SCIENTIFIC NAME

Allium sativum

CLASSIFICATION

Vegetable

SEASON

January, October, November, December

About

Garlic is such a powerful food it is often given mystical properties that are a little beyond the realm, however it appears that garlic may improve your health by increasing resistance to the common cold and has some very exciting possibilities about lowering blood pressure and improving circulation.

It is has become one of the most commonly used herbs in today’s cooking and is available 12 months of the year. Garlic is very time consuming and labour intensive to grow, so in between the Australian growing season, significant volumes of fresh garlic are imported from the USA, Argentina, Mexico and China.

Garlic is very time consuming and labour intensive to grow, so in between the Australian growing season, significant volumes of fresh garlic are imported from the USA, Argentina, Mexico and China.

Garlic can be stored for months, so it is not uncommon to find garlic from these regions outside of their harvest periods.

Varieties

There are two main types of garlic, classified as hardnecks and softnecks, but the differences are more related to growing and production climates. Most garlic has some type of purple colouring either on the outside of the skin or underneath.

Look for clean firm bulbs of fresh garlic, old garlic tends to dehydrate or sprout (depending on the conditions it’s stored in).

Garlic keeps well refrigerated or stored in a cool dark place.

There are lots of useful kitchen tools that make fresh garlic easy and quick to use these days. The most popular include garlic presses that also remove the skin and crush the garlic at the same time, so you don’t need to touch the clove.

The flat side of a large knife can also be used to crush the clove, then trim away the skin and chop the raw garlic either roughly or finely, depending on the dish. Try throwing garlic cloves in whole with the vegies, next time you’re cooking a roast. Once cooked, peel off the skin and you’ll have a mild creamy flavoured garlic clove which you can eat as is or blend in with other ingredients, such as a cauliflower, potato or parsnip mash.

Garlic has been known through the ages as a powerful herb with medicinal properties. It is packed with nutrients, anti-oxidants and may prevent against coronary artery diseases, infections and cancer.

GARLIC
Nutrient Value per 100 g
Proximates
Energy, including dietary fibre 522 kJ
Moisture 59.9 g
Protein 6.1 g
Nitrogen 0.98 g
Fat 2.8 g
Ash 1.4 g
Dietary fibre 16.9 g
Fructose 0.6 g
Glucose 1.3 g
Surcose 0.4 g
Total sugars 1.5 g
Starch 8.7 g
Available carbohydrate, without sugar alcohols 10.2 g
Available carbohydrate, with sugar alcohols 10.2 g
Organic Acids
Malic acid 0.2 g
Citric acid 0.6 g
Minerals
Arsenic (As) 6.3 mg
Cadmium (Cd) 2.8 mg
Calcium (Ca) 30 mg
Iron (Fe) 1.7 mg
Magnesium (Mg) 25 mg
Potassium (K) 510 mg
Sodium (Na) 8 mg
Zinc (Zn) 1 mg
Vitamins
Thiamin (B1) 0.09 mg
Riboflavin (B2) 0.06 mg
Niacin (B3) 0.8 mg
Niacin Equivalents 1.82 mg
Folate, natural 3 ug
Total folates 3 ug
Dietary folate equivalents 3 ug
Alpha carotene 0 ug
Beta carotene 10 ug
Cryphoxanthin 0 ug
Beta carotene equivalents 10 ug
Retinol equivalents 2 ug
Vitamin C 11 mg