Whenever we think kitchen must-haves, garlic, is always up there with salt, black pepper, and olive oil. Although a vegetable, garlic is generally used as a spice or seasoning in many recipes. It is a staple ingredient used in almost all our favorite everyday dishes.
You can add it into fresh pasta, fold it into creamy mashed potatoes or brush with butter onto crusty slices of bread. Whichever way you like to have it, this flavor powerhouse brings the simplest foods to life. Still, a novice mistake many garlic enthusiasts make is to put huge amounts of garlic into foods by following instructions incorrectly.
This is major because most people do not understand the difference between a garlic head and a clove of garlic. This article will go over everything you need to know about garlic cloves, including the difference between a head of garlic and a garlic clove.
What Is A Head Of Garlic?
It is important to understand that a clove of garlic and a head of garlic are not the same things. The large bulb of garlic you buy in supermarkets is not one clove. Instead, the whole bulb of garlic is known as a knob or head. Garlic bulbs are covered in layers of papery skin. Once peeled off, you will find that the garlic bulb is subdivided into different segments. Each of these individual segments is known as clove.
What Is A Clove Of Garlic?
As stated earlier, a head refers to the whole bulb of garlic. Cloves are the individual segments you find after peeling the papery skin off the garlic bulb. These cloves are easy to separate from the bulb as well as from each other. This feature makes it easy for you to use just a few cloves at a time, leaving the rest of the bulb mostly intact.
Although individual cloves are smaller than whole heads of garlic, they are packed with numerous nutrients and minerals. Although garlic is a vegetable, it is often used as a spice or seasoning to ump the flavor of recipes.
How Big Is The Size Of A Single Clove?
When you break apart a head of garlic, you will see that the cloves are not uniformly sized. Some are bigger, while others are smaller than others. So what do you do when your recipe requires you to use three cloves, but you have a can of pre-minced garlic?
In such a case, the general consensus is that one clove is equivalent to a teaspoon (tsp) of minced garlic. And since cloves come in different sizes, generally, one small clove of minced garlic yields about 1/2 tsp, whereas one large garlic clove yields about 1.5 tsp. One medium peeled garlic clove produces one rounded tsp.
How Many Cloves Are In A Head Of Garlic?
Every garlic head is different. The number of cloves in a head of garlic depends on the size and variety of the garlic. Some have four cloves or fewer, while others have 20 or more cloves. However, most of the garlic bulbs you will find at the local grocery store have 10-12 cloves.
What Does A Garlic Clove Taste Like?
Garlic cloves have a unique, pungent flavor that borders on spicy when raw and nutty when cooked. The sulfur compounds found in garlic, including diallyl disulfide, contribute to its mustardy flavor profile. When garlic cloves are dried and crushed into garlic powder, they lose their acrid raw flavor, making it perfect for seasoning dishes.
How To Buy And Store Garlic Cloves?
Shopping for fresh garlic cloves can be tricky, especially because they are hidden under the outer layers of a garlic bulb. Still, identifying fresh garlic is easy with a little practice. Here are some tips to help you buy fresh garlic:
- First, choose garlic bulbs that are firm and plump.
- Avoid buying bulbs that look spongy or are soft to the touch. The same applies to sprouting bulbs with a green shoot growing out of them.
- Once home, store your garlic in a cool, dark, and dry place. Choose a location with ample airflow, like in a basket or mesh bag in a pantry.
What Are The Culinary Uses Of Garlic Cloves?
Garlic cloves can be consumed raw or cooked in dishes. They have a strong flavor and characteristic odor that varies with different cooking methods. Most commonly, garlic cloves are sauteed with onion, infused into oils, made into garlic butter, enjoyed raw in salad dressings, or roasted until sweet and tender to spread over toast. Roasting garlic mellows out its strong, almost spicy raw flavor.
Garlic is used in different ways across the world to produce different flavors. In Korea, for instance, whole heads of garlic are fermented at high temperatures: black garlic with a sweet and delicate flavor. In China, garlic chives, which are the tender leaves that sprout from the bulb of garlic, are used as vegetables. They are used in dumplings, noodles, and scrambled eggs.
How To Peel Garlic Cloves?
- Break the head of garlic into individual cloves.
- Place a clove on your cutting board.
- Position the flat side of a wide chef’s knife on top of the clove with the sharp side facing away from you.
- Holding the knife’s handle firmly, smash down on the blade firmly until the clove is crushed.
- Pull the loose papery skin away from your garlic clove and discard.
- Repeat with the remaining cloves
If this method doesn’t work for you, consider trying out these other methods.
What Happens When A Garlic Clove Is Cut?
Most of the therapeutic benefits of garlic are associated with the sulfur compounds present in the clove. These compounds, especially allicin, come to the surface when the cloves are but. Allicin is an enzyme that contains antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties. It is also the one that gives garlic its signature odor.
