If you haven’t been eating raw garlic every day for its many health benefits, then now is a great time to start. Eating garlic frequently not only helps keep your blood pressure low, lowers your “bad” cholesterol levels, and even protects you against several types of cancer, but it also helps fight off those colds and viruses that you may be getting hit with this winter.
Garlic is already one of the world’s healthiest foods, but did you know that you can get even more nutritional punch out of the garlic you eat by sprouting it before you eat it?
Sprouting garlic increases the antioxidant content, and just one of the many antioxidants in garlic is called allicin. Allicin is the natural disease-fighting component in garlic that kills bacteria, viruses, and gives it many of its health-protective effects. By sprouting garlic, you are essentially bringing it “back to life” before eating it, which is why it then becomes even more nutrition-packed.
How to Sprout Garlic Easily
The best thing about sprouting garlic is that it is super-easy! You don’t need a garden, soil, or even a plant-pot. You also don’t need any special type of garlic. Just start with the basic garlic bulbs you can purchase at any grocery store (of course organic is always best!).
Then, follow these instructions to bring that garlic back to life so it sprouts:
- Place several peeled large garlic cloves or a couple of entire bulbs in a glass bowl.
- Add water to the dish until it covers only the bottom one-quarter to one-third of the cloves or bulbs. You do not want to submerge the garlic completely in water.
- Place the dish on one of the windowsills in your home that receives the most direct sunlight. Don’t worry if it is cloudy where you live, because some sun will still penetrate through the clouds and hit your garlic. They may just take a day or two longer to sprout with less sun.
- Let them stay put for five days. You may need to add a little water here and there, since some will evaporate. Try to keep the water-level fairly consistent.
- Enjoy your sprouted garlic as soon as you see green sprouts shooting up! You don’t have to let them grow tall. As soon as you see about a quarter-inch of green sprouts, your garlic has then been brought back to life and super-charged with extra antioxidants.
Remember that allicin and the other antioxidants in garlic are most powerful when not exposed to high cooking temperatures, so it is important to eat all garlic, including sprouted garlic, raw. You don’t have to eat the cloves whole, though, and you can crush them to add to pre-cooked sauces, spread on toast, or add to vegetable smoothies.