Thursday, April 19, 2012

National Garlic Day

I just found out that April 19th is National Garlic Day. This is most definitely a holiday made for me! (Of course, I could argue that every day is garlic day in our household.)

In honor of one of my favorite ingredients, here are a few fun facts:
  • Known as "the stinking rose" garlic is actually part of the lily family and a cousin to onions, leeks, chives and shallots. (www.about.com)
  • Chicago got its name from the American Indian word for the wild garlic, "chicagoua", that grew around Lake Michigan . (www.foodreference.com)
  • No one in the British Royal Family eats garlic as as not to have breath that might offend. (www.foodreference.com)
Sure it gives you bad breath, but garlic is good for you! Garlic contains many noteworthy minerals, vitamins, anti-oxidants and phytonutrients.  Most notably, garlic contains allicin. Allicin helps decrease blood vessel stiffness thereby helping reduce blood pressure. It also helps block platelet clot formation which helps decrease risk of coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular diseases and stroke. Allicin along with other compounds, give garlic its many anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. This might explain why in many traditional Indian and Chinese medicines, garlic is used as a remedy for colds and coughs.

Storage Tip: To get the longest shelf life store your garlic bulbs at room temperature in a cool dark environment away from humidity.

Now, for a little inspiration, not that you need it because garlic can go into nearly any dish, here are two recipes from The Natural Princess "All About Garlic" episode from back in 2008.

Garlic and Oil Linguine



Roasted Garlic and Herb Goat Cheese Spread



How are you going to celebrate National Garlic Day?
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