All true garlic lovers need an easy way to peel garlic.
I love the flavor of garlic and of course, everyone's read about all of the great health benefits that garlic has, but it's a pain to peel.
What a great thing to be able to add something that tastes great and is great for you to your everyday meals!
But the peels - now that's another thing.
For years I've been flustered about how to peel garlic without ending up wanting to pull my hair out. Or worse.
I've tried cooking with garlic in lots of ways:
- peeling cloves with my fingers (ouch!)
- peeling with a garlic peeler (those rubber rolls that look like toilet paper rolls [messy, messy, messy]). My kids loved doing it (for awhile), but the novelty soon wore off and those little garlic peelings were all over the place :-(!
- using pre-peeled garlic. I'd buy a large container of pre-peeled garlic and would freeze it in small bags (to see the bags and clips that I use, check out my posts on How and Why to Store Prepared Beans or 6 Super Tips for Cilantro).
- Smashing cloves with the flat side of my knife (thanks to the reader who reminded me of this) - but the cloves easily slipped out from under my knife and I always felt like I was at risk of impaling myself -- all for the love of garlic!
- Using granulated garlic or garlic powder (or homemade garlic powder)
Clearly, the easiest method is to use granulated garlic or garlic powder, but I felt so much better using whole garlic cloves due to the health benefits of garlic and the fresher taste, so I gravitated towards the frozen pre-peeled.
That is, however, until I did some research and talked with a garlic expert on the phone who told me that the nutritional benefits of garlic are almost nil once you freeze garlic. Ugh! Back to the drawing board!
So I got out my silly rubbery garlic peeler again and had those pesky garlic peelings all over the place again.
And I pretty much dreaded making any recipe that had garlic in it!
Then - one day - I got an idea and I tried it. And guess what? My garlic peeling nightmares are over. And now yours are too :-)!
So if you've been wondering how to peel garlic without losing your mind, you are in the right place.
Does Garlic Lose Health Benefits When Cooked?
This is an important fact to know and a tip that can help you retain garlic's benefits in your cooked dishes.
Garlic is loaded with tons of health benefits, but heat will destroy them.
Letting the cut or chopped garlic sit for 10-15 minutes before eating or adding to a dish will maximize the benefits. The cutting or chopping breaks the garlic cells and releases enzymes from the cells that react with oxygen in the air. That reaction triggers healthy sulfide compounds, such as allicin (the most well known beneficial component of garlic), to form.
However, it's important to not cook garlic for too long or you will destroy some of those benefits. It's best to add garlic to your hot dish near the end of cooking. Of course it will taste a lot stronger, however, so that's the trade off.
Some sources say that letting the garlic sit for 10-15 minutes prior to cooking makes the allicin form and that it's pretty heat stable, but that seems to be up for debate.
Easiest Way to Peel Garlic
- Remove one clove from the garlic head.
- Cut clove in half, through the peel.
- At this point, typically each half clove will come out easily from the peel. Sometimes, like in this photo, the halves just fall out of the peel on their own! (Occasionally, a half clove will prove to be a bit stubborn and you will have to cut off the thick end of the clove that is adhered to the peel. Just slice through it quickly with your knife.)
Well, there you have it! An easy way to peel garlic--simple and painless!
Need more kitchen tips? Out of time as much as I am? How about:
How do you usually peel garlic?