One of the staples in my kitchen is garlic oil. It is so useful, so delicious, and super healthful and easy to make! You can use it in place of any cooking oil used for savory cooking. It effortlessly adds so much flavor to your cooking. I always have a handy pouring jar of it in my fridge. (not pictured) Than I started experimenting with it by adding herbs to it and that another level of YUM!!
How to: I like to use extra virgin olive oil and whole fresh garlic cloves. You simply put your peeled garlic cloves in the bottom of a Mason jar (I started with pints, but not I make it by the half gallon!) and fill it up with oil. Put a lid on and but it in the fridge to marinate. Its that easy! Its will start to gain flavor in a few hours, but you can let it sit for weeks (even months) as it gets stronger.
As long as you put it in the fridge it is a way to store your garlic! You dip a spoon in and pull cloves out and use them like usual (as long as a little oil is OK). I often buy garlic in bulk; I also started growing it! This is one of my favorite ways to store it. It is the wonder herb! :-) The pictures above show oil in the making. I don't have many cloves in these jars because this is for the purpose of the oil and I plan to let them marinate for a long time. If I were doing it for the purpose of storing the garlic, I would fill the jar with cloves than oil to cover, so it would look different than this. When the garlic to oil ratio is switched to more garlic than oil, I would top the oil off (because it would be VERY strong) or keep that for my medicinals.
Medicinally speaking: Garlic oil is a great way to kick colds, flues and assorted sicknesses quickly! If you haven't put garlic in your natural healing (and preventative) regiment I want to encourage you to start! It works! You can take it like a germ killing elixir by the spoon full. You can make it a point to incorporate large amounts of it in meals to protect others from getting sick while fighting current sickness at the same time. Another very effective way to use garlic oil is to massage it into your feet at night before you go to bed, (using a generous amount) and putting a pair of socks on (to help keep it on your feet and off your sheets). You may wake up with garlic breath (YES, from putting garlic oil on your FEET!) but you will heal much faster, maybe even kick it overnight! I know most people don't think of treating sore throats or coughs with oil on their feet...but try it! It is wonderful to use with other natural methods too.
Fast Food: Repeat after me, "Garlic Oil = Fast food"! Toss garlic oil into pasta, or rice, other grains or potatoes, or veggies or to dress a salad and you have fast nutritious and delicious food! (Dip crusty bread or Pita in it and you'll think your in the Promise Land! Also quite tasty if you add Parmesan cheese or balsamic vinegar or herbs to that bread dip! Can you tell we like it that way?) If you pull out some cloves and simmer them in filtered water for a little while, with a little sea salt and pepper and you will make the tastiest broth with a snap! Drizzle it on popcorn. Use it to make super tasty tortilla chips by spritzing some on cut flour or corn tortillas (with salt) and than baking them until crisp. YUM! Garlic toast! Just spread on bread and sprinkle a little sea salt on it and pop it in the oven until toasted. (Garlic toast and garlic broth are favorite "quick sick foods" in our house) You can also sub it for the oil in your bread or cracker recipes! (It is a very tasty sub in most bread recipes that call for oil..except for Challah...that is much better left alone with that mild nutty sweetness we have come to expect in our Challah! I learned that the hard way. :-)) Garlic oil also makes the most amazing croutons and will add a whole new dimension to grilled cheese (in place of butter on the bread). For an Asian flare, add some ginger (and/or sesame oil or chili paste) and Braggs (or soy sauce); for Mexican add cumin and chili powder. For Italian add the Italian herbs; for French Herbs d France and red wine; for Greek lemon and basil; You get the picture. Use garlic oil with your spice rubs on the grill this summer....oh oh another super yummy (and beautiful) summer treat is fresh mozzarella cheese, juicy red tomatoes from your garden, both sliced & layered alternately (like fallen dominoes) on a plate, topped with chopped fresh basil and drizzled with garlic oil! It also makes a wonderful base for marinading grass feed meets and wild game!
Have you had enough suggestions? Make and use the oil, would ya? :-)
I might mention, me and my husband's first date was at a Garlic Restaurant in San Fransisco called, " The Stinkin' Rose". We love us some garlic! :-) I also might mention that we don't get sick very often, and when we do...it doesn't hang around long. (Now you know that deodorant recipe in a previous post must REALLY WORK!)
Here is a tasty combination that is one of our favorites. I copied it from the ingredients label of one of our favorite little family owned Italian Restaurants in PA, called Fiorentinos. It was their house oil. I make it a little different each time, but its always good! It is pictured in one of the jars of this post. I subbed a dried Ancho Pepper for the jalapeno pepper this time, because it is what I had in stock. I use dried herbs in my oils.
Fiorentinos Olive Oil
Jalapeno Pepper (fresh)
If you make it too strong, just add oil to dilute it or tweak it by adding more of something and taking out the "too much" item and letting it sit longer. Oils are really easy and fun to tailor to your tastes.
Lastly, I got a very informative link about the Medical Benefits of Garlic from my friend at Our Wild Journey that I wanted to share with you. After reading it, i think I have decided to chop my garlic for my oil from now on...it says that it is suppose to release more of the good stuff. Check them both out if you get the chance.
An important note: Garlic oil should be stored in the fridge or freezer or made per use. Fresh garlic should be stored in a cool (60 degrees-) dark place in the head. Like other fresh low acidic foods, storing garlic oil at room tempature creates a very attractive environment for botulism to develop.L'chaim!