By now, everyone knows that garlic is good for you -- really, really good for you. These spicy, aromatic bulbs are said to be anti-cancer, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant (and of course, anti-vampire). Garlic may also lower blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure, reduce arterial plaque, thin your blood, and prevent colds and other viruses. World War I soldiers were given garlic to prevent gangrene, and today, agricultural scientists are using garlic as an environmentally sound way to get rid of slugs and snails. Some people swear that eating garlic keeps mosquitoes away.
Here's the tricky thing about garlic: To activate the health-giving compounds, you must crush or mince garlic. Then, to avoid deactivating these compounds, you have to let the crushed garlic sit for 10 to 15 minutes before heating it. If you're a fan of roasting whole bulbs, give the bulbs a gentle crushing (you can just roll them on the counter using your body weight to smush them a little) and slice off their tops, then let them stand before putting them in the oven.
Reviewed by Susan Weiner RD, MS, CDE, CDN, 03/08
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