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Monday, August 3, 2020

Black Garlic – Health Benefits and How to Make It

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Black garlic may sound weird to the ears, but it is surprising how they can be found on lots of menus these days. However, I have recently discovered that this lovely ingredient is not new to the kitchen.

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It has been considered an excellent spice for flavor and medicinal purposes for centuries. Several Asian cuisines also have this spice as an ingredient.

You may be tempted to think that black garlic is a different species of garlic, but the exciting part is that you get black garlic from leaving your regular garlic to age. Black garlic is only a product of aging garlic bulbs.

The process of making it takes between two weeks to several months, and it is done under regulated temperature and humidity for its sticky consistency to be achieved.

Black garlic has a softer, molasses-like flavor, and that makes it a more delicate option than the fresh garlic bulb. It also comes loaded with more health benefits, including two times the volume of antioxidants you get from its natural form.

That’s not all. Black garlic is a very versatile spice, and you can swap it out for your fresh garlic in many different recipes. Black garlic also makes a fantastic addition to any of your favorite cheese plates, chicken dishes, bruschetta, or even as a unique pizza topper.

If you are looking to add that unique something to your homemade vinaigrette, black garlic may just do the magic. Please, note that black garlic is milder in flavor; thus, it is essential that you taste as you add.

The process of creating black garlic may take a very long time, but it is easy and exciting to make. While you can age your black garlic for up to 13 weeks or longer if you like, bear in mind that it will be good enough to use after three weeks.

There are several DIY methods. If you have found recipes containing black garlic that you plan to try, then you may want to make some more frequently. Looking for the fermenting box to purchase can be an excellent investment.

However, if you don’t want to buy the box, the best approach to adopt is aging your bulbs in a rice cooker or slow cooker. The process is an easy one, but requires a lot of patience to get the desired result.

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As an extra warning, just in case you don’t like the smell of garlic, you will have that strong garlic smell in your kitchen for a long time. So get ready to deal with the smell.

Health benefits of black garlic

1. Contains More Antioxidants than fresh garlic

Antioxidants are famous for getting rid of harmful free radicals in the human body. A study revealed that black garlic contains a higher quantity of antioxidants and biological activity than regular garlic.

Antioxidants are great at reducing inflammation and helping to prevent the development of diabetes and cancer, among several other health problems.

2. Balances Blood Sugar levels

Meals that contain black garlic have been noticed to help balance blood sugar levels. Studies have previously revealed that the high volume of antioxidants in the ingredient may help to prevent diabetes complications.

Several animal studies have also revealed that including black garlic to foods could reduce cholesterol levels and also triglycerides.

3. Boosts Heart Health

Garlic is a species that has been known for many decades for its healthy properties that help to protect the heart. Black garlic also provides cardioprotective effects and is quite useful in the prevention of heart damage, according to a study carried out in 2018.

Black garlic is also an excellent addition to diets if you need to reduce triglycerides and cholesterol in the body that increase the risk of heart diseases if left uncontrolled.

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4. Prevents Cancer

If you need a natural method to fight off cancer, then you may want to try black garlic.

Researchers have discovered that the consumption of black garlic extract may help to reduce the growth of leukemia cells and colon cancer cells. The studies suggested a connection between the cancer-fighting effects of the spice with its antioxidant qualities.

5. Improves Brain Health

Apart from preventing cancer and protecting the heart, black garlic has an additional health benefits of helping people maintain a good memory.

The antioxidant quality of this ingredient can lessen inflammation in the brain, and help to block cognitive issues such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease.

How to make black garlic at home

Black garlic


  • 7 to 8 full (unpeeled garlic bulbs)

Steps to produce your black garlic

  • Put together the ingredients you tools you need.
  • Get rid of any dirt from your garlic bulbs by gently scrubbing them with the rough side of a clean sponge. Make sure not to separate the cloves from the bulb and attempt to wash or get the bulbs wet as this may mess up the aging process.
  • Set your rice cooker or slow cooker to warm (not low). The warm setting of the cooker provides perfect humility and temperature for aging without cooking.
  • Place full unpeeled, cleaned garlic bulbs into your cooker. Make sure you do not overcrowd the garlic bulbs. Space the bulbs well in the cooker so that they do not touch.
  • Allow the garlic bulbs to stay uninterrupted on the “warm” setting of your cooker until the cloves become soft and black ( this should take between 2 to 3 weeks).
  • Make sure to check your slow cooker occasionally to confirm that the setting remains on “warm” and not “low” and to also find out that it hasn’t been switched off.

When your black garlic is ready, store the whole bulbs in an airtight container for up to 12 weeks. Whenever you need cloves, squeeze out the quantity you need.

Leave a comment below if you’d like to ask questions or leave your thoughts.

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Disclaimer: This article is purely informative & educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

Emmanuella Ekokotu
Ekokotu Emmanuella is a sociologist and Anthropologist, writer, and fashion model who lives in Benin city, Edo state,Nigeria.

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