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Garlic, A Love-Hate Relationship

garlicAhhh, garlic….aromatic, tasty, heady…..sticky, stinky, and a real pain to work with. I don’t know about you, but I love it and hate it for these reasons, especially when I am camping. Just because I’ve worked hard at climbing all day and I’m camping, doesn’t mean I have to deprive myself of fresh garlic and have a stinky, sticky mess. Yuck.

Aside from making everything taste good, garlic is an excellent source of minerals and vitamins and is a rich source of potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and selenium. It contains anti-oxidants like carotene beta, and vitamins like vitamin-C and also has been shown to decrease risk of coronary artery disease, stroke, and stomach cancer.

So eat up the garlic every chance you get.

Here are some ideas for making it easier to deal with, both at camp and at home:

1. Separating and peeling the cloves. This is the worst! This video is how I learned to perform this task when I was in culinary school. The fresher the garlic, the better it works.

2. So you’ve got all this garlic peeled, now what?
Dry it if you have a dehydrator. It travels well and you can just drop it into soups, beans & stews for a nice flavor. Or you can throw it in a food processor and use it as a garlic powder.

Get it drunk. Stick it in a glass jar with some vodka. Bring it with you camping (keep it in the vodka) and pull it out as needed. When the garlic is gone, the vodka could make for an interesting funky drink…just thinking, never really tried it.

3. Don’t like to mince or chop it? Bring a microplane (pictured above)or grater and grate it up.

4. Clean-up.  All this is relatively easy and keeps hands on time to a minimum but  your fingers might still smell like garlic and that can be disgusting. Simply wash your hands if you can, and then rub them on something stainless steel like a spoon, bowl, or frying pan. This works surprisingly well.

And now, enjoy that garlic!

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