Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Popcorn packs an antioxidant punch

A recent study has shown that popcorn may be the perfect snack food. It is the only snack food that is 100 percent whole grain. To be labeled as a "whole grain" foods must be at least 51% whole grain and the more whole grains, the better when it comes to health benefits.

Whole grains tend to have much more fiber and antioxidants than other vegetables and fruit. Antioxidants and useful as they play a protective roll against cancers, heart disease and other diseases.

Popcorn works great as a snack food but you need to be careful what you put on it in order to not dilute the health benefits. Adding too much salt, oil or butter can easily double calories, but if the thought of plain popcorn turns you off, consider misting it with a bit of olive oil or water and tossing with herbs or our delicious Garlic Popcorn seasoning.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

RX: Garlic for Colds & Flu

Our fearless leader has been struck down with the awful cold that has been traveling our small town despite the summer temps. I blame Back to School time.. with all the bugs and cooties the kids bring home from all the OTHER kids. Unfortunately it struck close to home and Caryl is home in bed nursing her headache and fever. I figured that it was time to pull out a cold and flu cures article from one of our past issues of The Garlic Hotline in preparation for when we all come down with it...

"There have been many studies on the uses of garlic to treat colds and flu. It has been shown that several strains of bacteria and viruses ( in addition to fungi, molds and parasites) can be killed or inhibited by garlic. Garlic stimulates the immune system, allergic reactions are rare and unlike conventional antibiotics, it is active against viruses. Following are a few of the ways it works as an antibiotic:
Oral raw garlic: kills infectious bacteria in the intestines directly.
• Garlic nose drops directly kill the viruses that cause cold and flu.
• Garlic's sulfur compounds, absorbed through food inhalation or poultices and then excreted through the lungs, are antibiotic to bacteria and viruses in the lungs and bronchial tract.
So, to prevent and/ or fight the nasty bugs this year try:

Garlic Shooter
Chop finely, 2-3 cloves of garlic. Add to a cup of juice. (of your choice, we like V8) Swirl and swallow.
Garlic Syrup
Chop, slice or blend ten to twelve garlic bulbs at a time. Place garlic in thin layers in a jar, alternating it with layers of sugar. Fill up half gallon jar with the layers. Let steep for two days. You'll find that the sugar pulls the fluid right out of the garlic. No added liquid necessary. Strain the liquid through a cloth. This syrup is excellent for coughs, bronchitis, congestion in lungs, colds, sore throats, laryngitis, hoarseness, etc.

Garlic Tea
Add several chopped cloves of garlic to 1/2 cup boiling water and let steep for 6-8 hours. Gargle for sore throats, or swallow to ease flu symptoms.

And finally, a recipe that might be a bit more palatable to those who are not HARDCORE garlic eaters..

 Garlic Soup for the Flu
•2 qts chicken stock ( preferably homemade)
• 4-6 sprigs parsley
• 20 cloves fresh garlic
• 2 Tbsp soy sauce
• 1/4 C sherry
Salt & Fresh ground pepper to taste

Simmer all ingredients for approximately 1 hour. Strain and serve HOT! Refrigerate remainder and reheat as needed.

Excerpted from The Healing Power of Garlic by Paul Bergner.

Monday, August 13, 2012

THE CALIFORNIA GARLIC HARVEST IS IN and the Gilroy Garlic Festival is over!
In spite of the late harvest, it appears to be a good one. 
But, for those of you growing your own or buying our fresh garlic, some helpful and healthful tips:
 Harvesting garlic: If you grow your own, it's important to let it "mature" after harvesting. This is done by spreading the bulbs on racks and out of the direct sun in a well ventilated place for about two weeks. When the skins are dry and papery the bulbs can be cleaned by removing the outermost layers of their papery skins.  The garlic should then be stored in a cool, dry, well ventilated place. Garlics' usable "life" when stored properly is from 3 to 6 months. At Garlic Festival Foods, we do not ship fresh garlic after January. Garlic purchased in the super market after that time has been in cold storage (so has a short usability) or is imported. We do not sell Chinese or other imported garlic.

Roasting Garlic:  Roasted garlic has become very popular for its' sweet and delicious flavor. It can be used on crackers or as an ingredient in many dishes such as sauces, mashed potatoes and to spread on meat and poultry. Recipe: Cut off the tip of the whole head exposing the cloves.  Place the head or heads in a roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper and a little dried or fresh thyme. Pour in 1/4 C water or white wine, cover tightly with aluminum foil and roast at 350ยบ for 45 mins. to an hour. Uncover for the last 5-10 mins.  Let cool a little and squeeze cloves out of their skins. 

Storing garlic in oil.
Extreme care must be taken when storing garlic in oil. Peeled cloves may be put in oil and stored in the freezer for months.
Fresh or roasted garlic should never be stored in oil at room temperature. This has been associated with at least 3 cases of botulism in the USA in recent years.  Never eat garlic in olive oil in restaurants stored on the table.  You can make your own garlic flavored oil by gently heating fresh garlic in olive oil but it should be used immediately.
Have your garlic and eat it too! When fresh garlic is not in season, try our Organic Roasted Garlic. It is great for cooking, making bread dippers and seasoning garlic oil, Safely!