Community Magazine Charities - Spring 2017

For The Love Of The Clove

Amy Cavalier 2017-03-03 01:30:16

It might give you bad breath, but a little garlic can go a long way toward improving your health Move over broccoli. Step aside carrots. It turns out there’s another vegetable in your kitchen that can help reduce inflammation, as well as maintain a healthy heart, studies say. It's also been known to ward off vampires. Garlic has been used as a medicine throughout human history. Ancient Chinese and Indian cultures used garlic to help with respiration and digestion. It has been recommended for treatment of arthritis, toothaches, chronic cough, constipation and even as an antibiotic. In some Western countries, the sale of garlic supplements joins the ranks of leading prescription drugs, according to the 2014 National Institutes of Health study, “Garlic: a review of potential therapeutic effects.” “Garlic is a rich source of vitamins, minerals and naturally-occurring compounds like flavonoids that are critical to maintaining good health,” says registered dietitian Emily Kyle of Rochester, New York. The compounds in garlic have been found to decrease cholesterol and triglycerides and provide anti-inflammatory benefits, Kyle says. Garlic has also been shown to help stave off plaque buildup in the arteries, high blood pressure and cancer, and it contains antiviral properties, according to Dr. Tom Campbell, co-founder and clinical director of the University of Rochester Medical Center Program for Nutrition in Medicine. Although we can gobble up the health benefits of garlic in both raw and cooked forms, evidence shows that heat can destroy some of the good stuff it contains that our bodies need. Kyle suggests keeping it on the cool side. “If you want to get creative, you can add it to salad dressings such as vinaigrettes, to butter and enjoy it on toast, or to homemade salsa, guacamole or mashed potatoes,” she says. If eating raw garlic doesn’t sound appealing, you can buy garlic supplements at your local health food store. Kyle says garlic supplements can be powerful and potent, and are unregulated, which can make them potentially dangerous. Side effects can include bad breath, heartburn, gas, nausea, vomiting, body odor, diarrhea and a burning sensation in the mouth or stomach. “It is important to consult with your health care provider, such as a registered dietitian, when introducing new or large amounts of anything to your diet,” Kyle says. “Garlic is an herb and has the ability to interact with other herbs, supplements or medications you may already be taking.” Kyle suggests consulting with a medical professional if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or considering adding garlic or garlic supplements to children’s diets. “Garlic has the ability to thin the blood and can be especially dangerous for those who take blood-thinning medications, people with ulcers or thyroid problems,” she says. She suggests buying garlic that comes from a reputable grocery store or local farmers market. Be sure to wash it before you add it to foods to steer clear of dirt and insects, Kyle says. And like any food, don’t overdo it. Eat garlic in moderation, Campbell says. “Include garlic in your diet frequently, but don’t eat garlic and think it’s going to negate the slice of pie you had after lunch,” he says. “People should focus on their diet as a collection of whole foods and try to consume unrefined, unprocessed plants as much as possible.” 3 WAYS TO GET CREATIVE WITH GARLIC Pesto, a sauce made of crushed herb leaves, pine nuts, garlic and olive oil, and which is typically served atop pasta, is a great way to get your cloves. Feel a cold coming on? simmer eight to 12 cloves of crushed and peeled garlic in two cups of water for 10 minutes. strain out the garlic and combine the remaining water with the juice from one fresh lemon. add honey to taste. If you enjoy making your own fresh juice, toss a few garlic cloves in with your fruits and veggies. ROASTED TOMATO AND GARLIC SALSA Makes about 6 servings This salsa has classic flavors but with the added flare and health benefits of roasted garlic. 3 large tomatoes, quartered 1 small yellow onion, quartered 4 garlic cloves 1 small jalapeño, cut in half and remove seeds 1/2 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 teaspoons lime juice 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon cumin Cooking spray Preheat oven to 400°. Spray a large metal baking pan with cooking spray. in a medium sized mixing bowl, combine tomatoes, onions, jalapeño, garlic and olive oil. mix to coat all vegetables with oil. Spread on to baking pan, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until vegetables are soft and lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. transfer to a blender or food processor. add salt, cumin, lime juice and cilantro and blend until smooth. let salsa cool completely before enjoying! Can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. HONEY GARLIC CHICKEN WINGS These wings will come out of the oven golden brown and crispy, and the honey garlic glaze will leave everyone wanting more. • Wings: 2 pounds chicken wings 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons black pepper • Honey garlic sauce: 1/2 cup honey 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 tablespoon brown sugar 4 garlic cloves, minced 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper Preheat oven to 400°. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. toss wings with olive oil, salt and pepper to coat. Place wings in a single layer on pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown and internal temperature reaches 165°. While wings are baking, prepare the glaze by combining all ingredients in a small saucepan. Place over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, or until it is reduced by about 1/4. Set aside. once wings are finished cooking, place in a large bowl, pour glaze over and toss. Serve immediately. GARLIC AND GINGER SPICED CHICKPEAS Makes about 4 servings 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 1 tablespoon chopped garlic 1 tablespoon minced ginger 1/2 cup chopped green onions 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon cumin 2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce 1 tablespoon brown sugar Heat a large skillet over medium heat. add olive oil, garlic, ginger and green onions. Stir continuously over medium heat to keep the garlic from getting dark brown. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until ingredients are softened. add brown sugar and soy sauce, stirring constantly for about a minute, being careful to not let the sugar burn. add chickpeas, reduce heat to low. let cook about ten minutes, stirring occasionally. TIPS AND TRICKS Storage Whole garlic heads can be stored in a cool dry place for 3-5 months. Be sure to store in a well ventilated container, such as a mesh bag. Taste Garlic contains sulphur compounds that produce the strong flavor and smell. When garlic is cut small, it releases more of these compounds, creating even more of the strong flavor. So if you’re looking for that extra strong flavor, mince the garlic. But if you want less of the pungent garlic notes and a slightly sweeter flavor use crushed garlic. Quick Tip if you want to get creative with garlic, add it to salad dressings, such as vinaigrettes, to butter and enjoy it on toast, or to homemade salsa, guacamole or mashed potatoes, registered dietitian emily Kyle says.

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