Garlic that has been cured properly can last quite a while with little fuss. However, sometimes as fall creeps in garlic that was harvested in summer needs to be used up sooner than later, to avoid sprouting and rot. Here are some ideas of ways to use and preserve fresh garlic for winter and spring use:
Minced and Canned: Yes you can CAN garlic. You need a pressure canner since garlic is low acid. You would treat it much as you would canning onions. For a full tutorial here is a good blog.
Oil: There is a risk of botulism supposedly if you let garlic sit in oil at room temperature for too long. You can however peel the cloves, leave them whole, chop or mince, put them in a jar, cover with olive oil, and tightly seal. There should be no problem if placed in the fridge for a few weeks. Freezing is also an option for longer term storage.
Vinegar: Essentially you are pickling the garlic, though the oils in the cloves never allow for a very “vinegar” taste. This is super easy to do and you can add herbs and spices to the mix to give it an extra kick. Pickled garlic garlic will last in the fridge for four months or so. Fill a jar with garlic cloves, top with white vinegar and seal. Salt is optional. Here is a great recipe (and the photo to the left).
Wine: You can do the same thing with dry white or red wine, as with vinegar (see above).
Freeze: Freezing is said to alter the texture and flavor but it can be a good option since you can freeze whole, unpeeled cloves. You can also peel or chop the garlic first but might consider pre-freezing on a cookie sheet so it doesn’t all get stuck together.
Dried: A simple and condensed way to use and store garlic. There are two ways to dry garlic, depending on whether you have a food dehydrator or not. For dehydrators you could dry halves, slices or even minced if you have a fruit leather tray. Follow instructions for the dehydrator, garlic should be crisp when finished. If you prefer to use an oven place halved garlic cloves on a baking sheet and bake at 140 degrees F for two hours. Then turn the heat down to 130 and continue to bake until the garlic is fully dried. You can grind the dried pieces up to make garlic powder.
Make Garlic Salt. You can use dried garlic to make garlic salt. Simply blend the dried garlic in a food processor until it forms a fine powder. Add sea salt (4 parts to every one of garlic powder) and pulse in the food processor a few times to combine. Store in glass jar in the cabinet.
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