raw garlic

For the Love of Garlic Scapes – 10 Ways to Use Them!

Our garlic scapes are now coming fast and furious!  They are a wonderful byproduct of growing garlic, since by harvesting, the garlic bulbs grow much larger.  In the interest of making no waste, we use every single one!  I get asked a lot what we do with them all, so I thought others may have the same question!  Here is a list of 10 ways we use garlic scapes:

  1. In stirfry!  Slice them into pieces a few centimeters long (about an inch) and throw them in!
  2. Grill them whole on the barbeque or by using a grill over an open fire.
  3. Make garlic scape pesto.  I have used this recipe in the past, and it turned out well.  For me it was nice to cut the raw garlic bite with a bit of spinach and parsley.
  4. Pickle them!  Use a favourite pickle recipe or lacto-fermentation method.  We used a favourite pickled bean recipe and they turned out great.
  5. Throw sliced scapes in with roasted vegetables.  Chop a variety of root vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc.) and scapes into 1 inch pieces/cubes.  Cover root vegetables and scapes with olive oil or cut chunks of butter on top of the mix, sprinkle on some salt, and other spices (cayenne and thyme are two of our favourites) if you like,  and roast at 350˚ for about an hour.
  6. Chop finely and use in place of garlic.
  7. Blend into a paste by adding some oil and use as a garnish on soups or to flavour dips (like hummus) and dressings.
  8. Chop coarsely and add to soups or stews.
  9. If you don’t have time to deal with them all, they freeze very well and can be thawed and used later in all of your culinary delights.
  10. I saved my favourite until last…most of our scapes end up as garlic scape powder.  It takes up far less space to store than the scapes themselves, and I haven’t bought garlic powder in years!  To make it, se blend the scapes in our food processor, dry them in the dehydrator, then when they come out dried, we blend them again to make a powder.  To vouch for it’s awesomeness, it sells for over $25 per 100g!


How to Fight a Cold

I recently met a garlic farmer who introduced me to a wonderful chemical in garlic called “allicin.”  He explained how there were two chemicals in the garlic,  “allinase” and “alliin” which remain separated within each garlic clove.  They are there to protect the garlic from pathogens in the soil.  When the garlic is attacked by microbial pathogens these two chemicals are mixed, which creates allicin.

I was told that allicin was anti-bacterial, and could help you fight off a cold or illness just as it was getting started.  Shortly after meeting this farmer, I began to get a cold.  I decided to try his technique.

It goes as follows:

When you think you’re getting sick, crush a clove of raw garlic.  Leave it for 10 minutes for the chemical reaction of allinase and alliin to reach its peak.  Take the garlic raw (I ate it on a cracker, which helped to shield my tongue from its spiciness!)  He warned that I should take it promptly after the 10 minute mark, as the allicin has a half-life (meaning it becomes less potent as time passes).

So, with nothing to lose and a larder full of garlic, I took the remedy.  I had 3 days of not feeling quite myself.  On the second day, I felt the worst; a bit achy with a sore throat, so I took two doses.  I didn’t get the cold!  The children all have it, and Rob’s been fighting it too.  His solution was to drink kraut juice.  The jury is out as to whether his remedy was as effective, but I like to think the garlic pulled ahead!  As the one who wakes several times a night to feed the baby, I consider it a resounding success to be the healthiest one of our bunch!

I looked up allicin online to see if there were other benefits to taking it.  Research shows it to be lipid-lowering, good for anti-blood coagulation, anti-hypertension, anti-cancer, and an antioxidant in addition to its anti-microbial effects!

Nature is beautiful.