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Garlic is my favorite thing to grow in the garden, but what if your crop is too bountiful? Find out what to do with excess garlic from the garden. For more on how to use other excess produce from your garden, check this out.
We grow over 100 heads of garlic every year in our preschool garden. Why? I love it, I love sharing it, I love growing it. It’s easy, foolproof, pests don’t bother it much, and it’s easy for the kids to plant and harvest. It’s the perfect thing for our preschool garden. Here’s how you can grow garlic in your garden. (For seed garlic the kids grew here, check our Etsy store)
For more amazing ideas to do with excess produce from the garden, click here.
There are so many cool things you can use garlic for. So, if you grew too much and your neighbors are all crazy and don’t want any, you can make it into a ton of yummy things.
Roasted garlic is A-Mazing! It tastes good on anything. I love to roast a bunch of it in olive oil like in this recipe for roasted garlic and smear it on crostini. It freezes great, so I’ll pop it out of the skins and put it in a small container. Then I can scrape out a spoonful to make my recipes taste like they’ve been cooked all day. It’s a little spoonful of love.
If you want to save excess garlic for later, it’s easy to store it as is. But if you want to process it all like the roasted garlic, so you can toss it into a recipe in a snap, you can make garlic salt, garlic powder, or minced garlic.
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To store it at room temperature, first, you have to cure it. Don’t get the garlic wet, just brush the soil off when you dig it up. Then lay it out on screens or cardboard out of the direct sunlight and where it can’t get rained on. Leave it for 2 weeks to a month and then either braid it up or cut the stems off leaving about an inch and hang it up in mesh bags or nylon stockings.
If you don’t want to store it at room temperature you can store it in the fridge for a week or so packed in olive oil. Peel it and fill a jar with it. Then fill the jar with oil to cover. You can also peel it and fill and jar and then fill the jar with vinegar. It will keep for several months this way. The vinegar mellows out the garlic making it perfect for salads and other raw preparations.
You can roast your excess garlic with the method linked above and store it in the freezer in ice cube trays. Once it’s frozen, you can pop out the squares and put them in an airtight container and they’ll keep for months.
You can also save your homegrown garlic and plant it the following season. It goes in during the fall and out early summer.
Garlic salt vs garlic powder
Garlic salt obviously is garlic powder and salt mixed together. It’s great to have the salt to add to recipes because you don’t have to add two ingredients. I love making garlic powder in my dehydrator and minced garlic as well. You can also learn more about how to preserve food with dehydration here.
I like to have it for things that won’t cook long or won’t cook. You can put it on top of cream cheese on toast, pizza, baked potatoes, whatever you like a little garlic flavor on but don’t want to use fresh. Think of everything bagel seasoning or something like that with a burst of flavor to finish off the top.
Garlic powder vs garlic
Using garlic powder instead of fresh garlic will give you a different taste. Fresh garlic is more pungent than dried. I like both for different reasons. And I like to make dried minced garlic and garlic powder for my spice mixes like chili mix, taco mix, and ranch mix.
I LOVE making dip by just taking an 8 oz tub of sour cream and mixing in 2-3 tablespoons of ranch mix like is linked above. It’s great like that or with an additional few shakes of garlic powder. Just mix and it’s ready. Takes about 2 seconds.
Garlic has a whole lot of wonderful health benefits. You can even take it in capsule form. I guess you could make your own with your homemade garlic powder. It’s good for hearts, joints, brains, and digestion. It helps with colds, flu, muscle aches and has vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants as well. There are so many great ways to use it, you’ll be able to enjoy the “medicine” as you take it.
I prefer to crush garlic when using it. You can mince it with a knife, but it only takes two seconds to smash it with your garlic press and you don’t have to peel it all the way to do it. I’m not a big fan of peeling, especially when the garlic is fresh and the skins are super tight.
The excess garlic can be used in soups, sauces, casseroles, and so much more. Garlic mashed potatoes are mmmmm. It’s used in Italian food to be sure, but also in Indian, Korean, Middle Eastern food as well.
Did you know excess garlic can even be used in the garden? You can mix it up with onion and cayenne in some water and spray it on to repel bugs that might be eating your plants. There’s nothing garlic can’t do. We’ll just call it super garlic!
You can fry it in a bit of oil and eat it fried for a special treat. This is my second favorite preparation after roasted. Nothing like a slightly crunchy little garlic chip to make my day.
Recipes with garlic
There are so many wonderful dishes that can be made with fresh excess garlic. Let one of these ideas inspire you.
This garlic parmesan roasted broccoli will make you fall head over heels for broccoli. You can roast any vegetable with this recipe.
One of the great strengths of potatoes is how they can absorb flavors. Add some lemon juice, minced garlic, broth, salt, pepper, and oregano. Then let those potatoes soak up all of the seasonings like a sponge.
This Aigo Bouido, or garlic soup, is a Julia Child classic. While it is so simple, it is restorative and so comforting.
Classic creamy alfredo sauce is the decadent comfort food of your dreams. Made with real butter, cream, and parmesan cheese, this really is the BEST alfredo sauce recipe, so be sure to save it for later!