For garlic lovers, there cannot be anything like too much garlic. Garlic is a flavor bomb that is used in dishes and recipes alike. Occasionally, we might run into a special sale on garlic and buy a little bit more than we need, to cut costs.
Garlic-heavy meals like spaghetti carbonara or one-pot pasta with clam sauce are a great way of using garlic intensively. But, your other alternative might be to preserve them before they go bad.
Can you freeze garlic? Yes, you can. Garlic would keep at its best quality for about 6 months in the freezer. However, freezing garlic affects the texture, making it a bit spongy or soft upon thawing. But, it leaves the flavor intact.
The idea of freezing garlic might have seemed impossible to some people up until now. But, garlic freezes exceptionally well. Garlic has a pungent flavor that has to be properly contained so that it doesn’t spread to every other food item you have stored in your freezer. If garlic is frozen properly, it can make cooking with it a breeze, and curb food poisoning that can be caught from garlic. Keep reading to find out how.
How to Freeze Garlic
Garlic can be frozen in different ways, according to one’s preference, availability of time, cooking styles, and various other factors. But we are going to talk about every way garlic can be frozen so that you can have a choice to pick.
- The Lazy Way
- Freezing Chopped Garlic
- Freezing Pureed Garlic in Olive Oil
The Lazy Way
I call it the lazy way because it doesn’t require any special effort whatsoever. But, this way keeps all of the versatility. In the sense that, since it’s still in its original state, you can do whatever you want with it.
Step 1: Preparation
If you would be getting the garlic from the store or your garden. Ensure that you only pick cloves that are in good condition. Cloves without spots, dust, or mold are best suitable. Remove the garlic bulbs from the clove and wipe them down with a dry cloth to remove dirt and debris.
You can decide to freeze your garlic unpeeled or peeled. But, I’ll advise that you peel them because it could be quite harder to peel after they have been frozen.
Step 2: Storage
Yeah, no effort whatsoever. Just peel the garlic bulbs, put them into glass jars in order to keep the pungent flavor out of your freezer. Seal the jars and place them in the freezer to freeze. Label the jars with the date of the freeze so you can keep track of how long you have stored them.
Freezing Chopped Garlic
When you need to use garlic in a dish or recipe, you end up chopping them so why not do it now?
Step 1: Preparation
Pick unblemished cloves of garlic. Clean the garlic to remove all of the dirt and debris. Remove the bulbs of garlic from the cloves and peel them.
Step 2: Chopping Garlic
Chopped garlic is super easy to use, the only downside is that you have to chop all the garlic you want to freeze at a go. So, get a sharp knife and start chopping the garlic.
Since you would be adding the chopped garlic straight into your dishes, you should chop them into the sizes that suit your recipe or cooking style.
Step 3: Storage
Pack the chopped garlic into Ziploc bags, heavy-duty freezer bags, or a vacuum sealer. Expel as much air as you can before sealing it. Press it flat before placing it in the freezer to freeze. This makes it easier to break off when you need to use it.
You can double or triple the bags to ensure that you keep the odor out of your freezer. Mark and label the bag with the content and date of the freeze.
Freezing Pureed Garlic in Olive Oil
Freezing garlic in oil gives you some oil with which you can sauté your dishes. This method requires the most preparation, so we are going to go straight into it. You must take care when carrying out this method to prevent food poisoning in the form of botulism.
Prep the garlic bulbs before pureeing them in a blender or food processor with olive oil. The correct measurement is two parts of oil to one part of garlic. You have to pack the pureed garlic immediately as exposure to air facilitates the growth of the bacteria Clostridium botulinum, which produces a botulism-causing toxin. Don’t leave it out for any second and put it in the freezer to freeze immediately.
Don’t forget to get your bags ready by labeling them before pureeing your garlic.
How to Thaw Frozen Garlic
Frozen garlic is best used as it is, Frozen. Always transfer frozen garlic in oil directly from the freezer to a cooking dish. This is because exposure to air can cause botulism food poisoning.
However, garlic not frozen in oil can be left out to thaw in the fridge. Avoid thawing your frozen garlic if you can as it is not healthy.
Does Garlic Lose Nutrients When Frozen?
Allicin is a compound gotten from crushing garlic. Allicin has been known to be a great antioxidant and help reduce inflammation. Freezing garlic doesn’t destroy the compounds that are present in them or damage the nutrients. Freezing garlic is a way of keeping the health benefits for a longer period.