If like me you always end up buying too much garlic, you’ll probably be trying to find good ways of preserving it for later use. Freezing seems like a viable option, right? But can you freeze garlic?
Can You Freeze Garlic?
Yes, absolutely you can freeze garlic! In this article I’m going to show you how best to do it!
Why Freeze Garlic?
Garlic is a popular ingredient used in numerous dishes to add flavor and aroma to meals. However, fresh garlic has a short shelf life, and it can be challenging to keep it fresh for extended periods. So freezing garlic is a great way to preserve it for later use.
Freezing garlic also helps to preserve the best flavor of garlic. When garlic is stored in the refrigerator or at room temperature, it can lose its flavor and aroma over time. Freezing garlic at the right temperature helps to preserve the fresh flavor and aroma of garlic for a longer period.
Additionally, and I’m a huge fan of this, freezing garlic is a great way to reduce food waste. If you have excess garlic that you cannot use, you can freeze it and use it later. This way, you can avoid throwing away unused garlic and save money in the process.
Preparing Garlic for Freezing
Before freezing garlic, it’s important to prepare it properly to ensure that it retains its flavor and texture.
Here are some tips on how to prepare garlic for freezing:
Peel the Garlic
To freeze garlic, it is necessary to peel the cloves. This can be done by using a knife to cut off the root end of the clove and then using your fingers to remove the papery skin. Alternatively, you can use a garlic peeler, which is a small rubber tube that can be rolled over the garlic clove to remove the skin.
Separate the Cloves
Once the garlic cloves have been peeled, they should be separated from the whole head. This can be done by gently pulling the cloves apart from each other.
Cut the Garlic
If you prefer to freeze whole garlic cloves, you can skip this step. However, if you plan to use minced garlic in your recipes, it is a good idea to chop the garlic before freezing it. This will make it easier to use later on.
Pack the Garlic
After the garlic has been peeled, separated, and chopped (if desired), it should be packed into freezer-safe containers or bags. Be sure to label the containers with the date and contents so that you can easily identify them later on.
Methods of Freezing Garlic
Freezing garlic is a great way to preserve its flavor and aroma for future use. Here are some methods of freezing garlic that you can try:
Freezing Whole Garlic Bulbs
To freeze whole garlic bulbs, start by separating the cloves from the bulb. You can leave the skins on or remove them, depending on your preference. Place the cloves in a freezer-safe zip-top bag and remove as much air as possible before sealing it. Label the bag with the date and place it in the freezer. Whole garlic bulbs can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Freezing Peeled Garlic Cloves
To freeze peeled garlic cloves, start by peeling the cloves and removing any green sprouts. Place the cloves in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until they are frozen solid. Once frozen, transfer the cloves to a freezer-safe zip-top bag, remove as much air as possible, and seal it. Label the bag with the date and place it in the freezer. Peeled garlic cloves can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Freezing Garlic Paste
To make garlic paste, start by peeling and mincing the garlic cloves. Place the minced garlic in a food processor and add a small amount of olive oil. Process until the garlic is finely chopped and forms a paste. Spoon the garlic paste into an ice cube tray and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer the garlic cubes to a freezer-safe zip-top bag, remove as much air as possible, and seal it. Label the bag with the date and place it in the freezer. Garlic paste can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Freezing Minced or Chopped Garlic
To freeze minced or chopped garlic, start by peeling and mincing the garlic cloves. Spread the minced garlic in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer the garlic to a freezer-safe zip-top bag, remove as much air as possible, and seal it. Label the bag with the date and place it in the freezer. Minced or chopped garlic can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Storing Frozen Garlic
It’s important to store frozen garlic properly to ensure that it remains fresh and safe to eat.
When freezing garlic, it is important to use an airtight container to prevent freezer burn and maintain its quality. A plastic bag or a freezer-safe container with a tight-fitting lid works well for storing frozen garlic.
Frozen garlic should be stored in a freezer set to 0°F or below to ensure that it remains safe to eat. A freezer with a consistent temperature is ideal for storing frozen garlic.
