browned green garlic to add fragrance to rice, or use it in a creamy sauce for roasted potatoes.

What is green garlic?

Green Garlic, also known as spring garlic, is garlic that is harvested before the bulb forms. The bulb looks like that of green onion, although sometimes it may be a little bigger. It is used as a herb, for seasoning. 

Green garlic is harvested in the spring when the stalks are about the height of 10 to 16 inches.

Green Garlic does not mean the following types of green garlic:

  • Raw garlic can turn green if it reacts with copper, is exposed to sunlight, is not fully grown when mixed with something acidic, or iodized salt. 
  • Garlic can also go green if it has gone bad with mould on it which is not safe to eat.

The taste of green garlic lies somewhere between a green onion and mature garlic. It is fresh and zingy, with a grasslike sweetness and some earthlike aromatics.

The nutritional composition of green garlic

Green garlic comprises similar nutrients as found in full-grown garlic, for instance, allicin, a sulfur compound and natural antibiotic, manganese, a mineral linked to good cholesterol and iron.

  • Calories: 4
  • Protein: 0.18 g
  • Fat: 0.01g
  • Carbohydrates: 0.93 g
  • Fiber: 0.1 g
  • Natural sugars: 0.03 g
  • Calcium: 5 mg
  • Iron: 0.05 mg (0.03% of the daily value)
  • Magnesium: 1 mg
  • Potassium: 11 mg
  • Vitamin C: 0.9 mg (0.02% of the DV)

Green garlic is also thought to be a source of amino acids and enzymes, which can help the body in building muscles and protect gut health, respectively.

How to store green garlic

Green garlic should be kept in a refrigerator for five to seven days. For this purpose, wrap it in a damp paper towel before placing it in a plastic bag; or for a non-plastic option, attach the green garlic in a tall glass with little water in the bottom. 

How to prepare green garlic

To prepare green garlic, cut off the very bottom of the bulb, and use all of the tender white and light green portions. Dark green leaves can be preserved for stock or used for adding extra flavour to a soup.

Ways to use green garlic

Green garlic can be used in a variety of ways, that include: 

Fresh

The bulb and tender stalks of green garlic can be used as a substitute for garlic, onions, scallions, or shallots in almost any recipe. They can be enjoyed when sautéed with other vegetables, added to soups, in pesto, or minced and added to a salad dressing.

Roasted

Roasted green garlic is tasty just like mature roasted garlic. 

One method to roast green garlic requires wrapping garlic in tin foil and roast it in the oven till it is soft. Another way to roast garlic is as follows: 

  • Strip away the stronger external layers, then put the garlic in a glass pan. 
  • Spray some extra virgin olive oil to coat it slightly, and add some salt and pepper. 
  • At 400 degrees Fahrenheit, roast the green garlic in an oven until it is soft and golden brown.
  • The time will differ based on the thickness and age of the green garlic you are using. For larger and more mature bulbs, roasting for 20 minutes covered and 10 minutes uncovered works well. 
  • Flip over the chunks at least once while baking to precisely roast each side.

Green Garlic Powder

The most reliable way to preserve green garlic is to dry it and make garlic powder. It is a delightful addition to a variety of meals. When stored right, garlic powder can stay fresh for over a year.

To make garlic powder: 

  • Thinly cut the garlic, and dry it thoroughly in a food dehydrator. 
  • Then, grind into a fine powder in a coffee grinder or food processor. 
  • Store in an air-tight container and enjoy.

Freeze

Green garlic can also be preserved in a freezer. This way it can be added to a variety of dishes whenever needed.

Pickle

Another way to preserve green garlic is to pickle it. To pickle green garlic: 

  • Cut and strip away any hardtop and external parts, exposing the most tender central pieces. 
  • Place in a jar with vinegar-based brine and seasonings of your preference. 

Additionally, green garlic can also be fermented or preserved in oil. Green garlic that is fermented is a commonly recommended method to preserve it.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we have answered the question, “Can you eat green garlic?” with an in-depth analysis of green garlic, the nutritional composition of green garlic, how to store and prepare green garlic as well as the ways to use green garlic. 

References

https://www.foodandwine.com/seasonings/everything-you-need-know-about-green-garlic
https://www.cooksinfo.com/green-garlic
https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/diet/garlic-benefits-nutrition-how-cook-with-it-top-sellers-more/

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.