What Is Black Garlic?

Black garlic is made from regular garlic that has been aged and roasted for an extended period of time. The result is a sweet, dark, and sticky bulb that can be used in place of regular garlic in most recipes. It has a complex flavor profile that can add something special to sauces, dressings, marinades, and more.

So if you’re looking to add a little extra something to your cooking repertoire, give black garlic a try. It might just become one of your go-to ingredients.

Black garlic in pan

Benefits of Black Garlic

Black garlic is a specific variety of garlic that has been shown to have many health benefits. This type of garlic is loaded with antioxidants which can help your body fight off disease. Additionally, black garlic can help bolster your immune system and has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also rich in amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. These amino acids can help your body stay healthy and strong.

One compound found in black garlic, S-Allylcysteine (SAC), has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. This compound may be effective in treating various health conditions. Black garlic can also help regulate blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

Black Garlic Benefits:

  • Helps fight infection
  • Can improve cardiovascular health
  • Helps lower cholesterol levels
  • May help prevent cancer cells from growing and spreading in the body

How To Make Black Garlic

The Maillard reaction is what makes things taste good, and it’s responsible for the transformation of cloves into black gold when making black garlic. In the Maillard reaction, a sugar and an amino acid combine to form melanoidin compounds that are responsible for browning in foods. The sugars and amino acids start out as simple carbohydrates (sugars) and amino acids in garlic, but the Maillard reaction transforms them into more complex melanoidin compounds.

How to Make Black Garlic with a Dehydrator

There are three different ways to make black garlic — using a rice cooker (Instant Pot), using a fermentation station, or using a dehydrator. An excellent choice is the Sahara dehydrator.

Black garlic is a product that is made by aging regular garlic bulbs over the course of weeks. The process takes a lot of patience, but it results in a sweet and sticky product. The garlic is kept at a strictly regulated temperature and humidity to achieve this consistency. It is less difficult than it is long to make black garlic, but it takes time to get that perfect super sweet result.

Black garlic is made by cooking garlic cloves in a low humidity and temperature environment. The cloves are wrapped in plastic and foil to keep them from touching each other and then placed in a dehydrator tray. Set the timer for 99 hours. During this time, the cloves are turned into a black color and develop a sweet, syrupy taste.

How to Make Black Garlic with an Instant Pot

There are a few ways to make black garlic but the most common is to place peeled cloves of garlic in an Instant Pot and set it to the keep warm function with the lid on. After 3 weeks, check to see if the garlic is done—the cloves will be black and soft. Let it sit at room temperature for about a day, and then re-store in the fridge.

(See the video below for details)

How to Use Black Garlic

Serve as an accompaniment to meat, fish or vegetables. You can also add the black garlic to dressings and sauces. Black garlic is delicious in salad dressings, marinades, or as a simple sauce for fish. It can be used as a substitute for balsamic vinegar. Black garlic is also delicious in desserts, such as ice cream or even to sweeten a chocolate cake. It will add a rich and slightly smoky flavor to anything you add it to.

Final Thoughts

Transforming cloves into black gold may seem like an arduous task, but the end result is definitely worth it. Once you’ve got your hands on some black garlic, try using it in dishes like cream of mushroom soup with black garlic or panna cotta with black garlic.

Black garlic is available in a number of forms—from whole heads to peeled cloves to a dehydrated powder—and can be found at specialty spice shops, some Whole Foods markets, and online at Amazon.

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