When writing handouts for my workshops, I like to include some quirky facts / hints and tips. In preparing for my recent “Pizza Party Workshop”, I read a fair bit about garlic and the superpower that is allicin within!!
When garlic is chopped or pressed, the cell walls are ruptured and this releases lots of garlic’s compounds. Two of these, alliin and enzyme alliinase (yes, there is a double “i” in these words) work their magic together to produce the super powerful allicin, which is responsible for not just garlic’s pungent aroma and bite, but also its impressive list of health benefits. These include anti-bacterial, -fungal (incl candida), parasitic and –viral activities, making garlic a super-hero for your immune system.
To get the most out of your garlic, it isn’t, however, just a case of chopping and throwing it straight into the cooking pot.
If you plunge garlic straight into your pan after chopping, alliinase doesn’t get formed. This also happens if you combine it with an acidic medium, such as lemon juice.
Tip: finely chop / crush your garlic clove and allow it to sit for 5 – 10 minutes before using. This is also a good tip for when making hummus, as this combines garlic and lemon juice.
This is Bram, the vampire bat, eyeing up the garlic …………. 🙂