When garlic comes to mind, all that most people think of are the bulbs or cloves of garlic they are used to. If you are not a farmer, it will interest you to know that garlic produces flowers and they are highly medicinal.
Garlic flowers are the flowering seeds of the garlic plant. They are also known as “bulbils”. Garlic seeds appear when the plant begins to bolt early or when it has reached maturity.
Garlic has green stems on which these flowers grow. The stems are called scapes and they are also medicinal. Garlic flowers or bulbils can be white, pink, or lime green with spherical capsules.
Depending on the specie of the garlic, each capsule can produce hundreds of bulbils. They can be as a grain of rice in size. They can also produce about 8 to 20 bulbils.
The bulbils and blooms of garlic are milder in scent and flavor when compared to the traditional garlic bulbs. But they still have a fresh flavor and a pungent scent and they are also medicinal.
You can find garlic flowers in late springs and the early months of summer.
How Garlic Flowers are Gotten
Garlic flowers are mostly produced by the hardneck varieties. The softneck varieties which evolved from the hardneck varieties only produce garlic flowers on rare occasions and that is when they are stressed.
Hardneck garlic forms a scape which is a long green stem from the root to the bulb. This scape is what produces the flower. The scapes are usually trimmed so that the garlic plant won’t spend more energy creating bulbils.
This will lead to smaller garlic bulbs. Many farmers don’t want this so they trim the scapes before they bring out flowers. However, if you want to increase your plant stock faster for the next season, you have to allow the garlic flowers to grow.
The Importance of Garlic Flowers
Garlic flowers are also medicinal and nutritious like the main garlic bulbs. They are rich in Allicin, antioxidants, and anti-microbial compounds.
Garlic flowers are used in cooking, you can sauté, roast, grill, or boil them whole. They can also be taken in their raw forms. You can also add them to salads or soups.
They can be used as edible garnishing and toppings for omelets, paella, and pizza. You can use them as side dishes for mashed potatoes and rice.
These flowers can also be used whole when preserving vegetables and pickling. The flavor and texture of garlic flowers go well with cucumbers, organic butter, fresh cheese, soy sauce, seafood, tomatoes, fresh herbs, and organic meats.
You can keep garlic flowers up to a week in a refrigerator. Ensure you use them before the flower starts wilting.
Health Benefits of Garlic Flowers
Garlic flowers share the same health benefits as garlic leaves and bulbs. This is why almost all parts of garlic are consumed. Just as the bulb and leaves, the flowers of garlic are also medicinal.
It has been used in many ancient medicine procedures. To date, garlic flowers still give the body many benefits. Since the health benefits of the bulbils and garlic are the same, they won’t be any need to write it all over again.