I have had a lot of questions from readers of the blog post ‘The Garlic Experience’ about Black Garlic and what it is exactly. This post will cover some history plus some research/background and ideas of why you should try black garlic. This is a more formal post for you to digest.
What is Black garlic and why is it black?
Black garlic starts its life in the same way as many other bulbs of garlic; however, once picked it then begins its journey to uniqueness. The bulbs are slow aged at very low heat for several days (typically 60-90). The process does not add in any preservatives, cheeky additives or dodgy e-numbers and the bulbs stay whole within their skins throughout the slow heating. The blackening effect is a result of the Maillard reaction and not caramelisation as you might expect.
The sharpness of the garlic is significantly reduced due to the enzymes beginning to break down. The process starts to turn the white bulbs darker and into a blackened state which is also soft and sticky with a slightly sweet balsamic taste.
Who created it an where did it all begin?
The history of Black garlic is as clouded as the bulb itself. It is thought to have originated in Asia over 4000 years ago; however, there are several claims throughout Asia for the title of the origin. The chances are that there could have been multiple rediscoveries throughout the history of this magical finding.
Regardless of its original home, history proves that nations across Asia have been reaping the benefits of Black Garlic for a long time and it is a great addition to your diet and recipes. There are bundles of Asian recipes online that are worth a little search. Please drop a comment or mail if you want me to share any of my favourites.
What about health benefits?
Well, according to reports and research it does, let’s take a look. The claimed benefits are as below:
- The phosphorus in black garlic helps build strong teeth and bones, it also helps facilitate nerve conduction whilst filtering out waste within our kidneys. Research has also found that black garlic contains different vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, selenium, Vitamins B-6 and C. The compound in black garlic ‘Allicin’ is the major factor for most of the health benefits.
- We know that garlic has a considerable amount of anti-oxidants however, researchers have found that black garlic contains twice the antioxidant properties. Studies have shown that antioxidants protect our cells and slow down the ageing process. Bonus! The high levels of antioxidants are believed by researchers to offer protection to the free radicals that cause damage. Free radicals damage the cells and contribute to issues with heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s and other chronic diseases.
- There have been some more recent studies showing the effects of black garlic and its ability to lower LDL cholestrol – this is the bad guy. We should all be ensuring that our LDL is lowered to ensure we reduce the risk of premature death, stroke and heart disease.
You can order black garlic online from various stores; however, I do recommend visiting the garlic farm online due to having tried their products personally. I would love to hear about your experiences with using Black Garlic on either the comments section on the website or via any of our social media channels.
Be Aware! Disclaimer!
Black Garlic has the ability to cause heartburn and stomach upset – it has been noted that medicinal levels could cause bleeding – check with your GP before consuming high levels but make sure you enjoy it! I take two cloves an evening as a cheeky sweet treat without the guilt!