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Garlic is one of my all time favorite plants to grow. It’s pretty much foolproof, which is very important for black thumbed gardeners like myself! It’s easy to find. You can even plant the stuff you buy in the grocery store and it will grow! It’s easy to grow, and it’s easy to harvest. And, it’s super duper useful too! Garlic is probably the ingredient I use the most when cooking besides sea salt because it’s just plain delicious. Once you grow all this awesome yumminess, it’s time to figure out the best ways of preserving garlic!
3 4 Popular Ways of Preserving Garlic From Your Garden!
Store Garlic At Room Temperature
Garlic is pretty darn easy to store. A softneck bulb in good shape can last for six months or more just bopping around in your kitchen cupboards. Braided garlic that’s hung up for good air flow is also a pretty and long lasting option.
The main downside of storing the cloves whole is that you have to peel and chop the garlic every time you want to use it. Sometimes it’s nice just to grab and go! Here are some ways of preserving garlic that can make meal prep a bit easier.
Keep Garlic In The Freezer
You can peel and chop your garlic cloves and store them in the freezer. Silicon molds are great to freeze a little at a time, or simply grate off as much as you need when you need it.
You could also use a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper and freeze the chopped garlic in a thin layer and then break into chunks.
If you use a lot of whole cloves for soups and things, just spread the peeled cloves onto a cookie sheet and freeze, then transfer them into air tight storage containers.
(Bonus!) Fermented Garlic
Okay, I wouldn’t call this one a popular method, but it’s actually one of my favorites. Using just salt and water you can ferment garlic like you would pickles and then store it in your fridge chopped and ready to use to flavor just about everything.
Use about one cup of water and one tablespoon of salt per four heads of garlic. You can just peel it and ferment the whole clove or peel and chop. Submerge the garlic in the brine and make sure it stays submerged with no contact from air for four weeks.
After four weeks it has awesome probiotics included in there, great flavor, and can be kept in your refrigerator for months. Yum!
Make Your Own Garlic Powder
I would say the most popular method of preserving garlic is dehydrating it and making your own garlic powder or garlic salt. Garlic powder is super easy to grab and go, and pretty much everybody I know has some in their spice cupboard.
Prepper’s Dehydrator Handbook by Shelle Wells recommends dehydrating peeled cloves of garlic for 6-12 hours at 125 degrees. They should be crisp when they are done. One cup of fresh garlic will make about a quarter cup of dehydrated garlic, so this method will really save you some space.
Once your garlic is dry you can blend it in a food processor or blender until it is a fine powder. Garlic is so easy to grow, it’s feasible you could grow an entire year’s supply. Or try to find a great deal on garlic in bulk!
More On Dehydrating
If you would like to experiment with dehydrating garlic as well as other foods there are a few ways to get started. You could try dehydrating foods without electricity. These methods work well for some types of food in low humidity climates.
You could also get an electric dehydrator. There are several different models and brands, which can excel for different purposes. What they do have in common is being much more practical and efficient than other methods of drying.
With an electric dehydrator you can dry pretty much anything. Even soups! If you are interested in getting started I recommend checking out Shelle Wells’ book Prepper’s Dehydrator Handbook. It includes instructions for dehydrating a wide variety of foods. It also includes tips on prepping different types of food whether by blanching or oxidizing.
Prepper’s Dehydrator Handbook also has recipes with ways to prepare meals and other yummy things from the foods that you have dehydrated. There’s not much sense in drying foods if you’re never going to cook and eat them!
Preserving garlic is one of the easiest ways to learn how to store your garden’s harvest for later. Hopefully one of these methods will work for you and you can enjoy your delicious homegrown garlic all year!
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