Double the Antioxidant Content of Garlic in Your Kitchen: Black Garlic
- Published on: 27 March, 2015
- Last update: 09 January, 2016
Double the antioxidants, you say… out of thin air? Is it magic? Pretty much.
Did I mention you also get double the benefits of garlic, without the bad breath? Yup. Even more magic.
What is it?
Black garlic was first developed in Japan and Korea. It’s simply garlic that has been aged and fermented. The black color occurs naturally as the sugars are drawn out of the garlic cloves during the fermentation process. Although garlic is the sole ingredient and no other sweetners or additives are involved, this stuff is nowhere near the flavor burst you’re used to receiving from the pungent, raw form. Black garlic is incredibly sweet and has a rich molasses flavor with balsamic, caramel, and licorice notes.
Benefits of Garlic
In Taoism mythology, black garlic was rumored to grant immortality. I can’t exactly confirm this theory, but a girl can dream, right? Obviously garlic is phenomenal for overall health in its natural state, with its anti-cancer benefits and anti-bacterial activity. Let’s review some of the properties of garlic…
– The smooth muscle relaxant Adenosine is found in garlic, and this seems to help lower blood pressure.
– It helps reduce atherosclerotic buildup (plaque) within the arteries.
– Garlic helps to prevent cancer, especially of the digestive system, prevents certain tumors from growing larger and reduces the size of certain tumors (onion is even more effective at this!)
– The organosulfur compounds in garlic activate the activity of several metabolizing enzymes, such as glutathione, that detoxify carcinogens and inhibit the formation of DNA adducts. DNA adducts are a piece of DNA covalently bonded to a (cancer-causing) chemical.
– Allyl derivatives (also sulfur compounds) inhibit carcinogenesis in the stomach, esophagus, colon, mammary glands and lungs of experimental animals.
– Garlic can also help us remove heavy metals that poison our systems.
– Garlic is a potent natural antibiotic that works differently than modern antibiotics and kills some strains of bacteria, like staph, that have become immune or resistant to modern synthetic approaches.
Benefits of BLACK Garlic
1) “During the fermentation process, the compound allicine (which gives raw garlic its distinctive odour) is turned into s-allcysteine,” explains nutritionist Robert Hobson. “This is water soluble, which means it is absorbed more quickly and easily by the body.”
The natural compound s-allylcysteine (SAC) assists in absorption of (the fat soluble) allicin (one of those organosulfur compounds that prevent and reverse tumor growth). This is found in greater concentrations in black garlic than white, and gets into your system more easily in black garlic as well.
2) SAC, the compound mentioned above that is created when black garlic goes through fermentation, is incredibly effective at inhibiting cholesterol synthesis thus lowering blood cholesterol levels.
3) Once black garlic is fermented, it also contains higher levels of S-methyl-L-cysteine sulfoxide, which works with SAC to prevent the destruction of insulin.
4) As the title of this article suggests, aged black garlic exerts stronger antioxidant activity than garlic in vitro and in vivo, and this study found it useful in preventing diabetic complications.
5) Garlic is already incredible effective at treating infections (even MRSA and antibiotic resistant cases). Because of the increased levels of SAC, black garlic is even better at fighting microbes. This also means it has higher anti-parasite activity!
6) Black garlic is a fermented food. Fermented foods repopulate the intestines with good bacteria and heal leaky gut.
How to Make Black Garlic
Choose fresh garlic – the entire head should be in tact. Don’t peel any skin off. You can use as many bulbs as you’d like at once; Lily usually uses 15 or more! Rinse and clean the heads thoroughly (we don’t want to ferment the bacteria in dirt residue), then place them in a cool dry place for a minimum of 6 hours so that they’re completely dry before going in the slow cooker. Don’t start fermenting them if the garlic is still wet or damp.
Simply put your heads of garlic in a slow cooker or rice cooker on ‘warming mode’ for 12-20 days. Do NOT open it until it’s done, as the garlic must be in a heat and moisture controlled environment to truly ferment.