Friday Faves: Garlic + Garlic Press

Friday Faves is a series of bi-weekly blog posts about my favorite products, most of which I use during my everyday life. The following product endorsement is based 100% on my own personal opinions.

The Benefits & Beauty of Garlic –

Fresh garlic is a beautiful thing. It smells great sizzling in a skillet, tastes great in all types of dishes, and even has healing properties. But little did I know that besides smell and flavor, the list also needs to include appearance.

Garlic Press

Most of the time, garlic just look like…well, garlic. White flaky bulbs of goodness. But yesterday, as I prepared 10 bulbs which was equal to about 100 cloves (Ambitious, or crazy?), I noticed a lot of beautiful characteristics about this popular root vegetable.

Garlic Heart Garlic Colors

First, once pulled away, the off-white exterior (called leaf scale) turns into an almost iridescent pile of flower petals. Second, some of those inner leaf scales have a very light blush coloring. The coloring only becomes more pronounced once you reach the cloves. I felt like I’d hit the jackpot, and all my blush colored dreams had come true. (So pretty!)

Garlic Sprouts

Lastly, just when I thought I’d already discovered all the pretty characteristics of garlic, little specks of green started to appear as I cut into the cloves. Now, supposedly, those green specks (called sprouts) mean the garlic cloves have been around awhile. Which I can’t say I’m surprised about, because I live in a rural area. But that doesn’t mean the green specks are bad, just that the clove is a little less robust in flavor. And if left in place, may impart a slightly bitter taste. (Guess what, I’ll risk it)

The Garlic Press: A Better Option –

The garlic press has only been on my radar for about the past five years, but now I use it all the time. Before, I honestly had no idea the garlic press was even a thing. In fact, for about a year, I only saw it in our silverware drawer. I never even touched it until I finally asked my husband what it was.

Garlic Press 1

When he informed me that it was a garlic press, and told me how it worked, I’m pretty sure he could see the lightbulb go off in my head. (My dumbfounded look and dropped jaw was a dead giveaway. Go figure!) I’m also pretty sure that our next week’s grocery list included a clove of garlic. (Weird, huh?)

Garlic Press 2

Here’s the thing: I’m really good at chopping things, pretty good at dicing things, and really bad at mincing things. Needless to say, I used to hate when a recipe called for minced garlic. The cloves are awkward shapes to cut. The knives are never sharp enough. And the garlic sticks to knives (and fingers) which makes it super annoying to even try!

Garlic Press 3

You might be wondering…why didn’t you just buy those pre-minced, jars of garlic? First, a garlic clove is super cheap. Second, I’ve tried that before, and it just never took. The jar would always just sit in the fridge and meet its expiration date. Third, sometimes it’s just nice to cook a meal completely from scratch, with fresh ingredients I’ve prepared myself. Not to mention, I don’t have to worry about additives and preservatives this way. (i.e. Store bought, minced garlic uses phosphoric acid.)

Anyway, back to it…

A Kitchen Essential –

Obviously, I was happy to learn there was an alternative option—the garlic press. Talk about a game changer! Oddly enough, now I use my garlic press to make my own jars of fresh, additive-free, minced garlic. I only mince and jar as much garlic as I need to last the week, usually 1 clove, which lasts 7 days in the fridge. And with any of the excess, I make frozen garlic cubes for later use. Here’s how:

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Minced Garlic5tsp Fresh Minced Garlic

Prep Time: 10–20 minutes; Quantity: 5 teaspoons

Ingredients:

1 bulb garlic

Misc. Equipment:

Garlic press
Baby food jar
Ice cube tray

Directions:

1. Pull away the white exterior and discard. Then separate the cloves.

Separating Garlic Cloves

2. Cut off the 2 tips of each clove, then lightly cut a line down the middle of the clove.

Cutting Garlic Clove 1

3. Next, repeat and remove the casing from all the cloves. (Note: It’s extremely handy to have a wet towel within reach to remove any stickiness you might encounter from this point forward.)

Cutting Garlic Clove 2

4. Depending on size, fill the garlic press chamber with 1–3 cloves. Then press the handles together, to mince the garlic through the press’ small holes. Use a knife to scrape the minced garlic from the press. Open and remove any excess garlic skin from the press chamber.

Garlic in Press Chamber

For Immediate Use (Sautéing) –

1. Melt 1–2 teaspoons of butter, or add oil, to a pan over medium heat.

Cooking Garlic

2. Add the minced garlic to the pan. Stir frequently, and cook until lightly golden and fragrant, approximately 30–60 seconds.

Pressed Garlic

For Refrigerator Storage –

1. Wash a glass baby food jar, and remove the label.

Cleaning Baby Jar

2. Once clean, reuse the jar to store the minced garlic in the fridge for up to 7 days.

Minced Garlic Jar

For Freezer Storage –

1. Wash an ice cube tray. (Note: You may want to buy a new tray so as not to have garlic flavored ice in the future.)

2. Once clean, use a teaspoon to measure and press the minced garlic into the bottom of the tray. Cover with foil, and freeze overnight.

Freezing Garlic Cubes

3. When needed, pop out of the tray to use. Then either let thaw, or immediately sauté. The garlic cubes can be stored in the fridge for up to 2–3 months.

Storing Garlic in Freezer

If you give any of these methods a try, let me know what you think! I hope you enjoy using a garlic press and storing fresh garlic as much as I do! Leave a comment below, or tag a photo of your fresh minced garlic @hopesimmonsdesign on Instagram.

 

Notes:

– For the sprout information: Marge, MyRecipes.com

– As far as measurements go: ½ teaspoon of minced garlic is approximately 1 clove.

– Pictured above is my first and only garlic press, and it’s working and looking just as good as it did the first time I tried it. So, I’d recommend Kitchenaid. However, WARNING! If you look online there are some harsh ratings and comments about this item. So, if you’re wary and in the market for a new garlic press, there are many other brands in a variety of price ranges for you to choose from!

Disclaimer: These posts are not sponsored by the featured product brands; nor am I to be held liable for any statements or recommendations deemed inaccurate or unreliable stated here.

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