You might think that garlic that has been heated to temperatures varying from 140o to 170oF for three to four weeks, turning it black and soft should be tossed out.
But not so fast.
In countries like Japan, South Korea and Thailand, black garlic has long been used for cooking and its health benefits. And chefs are beginning to catch on to the unique flavor that it adds to a dish. It’s sweetly intense with a soft texture and it cooks amazingly well in just about any dish where you might use garlic.
It’s finally getting some attention here in the US because the health benefits appear to be that of fresh…but on steroids (as the saying goes).
This fermented version of garlic contains more antioxidants than raw and is also a good source of calories, protein, fiber, iron, vitamin C and calcium.
Antioxidants, as we know, reduce harmful free radicals in the body, reduce inflammation and help prevent the development of cancer and diabetes among other diseases. One study revealed that black garlic has higher amounts of antioxidants and biological activity than regular garlic, meaning you assimilate it more efficiently.
And then there’s our blood sugar. Diets that include black garlic have been linked to more balanced blood sugar levels. Research shows that high concentrations of antioxidants could help prevent diabetes complications.
Garlic has long been known for its properties that help protect the heart, so imagine what it can do for your ticker after it’s fermented. Black garlic’s heart protective effects are also effective in reducing damage in the heart, according to a 2018 study.
And then there’s this: Black garlic can also reduce cholesterol and triglycerides in the body that if left uncontrolled may lead to increased risk of heart disease.
It only gets better with black garlic. Research has found that consumption of this yummy version of our beloved garlic might help ward off cancer. Wait…what? Yup. It has been discovered that cancer-fighting properties of the antioxidant compounds were shown to reduce colon cancer and leukemia cells. Very promising, I’d say.
And finally, black garlic has been shown to reduce inflammation in the brain and can help block cognitive conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and help relieve some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Oh…and it’s shelf stable so it doesn’t spoil and can be used in any number of dishes to bring an intense, sweet-savory flavor to any recipe.