Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sneaky Nutrition - Garlic

Raise your hand if you often use garlic in your cooking. I’d imagine that just about everyone who stops by and sees that request will be able to raise her (his) hand. I know I sure can—both hands. Hands down, it’s my favorite seasoning. I use the powder for sprinkling on meat, but for the most part, I like the fresh cloves for other things. It makes so many foods taste scrumptious—all veggies, potatoes, soups, stews, casseroles, etc. etc. I haven’t tried my hand at using it in any desserts, but wonder if anybody else has. Doesn’t seem to go, does it?

Now, raise your hand if you already know how healthy garlic is. Not quite so many hands on this one? Let me tell you, this is one food item that is GOOD for us. Don’t worry about the garlic smell on your breath and hands. You’ve got to start chopping, slicing, grinding or pressing it into lots of dishes. You can’t be too sneaky with the familiar smell and taste, but your family will be unsuspecting that you might be helping them to fight an infection, control their blood pressure and cleanse their systems at the same time. I won’t hand you too long of a list of benefits, which would take up too much of your time, but go check it out. Just “google” the word and see what you find out.

As always in my Sneaky Nutrition posts, I have a family recipe to hand down. This time I want to share how I now cook collard greens. I’ve given up using the salty meat which has been traditional in our culture for as long as I can remember. Here’s how I cook them now:

I’m sorry, but there are no exact measurements for this one. The amounts are approximate.

One or two pounds of fresh collards [or kale, mustard, turnip greens]
3 to 5 cloves garlic, chopped or sliced
small onion chopped
1 to 2 cups of chicken broth
olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Red pepper if desired.,

Wash the greens, several times, especially if they are fresh from a garden. Sauté the garlic and onions in a little olive oil. When translucent, add the broth and seasonings. The amount of broth depends on the amount of greens. (If you use regular bouillon, you won’t need salt. Goya has the best!) When the broth is boiling, add the greens. The broth should come no where near covering the greens—they will cook down. Cook on medium high for about ten minutes, then turn on slow and simmer until they are tender.

Then serve them to your family with chicken cooked with garlic powder, garlic mashed potatoes, and garlic bread. Humbly take your bows as you listen to the hand clapping which will follow.

[Fun fact: What word appears multiple times in this post and how many times is it there? It appears in both singular and plural form.]


Beka said...

Ooh, good one-- we LOVE us some garlic around here! One of our favorite garlic-laden dishes is our spinach pizza, in which we saute a few cloves in olive oil and then brush it over pizza dough, then top with fresh spinach leaves and extra-sharp white Cheddar. Yummy!!
Here's an interesting fact: we just heard this recently. Apparently, when you crush or mince garlic, it is better to do so about 10 minutes before you cook it, to allow for the formation of a compound called allicin, which is a healthful substance. The only problem is that I always forget to press the garlic ahead of time!

Maxine said...

Thanks, Beka, I didn't know about the 10 minute thing. I knew about the allicin though. Isn't God gracious to have given His Creation so many natural health foods? Garlic is another evidence of His mercies to us, which I should have said in the post itself.

lisa leichner said...

I have been lurking for a while, I think I first saw your comments on Monica Smart's blog. I couldn't resist commenting today because I love games -- and as a former pampered chef consultant, I know a few tips about garlic!

Pampered Chef has an AWESOME garlic press! I love using fresh garlic too. Also, if you get the smell of garlic on your hands, rub them on your stainless steel sink faucet to get the smell off. Don't ask me why that works!! (Of course, with the garlic press, you don't get the smell on your hands! (o; ) Okay, sorry about the plug for the Pampered Chef. Really, I don't work for them anymore! Ha.

I think your multiple word is hand(s). And I think I saw it 11 times.

God's blessings to you this day!

Beverly said...

Hands are raised here!!! I L-O-V-E garlic.

I love angel hair pasta and chicken with garlic white sauce. Yummy!!

I didn't know about the allicin ... great to know!

Sara said...

I love garlic too!! I just used it in a shrimp dish I made on Sunday for my mom.

Lori said...

Oooo I"m going to say garlic or green! Not sure!? Yes - Garlic is my favorite too and I'm so glad that I don't have to give it up to do my special diet!!! It his highly welcome in my new diet!! Yum. Great recipe - I will have to try it!

Susie said...

We use lots of garlic here too! This menu sounds "breathtaking" Good to have plenty of Scope on hand for this one :)

chrisd said...


one of my favorite smells

Maxine said...

We've got a garlic fan club going here! Let's start one!
The word was hand(s), so Lisa was right-11 times. Lori, I didn't realize I had said "greens" that many times!! Good grief! What kind of writer is that. I knew "garlic" was repeated, but that couldn't be helped.
Susie, your play on words was neat, I wish I had used that.
Thanks for the recipes and tips.
BTW, Lisa, I ordered that garlic press!

lisa leichner said...

Hope you have fun with it. :o) It's one of my favorites from PC. And yes, I have several "favorites." (o;