Garlic is one of the most popular seasonings that are a must-have in the kitchen for any serious chef. Known for reducing cholesterol levels and preventing heart diseases, garlic is a darling for many health enthusiasts.
However, like other plants, they have their seasons, and you don’t want to miss this critical ingredient in your kitchen, so this article will cover How Long Does Fresh Garlic Last.
How Long Does Fresh Garlic Last?
Garlic’s self-life will depend on where and how it is stored. If appropriately stored as a whole, this beauty can last for five months in a cool, dry place or a year in the freezer. You can buy garlic as a fresh raw whole bulb, roasted garlic cloves, refrigerated garlic cloves, or jarred minced garlic in the market.
As much as the whole bulb can last longer in the pantry and fridge, individual unpeeled cloves can last seven to ten days in the cool, dry place as they will dehydrate rather quickly.
What about processed garlic?
Chopped or peeled garlic can stay in good condition for usage for about one week in the fridge and even longer (10 to 12 months) when stored in the freezer., which also applies to cooked garlic. Other processed garlic bought in the supermarket like dried Garlic, minced, powdered Garlic, and frozen cloves come with labels showing expiry date. Usually, those that have instructions to keep in the refrigerator last up to a maximum of three months.
How to properly store and preserve garlic
Ensure that when shopping for garlic, you avoid any soft or damaged bulbs and the ones that are sprouting for long-term storage. After you have bought your garlic, store them in a mesh bag or woven basket at home in a dry place at room temperature. At a temperature of between 60 and 65 degrees and with moderate humidity keeps garlic longest.
This fact proves why it is challenging to keep garlic longer during winter due to humidity, and even with heated homes, the garlic will rarely last as the heat will in a month or two to dry up the cloves.
In the refrigerator – To take care of the humidity problem, keeping garlic in the drawer of the fridge. Just remember that once you remove it from the fridge, return it soon since it will sprout once it is out at room temperature. Should it sprout, then you can still grow it by planting it in a small pot of soil at the window.
Garlic can also be frozen by first blending its cloves with a little water, then using an ice cube tray, freeze the puree, or spread it in a sheet to form a thin but breakable layer. Once it is frozen, place the cubes in an airtight container.
In a dehydrator– Using a food processor having a batch loader, slice the peeled garlic thinly. These should then be placed into a food dehydrator or in a warm oven with a slightly opened door. Place the crisp like garlic in an airtight container. This can last for several months.
Keeping in flavored Oil – This method can be applied in preserving dried garlic slices placing them in olive oil. This can then be used for cooking or in a salad. Using fresh garlic with olive oil is not a good idea unless you intend to keep it in the freezer. Otherwise, it may result in botulism, and that is dangerous.
Roast in the Oven- this is a cool way to preserve garlic since it can be kept in the freezer indefinitely in this form. Garlic can be roasted without having to peel. It is versatile in usage than the fresh one.
Is sprouted garlic bad?
Garlic bulbs sprout when green shoots emerge on its head or growing on the inside of the cloves. It is still safe to use garlic at this stage, though it may be bitter, so it is advisable to use it in broth or stock.
How to know that garlic has gone bad
One way to know this is to look for rotten sports on a club’s head or the unpeeled gloves. You may identify black or brown spots or discoloration on the outer skin, telling you it is time to throw it away. Since garlic should be firm when it is fresh and good, if it feels soft and mushy with some liquid coming off it, then know it is past its expiry date.
If you peel the cloves and have bad spots or a yellow hue, it is bad even if this does not appear on the outer cover. The yellow color is an indication that the garlic is bad or on its way to the trash can. Finally, you can use the smell method once peeled. If it does not have a strong garlicky smell, it may be developing a vinegary smell, signifying it is starting to rot
What are the effects of eating bad garlic?
Ingesting a clove of bad garlic can result in botulism, a certain type of food poisoning. This is very rare but can be very dangerous and, on occasion, can prove fatal. Since garlic has low acidity, it is subject to easy decay, leading to the formation of toxic spores.
Garlic, known for its health benefits, is one of the most popular additives in modern kitchens. It is possible to preserve garlic for long depending on how or where it is kept.
Many preserve garlic in the fridge, pantry, freezer, or olive oil while dry and in a dehydrator. Care should be taken to ensure that the garlic you use is fresh to avoid food poisoning.