HOW MUCH IS A CLOVE OF GARLIC MINCED?
In this brief guide, we will see ‘how much is a clove of garlic minced?’ We will also see what health benefits of garlic are there that have made garlic such a popular and commonly used ingredient in many cuisines and how to easily mince it.
How much is a clove of garlic minced?
A hefty clove of garlic, when finely minced yields a teaspoon of minced garlic. Based on this guide; 2 cloves are equal to 2 teaspoons while 3 cloves are equal to a tablespoon (3 teaspoons is equal to a tablespoon).
What is garlic?
Garlic (Allium sativum L.) belongs to the lily family and is related to onions, shallots and leeks. Botanically a member of the Lillaceae family and Allium genus, it is considered to be rich in medicinal properties. Grown all around the world but the main cultivator of garlic is china. Appearance-wise a ‘head’ or ‘knob’ of garlic have individual segments ‘ cloves’ enclosed within a pale papery skin (1).
The undamaged bulbs contain allin which will be enzymatically converted to allicin during cutting. Allicin, is the major bioactive compound found in garlic followed by other organosulfur compounds. Allicin is known to be an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidative and anti-cancer property, making garlic a common functional food. Functional foods are those foods that offer health benefits beyond their nutraceutical values. According to European research, food products can only be considered functional if together with the basic nutritional impact it has beneficial effects on one or more functions of the human organism thus either improving the general and physical conditions or/and decreasing the risk of the evolution of diseases (1).
Different factors in processing can affect the bioactivity of garlic extracts. Undamaged garlic bulbs have S-allyl-L-cysteine sulfoxide (allin) and γ-glutamyl cysteine derivatives as the main compounds while steam distilled oils are rich in sulfide family compounds. Dried garlic powder is rich in allin and diallyl disulfides. Macerates (ground garlic) are enriched extractions with sulfide family compounds, dithiines, and (E–Z)-ajoene compounds. And soaked, sliced, aged garlic extract in ethanol solution contains S-allyl-Cysteine (SAC) and S-allyl mercaptocysteine . Garlic is being used since ancient history for different therapeutic effects (1).
What health benefits does garlic provide?
Garlic has been used for centuries for its health benefits, some of them are;
Medicinal properties – garlic has been used for its health benefits since ancient times. The health and medicinal effects are due to its high sulfur profile. Used to treat common cold and athlete’s foot since ancient times.
Immunity booster – some researchers have suggested that garlic boosts immunity and reduces the occurrence of common colds and skin infections. Garlic appears to enhance the functioning of the immune system by stimulating certain cell types, such as macrophages, lymphocytes, natural killer cells, dendritic cells, and eosinophils, by mechanisms including modulation of cytokine secretion, immunoglobulin production, phagocytosis, and macrophage activation (2).
Reduced blood pressure and blood sugar levels – garlic have been found to have such an active compound that not only regulates your blood pressure but also reduces pre-meal blood sugar levels. Clinical reports have revealed the potential benefits of garlic as a modulator of multiple cardiovascular features through lowering low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and blood pressure, reducing platelet aggregation and adhesion, preventing LDL oxidation, and reducing the progression of atherosclerosis (2).
Reduces cholesterol levels – garlic has been found to be effective against lowering cholesterol levels in many and combats the risks of heart diseases. A study showed that the prolonged use of garlic extract (4 weeks) could reduce serum total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), very–low density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterols and triglyceride levels of patients suffering of high cholesterol levels in the blood. An increased level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) level was observed (1).
Source of antioxidants – antioxidants within garlic is found to reduce oxidative damage on the body and body tissues, slowing the process of aging and protecting the body from many harmful health diseases. It is known that the aqueous garlic extract exerts antioxidant action by scavenging reactive oxygen species and enhancing cellular antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase (2).
Detoxify – the sulfur-rich profile of garlic is said to protect the organs from heavy metal toxicity.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, 100 g of garlic contains:
|Total lipid (fat)||0.5||g|
How to mince garlic?
There are several gadgets and kitchen tools available in the market that ease the work of mincing and chopping garlic, making it seem like a piece of cake. When in reality these said gadgets or tools are not pocket-friendly, not easy to operate and sometimes leaves a much bigger mess.
Some manufacturers offer pre-minced garlic these days but trust me freshly minced garlic takes your food to a new level and is not that difficult. All you need is a bunch of garlic, a cutting board and a knife.
- Simply start by peeling the cloves – can be done by knife or hand by simply smashing the clove with the flat surface of the knife over a chopping board and voila skins gone.
- Then simply make longitudinal cuts back and forth by simply following a back and forth motion of the knife.
- Then rotate the longitudinal pieces and place vertical cuts.
- You get chopped garlic.
- Keep placing cuts and wiping your knife to remove stuck garlic.
- That’s how you mince a clove of garlic.
- And remember practice and patience lets anyone master such delicate forms of art.
How to store minced garlic?
Never store your minced garlic as it is in the fridge. It will lose its flavor and all of its health benefits much quicker than you’ll be able to save them. If you are planning to store it, it’s suggested to store the garlic in a medium that will prevent such greater losses.
Simply put your minced garlic in an airtight jar and fill half of the jar with any neutral oil. Make sure you are leaving ½ an inch of headspace in the jar. In such a way you can store the garlic for a week in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer.
To prevent garlic from enzymatic browning by the action of peroxidase during freezing storage and freeze-thaw process, garlic can be blanched. When properly done, the blanching will inactivate the enzyme without damaging the aroma and pungency of the garlic. The best blanching condition is boiling in water at 100 °C for 45 s following cooling in an ice bath. Blanching also decreases the texture damage caused by freezing and delay microbial spoilage (3).
Is pre-minced garlic bad?
Garlic is added in dishes mostly as an aromatic and flavor enhancing compound. The pre-minced jarred garlic, due to the processing steps, loses all the aromatic and flavor compounds. Moreover, to give the jarred variety a better shelf life, heavy doses of preservatives are added (5).
Any convenience product like garlic powder, garlic paste or pre-minced garlic, all the variety goes through heavy processing which results in greater losses. Are they bad? Yes, they are. They only save time but what’s the point of this when you are not getting any benefit out of it. A study showed that frozen storage at -20°C maintained the antioxidant activity of garlic better than raw storage (4).
So it is best to opt for freshly minced and mince just before you cook to ensure you get the maximum flavor, aroma and functional properties of garlic.
In this article, a commonly arisen question i.e. ‘how much is a clove of garlic minced?’ is answered, also, some of the health benefits of garlic are covered and an easy guide to mincing garlic is also discussed.
Hopefully, you found this helpful. Any queries or comments will be very much appreciated.
- Amarakoon, Suweesha, and Dulan Jayasekara. A review on garlic (Allium sativum L.) as a functional food. J Pharmacog Phytochem, 2017, 6, 1777-1780.
- Arreola, Rodrigo, et al. Immunomodulation and anti-inflammatory effects of garlic compounds. J immun res, 2015, 2015.
- Zhang, Bin, et al. Effect of blanching and freezing on the physical properties, bioactive compounds, and microstructure of garlic (Allium sativum L.). J Food Sci, 2021, 86, 31-39.
- Çubukçu, Hikmet Can, Nazlı Seda Durak Kılıçaslan, and İlker Durak. Different effects of heating and freezing treatments on the antioxidant properties of broccoli, cauliflower, garlic and onion. An experimental in vitro study. S P Med J, 2019, 137, 407-413
- Abo, Barbara, et al. Acidification of garlic and herbs for consumer preparation of infused oils. Food Protec Trend, 2014, 34, 247-257.