The Growing Older, Living Younger Project

Roasted Garlic: one of my guilty secrets

Apr 21, 2021 | 2021 April A to Z Challenge, Nutrition

Is roasted garlic on your list of favorite foods? I confess it is on mine, and now that I am ‘socially distancing’ I am enjoying it much more frequently than before.

Longer ago than I care to remember, I visited New Orleans for the first time. I was there to present a workshop on Trace Elements in Human Health and Disease, at an international biochemistry conference.

One evening, at a small restaurant in the French Quarter, I tasted garlic ice cream.

When I initially saw garlic ice cream on the menu, I shuddered at the idea. it’s not that I dislike the taste of raw garlic. On the contrary. What would Caesar salad dressing be like without it? I add it to my guacamole for an extra kick. And in my pre- keto days, buttery garlic toast was a favorite accompaniment for barbecues. But ice cream and garlic were two foods that I had never considered putting together.

And then, in this small, intimate French restaurant, … we were each presented with a sugar cone piled high with a creamy rich, roasted garlic ice cream. The caramelized garlic added a subtle sweetness to the ice cream, and I was hooked on the concept.

I don’t eat ice cream these days, having a penchant for savoury foods rather than sweet. But I love adding roasted garlic cloves to my salad or just squeezing a few onto my steak or salmon.

Garlic belongs to the allium family along with onions, leeks, shallots and chives. I must have an allium-loving gene because i love the taste of all of these vegetables as much as I detest cilantro and olives. Although like all plants, onions. and garlic have lectins, they are relatively lower apparently than tomatoes and peppers. The yin and yang of Greek salad, so to speak.

Sulfur- and other compounds in raw or crushed garlic have long been thought to have immune-modulating effects, though I wonder how much one would have to consume to actually benefit. Onions also have quercetin, which has an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immune modulating effects.

Food as medicine is a vast topic and fascinating to me but In the meantime, just enjoying those tasty little garlic cloves is a satisfying guilty pleasure.

Any other garlic fans out there?

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