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Tips for Roasting and Cooking Garlic

The aroma of garlic-infused foods is powerful; here are a few tips for getting the most out of your cloves

There is nothing tastier than a hint - or bold burst - of fresh garlic added to a dish. When roasted, its flavor makes a great alternative to salt and fatty spreads for those who are health-conscious.

Roasted garlic is even better when added to recipes. It's best to roast several as they'll keep refrigerated for up to three weeks.

The standard method for roasting
-Slice the top of the garlic head so all clove tips are showing. Remove the outer sheath if desired.
-Place in large sheet of heavy-duty foil. Drizzle with olive oil and then sprinkle salt, pepper, and other desired spices (rosemary, oregano, thyme are most popular).
-Gather up foil so it is tightly sealed. Place in 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes. Open foil and cook an additional 20 minutes; the garlic will caramelize.
-Remove and let cool. Save juices if desired for other recipes.

Roasted garlic can be pureed to combine with soups or be used as a spread.

If you are including garlic in a saute, add it only near the end of the cooking time. If garlic burns, it turns bitter and becomes inedible, along with the rest of the food.

Fresh garlic is preferred over garlic salt or powders. Minced garlic in jars includes preservatives that can also alter the flavor of a dish.

A standard garlic clove is approximately 5 calories, with no cholesterol, fat, or sodium. It also contains a trace amount of Vitamin C.

Here are some handy tips for removing the smell of garlic from hands:

-Under running water, rub hands with a stainless steel spoon. Then use soap and water and rinse thoroughly.
-Rub hands with lemon or salt and then wash with soap and water.

Roasted garlic may leave an odor in plastic containers. Wash the container and fill with a wadded piece of newspaper. Replace the lid and leave for a few days.

To get rid of garlic breath, rinse and then chew on a sprig of fresh parsley.

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