Garlic. A gift from the gods – I’m sure of it! This aromatic herb adds so much flavor to dishes and it’s healthy too. However, every time I see it listed in a recipe I cringe because I despise peeling and chopping garlic. Here is a kitchen hack that will save you from ever having to chop (and peel) garlic ever again.
The Long Road to Garlic Freedom
I suppose a hatred towards peeling and chopping garlic is something I should consider a blessing. There are such bigger problems in our world, who am I to complain about this menial kitchen task? But let’s get real, it really does stink! I’m a real food mom/chef providing healthy meals for my family. This means I have to peel and chop garlic quite often. It adds such an amazing flavor to dishes that it’s hard to just leave it out. I wanted to find a way to make this task less annoying and less frequent. I tried that and found that meals just left me wanting. I tried adding extra garlic powder and that didn’t do the trick either. Then I moved onto using minced garlic.
I bought a HUGE jug of minced garlic from Costco and added a spoonful to dishes that called for fresh garlic. This did save me from the task of peeling and chopping, but I just found that minced garlic didn’t give dishes that same depth of flavor. It smelled like garlic and looked like garlic (sort of) but just didn’t give the same result. Luckily, it only took me a year to use up the giant jug of garlic. I decided that I’d just add garlic peeling and chopping to my weekly food prep task list. I love washing and chopping all the vegetables I’ll need for the week. It is a serious time save. However this just meant more peeling and chopping. Those fly away garlic skins and the sticky garlic flesh that sticks to your knife. Anyone else feel me? No? Ok, maybe I’ve had too long to think about this.
Enter: giant jug of peeled whole garlic cloves (Thanks Costco!). I have always passed these by at Costco until a friend of mine let me in on her secret. Buy a giant jug of garlic cloves that someone or something has already peeled for you, blend them up and freeze them. The blender does all the work for you. I wanted to kiss my friend right through the Internet. Moms are the source of all efficiency tips, I swear!
And that was it…the last time I peeled and chopped garlic. I’ve been using this method ever since and it’s been awesome. I mix in a little bit of olive oil to help the garlic blend and then freeze. I cut small chunks and keep those in a small container in my freezer. That way I’m not opening the large bag of prepped garlic very often which helps keep it even fresher. I use throw in a little cube each time I need a clove. I’m on my second batch of garlic currently. The first one lasted almost a year. If that’s just too much garlic for you, you can always split the jug with a friend. I believe this was under 10.00 at Costco. I’d prefer organic but was willing to sacrifice for pure ease and time saving.
I will just add the frozen garlic cube to my dishes and let it melt in. If I want to saute the garlic in a pan before adding other ingredients I’ll let the cube sit out for a bit to let it thaw before I add it to the pan. The added olive oil helps keep the garlic from burning and of course, nothing goes better with garlic than olive oil.
How To Make the Cubes
Add half the jug of garlic cloves to a high powered blender like this one. Add about ½ -1 cup of olive oil to the blender. Start with ½ a cup and add more if it’s having a hard time blending. Use the blender stick to press the garlic down and get it moving as it blends. I like to end up with a consistency of finely chopped but not puréed garlic. It will look really creamy with the olive oil. Empty the blender and repeat with the rest of your garlic.
Add the mixture to a large ziploc bag and freeze flat.
I then like to break off a chunk (may have to allow it to soften a bit and use a knife), cut into 1” cubes and keep a small container in my freezer for easy access. Voila! A lifetime supply, almost, of garlic that is already peeled and chopped. Best of all it will taste like FRESH garlic whenever you use it. Mission accomplished. I hope you give this a try and let me know what you think. My husband wasn’t nearly as excited as I was about this (smile).