LifestyleEnhance your dishes and boost immunity with black garlic

Enhance your dishes and boost immunity with black garlic

Black garlic
Black garlic
Images source: © Adobe Stock
3:56 PM EST, November 18, 2023

Black garlic, a derivative of white garlic fermented to achieve superior nutritional and pharmaceutical health properties, belongs to the category of superfoods and nutraceuticals. Its unique flavor-enhancing abilities make it a standout ingredient in a variety of dishes.

The creation of black garlic involves fermenting fresh white garlic at an approximate temperature of 158 degrees Fahrenheit. Initially introduced by Koreans, black garlic differs from its white counterpart in both color and taste, offering a more digestible variant that can be consumed in larger quantities without causing discomfort.

The health benefits of black garlic

Recognized for its wealth of health benefits, black garlic's fermentation process enhances the absorption of its active components by the body. Although it possesses less allicin, the substance responsible for antibacterial and antiviral properties, as compared to white garlic, black garlic significantly stimulates the immune system.

Black garlic is produced as a result of the fermentation of white garlic cloves.
Black garlic is produced as a result of the fermentation of white garlic cloves.© Wikimedia Commons | Jacek Halicki, CC BY-SA 4.0

This potent immune boost can be credited to its high antioxidant content, especially a potent substance known as s-allylcysteine (SAC). This makes black garlic a recommended food, especially during autumn, a period of increased susceptibility to various infections and colds. Its potency in strengthening the immune system also contributes to preventing a variety of diseases, including cancer.

Other favorable properties black garlic possesses include its anti-inflammatory action, its capability to reduce "bad" cholesterol, lower blood pressure, slow down aging processes, and aids in weight loss.

Culinary uses of black garlic

Black garlic can be directly consumed and is less odorous and strong than white garlic due to the fermentation process. It introduces a taste blend of sour with hints of sweetness and umami, which according to Koreans, is similar to a mix of dried plums, espresso, and balsamic vinegar with a slight hint of anise. Moreover, black garlic leaves no undesirable odor in your mouth as compared to white garlic.

With its soft and aromatic texture, black garlic is easy to spread, and it is perfect for spreading on bread or toast. It also marries well with marinated meats, sushi, soups, sauces, dips, as well as salads and vegetable pastes.

Black garlic is available for purchase at health food stores, online, and in certain supermarkets. Though some adventurous home enthusiasts try making it at home, it isn't recommended. Maintaining the optimal temperature for its two-month fermentation process can be challenging, and failure to do so may result in the garlic starting to rot.

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