The question that most garlic lovers ask often is whether they can freeze it. It turns out that freezing garlic is the best way to preserve it. Contrary to popular belief, frozen garlic cloves taste as good as fresh garlic. And freezing preserves garlic, preventing it from rotting and gaining a foul smell. This article discusses how to freeze garlic using seven simple tips. Keep reading to learn more about how to free garlic in seven simple steps.
Choose The Right Garlic For Freezing
The first step is to choose fresh garlic – straight from the grocery store – that hasn’t spoiled or developed toxins. Since garlic is a vegetable, always make sure you have fresh garlic cloves. You don’t want to end up with foul-smelling garlic straight from your freezer.
It is easy to know when you have fresh garlic cloves. If it has started to go stale, the garlic develops brown spots or starts yellowing. You may also notice some green sprouts growing from the center of the bulb.
Besides, you can isolate stale garlic by smelling the bulb. A rotting garlic bulb wouldn’t have the distinct fresh garlic flavor. Instead, it has a sour odor, signaling that it might be spoiled. Also, fresh garlic cloves are firm to the touch. If they feel soft and mushy, then it is spoiled and needs to be thrown away.
How To Freeze Garlic Bulbs
When stored at room temperature, whole garlic bulbs can last for up to four months. However, after peeling the bulbs, garlic cloves get a reduced shelf-life.
That’s why having frozen garlic can help it maintain its freshness for a long time until you need it in a recipe. You can freeze peeled or unpeeled garlic cloves to prolong their life by more than one year.
How To Freeze Solid Garlic Bulbs
Freezing whole bulbs is great because it involves minimal preparation. You don’t have to chop, mince, or crush the garlic before storing it. Besides, it can go into any recipe whenever you decide to thaw and use it. Here are the steps to follow to freeze whole garlic gloves:
Step 1: Remove the root end and other dirt from the bulb to be sparkling clean. That would mean that you can take the garlic straight from the freezer and use it for cooking.
Step 2: Pack the bulbs in a freezer container or plastic bag and seal tightly. You may label it with a date and name if you like.
Step 3: Put the packed garlic into the freezer. Leave it there for as long as you want or until you need to use it.
Whenever you want to cook, all you need is to open the container, remove a garlic bulb, and reseal it. You can then thaw frozen garlic, peel it, and make it part of your recipe. You can chop, mince, or crush the garlic before using it.
How To Freeze Peeled Garlic Cloves
You can make it easier to use the garlic afterward by freezing peeled garlic cloves. It is better than having frozen whole bulbs when you want to use garlic in a recipe. Here are simple steps to go about this process:
Step 1: After removing whole cloves from the bulb, peel and wash them.
Step 2: Put the peeled garlic cloves inside an airtight container or plastic bag and seal tightly. Label the container with the date and a name if you like. The date can help you know how long you can freeze the garlic.
Step 3: Put the freezer bag into the freezer. Ideally, it should stay there for six months but not more than one year.
Whenever you need to use the frozen garlic in your dishes, you need to thaw then mince or chop it. Solid garlic would have required you to peel it first.
How To Freeze Chopped Garlic
While solid garlic cloves are excellent, meal preparation can take you longer since you need to process the garlic further after thawing it. So, it is always better to freeze chopped garlic. It would certainly make it easier for you when preparing your meals.
Step 1: Pull the cloves from the bulb and peel them.
Step 2: Chop the cloves like you would when you want to cook with the garlic. That way, you can thaw and add it to your dishes.
Step 3: Pack the chopped garlic in a freezer bag or container, ensuring it lies in a thin layer. That way, you can break it off whenever you want to use it. Make sure the bag is airtight before sealing it.
Step 4: Freeze garlic by putting the ziplock bag or mason jar into the freezer and keep it there for as long as you like, but not more than six months. Be sure to write the date and name of contents on the container.
How To Freeze Minced Garlic
Instead of having your garlic chopped, you can freeze minced garlic is equally easier to use after removing it from the freezer. Since it is already minced, you can mix it in your dishes as is. Here are steps on how to freeze it.
Step 1: Remove and peel the cloves and use the appropriate device to mince the garlic. Make sure it is just as you would want it to go into a dish.
Step 2: Put the minced garlic into a freezer container or bag. Please don’t leave it in chunks but spread out the minced garlic into a thin layer. That makes it easier to break it off whenever you wish to cook with it. Make sure the bag is airtight, seal, and label it.
Step 3: Put the garlic bag into the freezer.
That should do it. Later on, when you need some frozen minced garlic, all you need is to open the container, scoop as much garlic as you want, seal it, and keep freezing. This method is great since it gets you to cook faster.
How To Freeze Pureed Garlic With Olive Oil
Freezing garlic is possible by turning it into a puree. While some people find this one of the easiest methods of freezing garlic cloves, others think it isn’t. However, it is worth trying, especially if you are ready to go through the elaborate process of using a food processor. Also, it would help if you took precautions not to fall prey to food poisoning. However, it is a great way to freeze garlic, especially if you intend to use the oil for sautéing your dishes. Here are the simple steps to going through this method of garlic freezing:
Step 1: Remove the cloves, peel, and puree them together with olive oil in a food processor or blender. As a rule of thumb, use two parts olive oil to one part of pre-peeled garlic.
Step 2: Pack and seal the mixture in a sheet pan or ziplock bag as soon as possible.
Step 3: Place the container in the freezer immediately to avoid the case of contamination and food poisoning.
This method of freezing garlic is risky since exposing the mixture to room temperature can cause the production and spread of Clostridium botulinum, a harmful bacterium. Also, when defrosting the prepped garlic, leave it inside the fridge on a sauteing pan. If you leave it on the counter, you can contaminate it and render it unusable.
How To Make And Freeze Garlic Paste
Garlic paste is much like garlic puree, but it requires a little less oil to make. Since garlic paste is more on the solid side, you can use it to male garlic cubes, which you can, later on, add to your dishes. Here is the simple process to freeze fresh garlic using this method:
Step 1: Remove the cloves from the garlic bulb and peel them.
Step 2: Put the cloves in a blender or food processor and add oil (less than the puree).
Step 3: Blend the mixture until you get a paste. Alternatively, you can use a garlic press.
Step 4: Use a teaspoon to scoop paste into the compartments of the ice cube tray. Once it’s complete, place the tray into the freezer.
Step 5: Store garlic cubes, an airtight container after removing excess air, and label with a name and a date.
Like the minced and puree method, this makes meal prep easier. In addition, it can help you save prep time by helping you avoid chopping a whole bulb.
How To Thaw Garlic
Whenever you want to cook using frozen garlic, you must first thaw it. One of the best ways to get defrosted garlic is to do it in the fridge. While this method is perfect, regardless of the freezing method, it requires about an hour. However, it is the best for garlic puree since it prevents contamination.
Alternatively, you can store garlic on the counter, especially if you have frozen cloves or bulbs. Then, after shopping for the frozen garlic cloves, you leave them on a baking sheet and wait for 10 to 20 minutes to have them defrosted.
If you have frozen pureed, chopped, or minced garlic cloves, add them directly to the dish while cooking. That way, you don’t have to wait longer to defrost it.
With all the processes above, it is clear that freezing garlic is possible. Choose a convenient and most appropriate method to preserve your garlic and prevent rotting. When you need to use it, then you can thaw the frozen garlic. Finally, use it in your favorite recipes, including preparing garlic bread.