Date and Label
It is important to label frozen garlic with the date it was frozen to keep track of its shelf life. Garlic can be stored in the freezer for up to six months before it starts to lose its flavor. Labeling the container or bag with the date of freezing will help ensure that it is used before it spoils.
Frozen garlic should be stored in a location in the freezer where it will not be disturbed. This will help prevent the garlic from breaking apart and becoming freezer burnt.
When thawing frozen garlic, it is important to use it as soon as possible. Thawed garlic should not be refrozen as this can affect its flavor and texture. Thawed garlic can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Using Frozen Garlic
Here are some tips on how to use frozen garlic in your cooking:
- Sauces and dressings: Frozen garlic can be added directly to sauces and dressings. It will thaw quickly and infuse the sauce with its sharp flavor. Garlic butter is a popular ingredient in many recipes, and frozen garlic can be used instead of fresh garlic to save time.
- Stews and casseroles: Frozen garlic can be added to stews and casseroles at the beginning of the cooking process. It will thaw and cook along with the other ingredients, adding flavor to the dish.
- Meat dishes: Frozen garlic can be added to marinades for meat dishes. It will thaw and infuse the meat with its flavor as it marinates.
- Potatoes: Frozen garlic can be added to roasted or mashed potatoes. It will thaw and blend in with the potatoes, adding a sharp garlic flavor.
- Garlic bread and pizza: Frozen garlic can be used to make garlic bread or pizza. Simply mix the frozen garlic with butter or oil and spread it on the bread or pizza crust before baking.
- Stir-fries: Frozen garlic can be added to stir-fries at the beginning of the cooking process. It will thaw and cook along with the other ingredients, adding flavor to the dish.
Effects of Freezing on Garlic
Freezing can change the texture of garlic, making it softer and less crunchy. The water inside the garlic cells expands when frozen, causing the cells to burst and resulting in a softer texture. Therefore, frozen garlic may not be suitable for dishes that require a crunchy texture.
Garlic’s flavor can be affected by freezing, but it varies depending on how it’s prepared. Whole, unpeeled garlic cloves freeze better than chopped or minced garlic. Chopped garlic can lose its flavor and aroma when frozen, while whole garlic cloves retain their flavor and aroma better.
Sprout and Discoloration
Freezing can also cause garlic to sprout and turn green. Garlic contains enzymes that can cause it to sprout when exposed to cold temperatures. Sprouted garlic can still be used, but it may have a slightly bitter taste. Additionally, freezing can cause garlic to turn brown or yellow, but this doesn’t affect its flavor or nutritional value.
Freezing garlic can also cause it to dry out, especially if it’s not stored properly. To prevent garlic from drying out, it should be stored in an airtight container or freezer bag.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to freeze peeled garlic cloves
To freeze peeled garlic cloves, first, peel the garlic cloves and chop them into small pieces or mince them. Then, spread the garlic on a baking sheet and freeze it for a few hours. Once the garlic is frozen, transfer it to a freezer-safe container or bag and store it in the freezer.
How to use frozen garlic
Frozen garlic can be used in the same way as fresh garlic. Simply take out the required amount of frozen garlic and add it to your recipe. There’s no need to thaw the garlic before using it.
Does freezing garlic lose nutrients
Freezing garlic can cause a slight loss of nutrients, but it’s not significant enough to affect the overall nutritional value of garlic. Garlic is still a good source of vitamins and minerals even after freezing.
How to thaw frozen garlic
To thaw frozen garlic, simply take out the required amount of garlic and let it thaw at room temperature for a few minutes. Alternatively, you can add frozen garlic directly to your recipe without thawing it.
Does freezing garlic destroy allicin
Allicin is a compound found in garlic that has many health benefits. Freezing garlic can cause some loss of allicin, but it’s not significant enough to affect the overall health benefits of garlic.
What is the best way to preserve garlic?
The best way to preserve garlic is to store it in a cool, dry place with good ventilation. Avoid storing garlic in the refrigerator as it can cause the garlic to sprout and lose flavor. If you have excess garlic, you can freeze it for later use.