Garlic is probably one of the most widely used foods to flavor and season dishes. It has been touted to have a whole host of health benefits resulting in garlic capsules and other supplement types of garlic products. Garlic is a member of the onion family and has been used in cooking and medicine for thousands of years. From heart disease and hypertension to cancer and beyond, garlic has been used for centuries to treat and prevent disease.
So how about using garlic today in the kitchen. I think people tend to have a great love or hate for garlic. I have friends that truly cannot get enough garlicky foods, while others really could do without it. There are so many popular dishes and recipes available that not only use garlic but also base the main flavors around garlic.
I have to say I’m not someone that seeks out garlickly dishes but using fresh garlic as opposed to dried really steps up the flavor in any meal. Since I do not use fresh garlic too often, I typically end up with a head of garlic that has been sitting on my counter for so long I’m waiting for it to flower. Obviously, it’s less than ideal to use it at that point so sadly I find myself throwing it away which is so wasteful.
Can You Freeze Garlic
Thankfully, I have now learned to address that head of garlic as soon as I bring it home from the supermarket. I usually buy it for a specific recipe, so I know at that point, how much I will use right away and how much I will need to preserve. I have found that freezing garlic is not only successful but also extremely convenient!
How To Freeze Garlic
There are a few ways to freeze garlic.
The first way is to freeze the garlic cloves/head whole.
- Simply wrap the intact garlic tightly in plastic wrap.
- Overwrap with aluminum foil.
- Place into freezer safe bags or containers.
- Label and date and place in the freezer.
Although this process is super quick and easy, it makes it a little difficult to remove the amount that you need each time.
The second method involves separating and peeling the cloves. This option takes a little longer up front but allows you to prepare the garlic just the way you use it for quick use later.
- Remove the cloves of garlic from the head.
- Peel each clove
- Either slice, crush, or mince the garlic gloves.
- Par-freeze the prepared garlic into unit of use amounts. (This will make it a snap to remove exactly the amount of garlic that you need for each use.)
- Place the individually frozen garlic into freezer safe bags or container being sure to remove as much air as possible.
- Label, date and place in the freezer. (Garlic will last in the freezer up to 12 months.)
The third method of freezing garlic is my personal favorite. It uses oil (I love avocado oil and well as olive oil) as a base for the garlic. My theory is that the garlic is typically gently cooked in oil initially for most dishes (that I make anyway), so the thawed garlic is ready to go right into the pan. It also works great is using the garlic to make pestos as the oil has been infusing with garlic all along.
- Remove the cloves of garlic from the head and peel.
- Chop, slice or mince the cloves to your liking.
- Place some prepared in garlic in ice cube trays and cover with the oil of your choosing.
- Freeze the oil until firm.
- Place the “cubes” into freezer safe bags or containers.
- Label, date and place in the freezer.
How To Thaw Garlic
Using the prepared garlic is easy and quick. Just remove the amount of garlic that you need for your recipes and let it warm to room temperature before using. Please note that garlic preserved in oil should be used right away once thawed.