Five Ways To Cut Garlic Cloves
How To Slice Garlic Cloves?
Place your peeled clove on a cutting board and hold it under one hand. Use your knife to make thin slices. Cut the clove into -5 pieces lengthwise. Repeat the same process width-wise, cutting it into 4-5 pieces.
How To Dice Garlic Cloves?
Start by slicing the clove. With one hand, hold the tip of the knife. Use the other hand to create a rocking motion severally to chop garlic roughly.
How To Mince Garlic Cloves?
For minced fresh garlic, use a two-handed chopping motion to run your knife over the garlic repeatedly. Repeat severally to mince garlic into fine bits. Note that minced garlic is finer than chopped garlic.
How To Crush Garlic Cloves?
Place a garlic clove on a chopping board. Lay the flat side of your knife over the clove. Using the heel of your hand, smash the blade down firmly on the clove until it is crushed. You can also opt to use a garlic press to achieve the same results.
How To Grate Garlic Cloves?
Rub your garlic clove up and down against a grater. this makes finely minced garlic. This method provides a quicker way to achieve minced fresh garlic.
What Is The Nutritional Value Of A Clove Of Garlic?
Garlic cloves are chock full of minerals such as iron, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, calcium, copper, and selenium. It is also a great source of vitamin C and Vitamin B6 (3). For every 100g of garlic, your body gets:
- 98 calories
- 0.6g fat
- 5.2g fiber
- 7.6g protein
- 16.3g carbohydrates
It is recommended to eat your garlic cloves fresh and raw to get all the essential nutrients found in garlic.
Proven Health Benefits Of A Clove Of Fresh Garlic
Other than for culinary use, garlic packs many benefits to the body. It has different medicinal values that can be used to treat diseases and kill bacterias. Some of the most common benefits of garlic include:
- Helps in weight loss: Garlic reduces the cholesterol levels in your body, lowering your risk of developing heart disease.
- Boosts immunity: Garlic is hailed for its immunity-boosting properties. As a result, it helps your body fight against common ailments like the flu, infections, and other conditions.
- Regulate blood pressure: The active compounds found in garlic help reduce blood pressure (hypertension). It also helps prevent heart conditions like strokes and heart attacks.
- Garlic helps reduce and regulate blood sugar levels. Therefore, it is highly recommended for people living with diabetes. For best results, use it religiously for more than three months.
What Does One Clove Of Garlic Look Like?
A garlic clove looks like an irregularly shaped wedge. Each clove is tightly wrapped in a fine, brownish skin with some hints of purple. One side of the garlic clove is pointy, whereas the other side is rather flat. The flat side is the one that is on the root end of the garlic.
How Big Is A Clove Of Garlic?
Each clove of garlic is different in size. Their sizes can range from small to large. The length of a small clove is about 1 inch, while the length of a large clove is between 1.25 to 1.4 inches. The diameter of a small clove ranges between 3/8 inches to 1/2 inches, whereas that of a large clove can be anywhere between 5/8 to 3/4 inches wide.
Hardneck garlic varieties, also known as gourmet or specialty garlic, come in a variety of sizes and weights ranging from 10 to 16 grams per bulb. However, most garlic cloves found in grocery stores are usually softneck varieties and weigh between 4 and 8 grams.
How Much Is One Clove Of Garlic?
What you get out of a clove of garlic greatly depends on what you are trying to do. Dicing, slicing and mincing all result in slightly different measurements. Some of the standard measurements for a medium-size garlic clove are:
How Much-minced Garlic Is A Clove?
Mincing or chopping up a clove or two of garlic may not produce an impressive pile, but still, chopped garlic packs a potent punch. Do not be fooled by its small size and assume that the recipe is meant for you to chop up two heads of garlic. Compared to many other vegetables that you chop and use in recipes, you will be using a very small amount of garlic. Generally, 1 tsp of minced garlic equals one clove
How Much Garlic Powder Equals Clove?
Although fresh garlic has a stronger smell and taste, garlic powder provides a great alternative when you run out of fresh garlic. So using substitute garlic powder for fresh garlic makes sense. Generally, one clove is equivalent to 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder.
How To Store A Peeled Clove Of Garlic?
Peeling garlic cloves is an excellent way to save time, especially if you know you will be using them throughout the week. Once peeled, throw the peeled cloves in an airtight container and store them in the fridge. Then, to enjoy your garlic flavor, simply pick the cloves you need for your recipe and store the rest.
Never ever store your peeled garlic in olive oil at room temperature. Since garlic is grown in the ground, it is frequently contaminated with botulism spores, which are almost impossible to remove. These spores cannot grow in cold areas, so refrigerate or free them.
Hopefully, this article has answered all your questions about what a clove of garlic is, including how much is a clove of garlic. This information is geared to help interpret recipes by helping you identify how much garlic you actually need.