Superfood: Black Garlic

Although not as famous as white garlic, black garlic is slowly taking over the market, especially as an alternative natural herbal medicine. Introduced into the market from Korea, this type of garlic is mainly prepared through a “fermentation” process lasting at least one month. The process is done under controlled humidity and heat, with the end product being black-colored garlic. Herbalists and natural medicine practitioners praise this superfood (invented less than five years ago) as one of the new additions to herbal medicine.

Black Garlic Health Benefits:

1. Cholesterol and cancer protection.

This breed of garlic is a rich source of S-allyl Cysteine, a natural compound that helps lower blood cholesterol, thus helping to prevent most major cardiovascular conditions. Although this compound is also found in fresh garlic, the fermentation process of black garlic tends to amplify its presence, increasing its concentrations after the one month of controlled fermentation. This compound is also a derivative of the amino acid cysteine, which can help reduce cancer risk.

2. Infection protection.

Naturally, white garlic contains an antibiotic, antifungal and antimicrobial active ingredient, allicin, whereas its counterpart contains this plus S-allyl Cysteine, a compound (as mentioned before) that boosts allicin absorption and metabolism in the body. By boosting allicin absorption and metabolism, the body benefits greatly from improved immunity and ability to fight infections.

3. Improved immunity.

Although white, fresh garlic contains plentiful antioxidants, black garlic contains twice as much. Antioxidants help protect body cells from disease-causing microorganisms, slow down the aging process and boost skin health. It is through the improved immunity levels that the body can fight and protect itself from many health conditions. The fermentation process, however, amplifies the antioxidants potential, providing improved cell protection from free radical damage and chronic diseases. Some of the diseases that can help be contained by using black garlic include cardiovascular infections, rheumatoid arthritis, respiratory conditions, dementia and Alzheimer’s, among other chronic conditions.

Black garlic is considerably more palatable and easier for most people to eat because it doesn’t contain or produce the strong flavor or pungent odor like white, fresh garlic. More and more people are switching to the blackened garlic, as it doesn’t pose any olfactory effects when consumed in large quantities.

Although black garlic has more health benefits than white garlic, this doesn’t mean you should quit using white garlic. White garlic is naturally healthy and does have many health benefits to the human body; it’s only that black garlic has surpassed it. You should, however, consider using black garlic whenever possible, especially in salad dressing, with other veggies or when preparing chicken, turkey or red meat.

Kevin CK Lee is a blogger, writer and marketer. He writes articles on food and traveling. If you’re interested in finding out more details about black garlic, visit www.blackgarlic.com.sg.

Black Garlic Dip

  • 1 black garlic bulb
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon shallots, minced
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • pinch of salt

In a small blender, combine half the cloves of black garlic, sour cream and olive oil until smooth. With a knife, mince remaining black garlic cloves. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except walnuts, and mix until smooth. Fold in walnuts. Chill in refrigerator, covered, for 24 hours to let flavors meld.

Serve with vegetables or crackers.

(Source: Savory Spice Shop)

Black Garlic Ranch Dressing

  • 3 cloves black garlic, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 6 cups buttermilk
  • 12 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 cup minced Italian parsley
  • 1 cup minced chives
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

In a large bowl, mash black garlic with a fork until it forms a paste. Put vinegar and sugar in a mixing bowl, then add buttermilk, mayonnaise and onion powder, and whisk. Add herbs and lemon juice, and season with kosher salt.

(Source: Ryan Scott, www.rachaelrayshow.com)

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