It is nearly summer. This means it is time to begin preparing meals without heating the house whenever possible. If you haven’t considered the value of cooking on the grill in the past, perhaps now is a great time to adjust your way of thinking. Cooking on the grill is a great way to keep […]
Is Sprouted Garlic Safe to Eat?
You’re minding your own business, trying to chop a bunch of garlic for a big pot of Italian wedding soup, when you spot it: sprouted garlic. There are green shoots peeking out of the cloves on your cutting board, like little aliens hiding in their middles. Should you throw the cloves away? The whole bulb? Don’t worry—it’s not menacing or dangerous. It’s just the garlic sprouting more garlic out of itself, like Deadpool regenerating every time he loses a limb. But, you know, less gruesome. And slower. (And also…edible.)
Slow-Roasted Onion and Garlic Dip
You’ll usually catch garlic before those long, skinny green stalks emerge from the top of each clove; a lot of times you won’t even notice that it has sprouted until you cut into it. And even though those sprouts resemble chives, they doesn’t have the herb’s mild flavor—the sprout itself is actually quite bitter. It’s sharp in flavor, without any of the natural sweetness that garlic should have. But even though the flavor is a little less than ideal, sprouted garlic is fine to eat. TBH, if you’re just incorporating one or two cooked cloves into a larger dish, you probably won’t notice a difference at all. We wouldn’t recommend using sprouted garlic in a dish where garlic is the star of the show—think garlic bread, chicken braised with whole heads of the stuff, or garlic fried rice—but otherwise you’re probably fine. If you’re really concerned, you can slice the offending cloves in half lengthwise and simply pull the green sprout out, but honestly we don’t bother unless we’re using the sprouted cloves raw, like in a salad dressing, which is where you’re most likely to taste the difference.
Photo by Heidi’s Bridge
The sprouts are a sign that garlic is starting to go off, mostly because it is getting older, or because it has been exposed to too much heat, light, or moisture—garlic wants to be stored in a cool, dry, and dark place for maximum longevity. A lot of times, you have no way of knowing how long garlic has been sitting in the bin at the grocery store, so it may have already started sprouting before you even got home. Stored properly, garlic can last up to six months as a whole bulb, and around three weeks as unpeeled cloves if stored in a cool, dark place. So make sure to keep garlic in your pantry, and if you end up with some inevitably-sprouted cloves, only bother cutting out those green bits if you’re planning on using them raw (like for Caesar salad dressing). Otherwise, everything is going to be juuuuuuust fine.
Now, how about a nice, garlicky roast chicken?