When most people think of garlic, they are reminded of a great flavoring to their delectable meals. What are lesser known about garlic are the health benefits that can come from this miraculous herb. By adding garlic to your diet, you can enjoy a multitude of benefits that will aid in strengthening your health and improving longevity.
The new book Cooking Well: Garlic (Hatherleigh Press) depicts several different benefits that, when garlic is added to our diet, can help us achieve healthier cholesterol levels, maintain proper blood pressure, and potentially lower the risk of common cancers. According to the authors, the benefits of garlic include:
- Allicin: This is a powerful antifungal and antibiotic compound found in crushed or finely chopped garlic.
- High Blood Pressure: The sulfides in garlic help to lower blood pressure. The healing properties of these sulfides are not lessened through cooking, so even cooked garlic can be effective.
- Cholesterol: Garlic also acts as an antioxidant, which can help to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels by preventing the build-up of cholesterol in the arteries.
Along with these great health benefits, it’s always fun to spice up your great homemade meals, and what better way to do so than by adding a little garlic. This new book is packed with recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even snacks. Some may overlook garlic but Cooking Well: Garlic provides great recipes that are easy to make and show us how to add garlic into our meals. Three delicious recipes from the book are:
Garlic Bean Soup (serves 8)
Ingredients: 1 pound dry Great Northern beans, 1 quart water, 1 quart low-sodium vegetable broth, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 garlic cloves, minced, 4 tablespoons chopped parsley
Directions: Place beans in large soup pot, cover with water and bring to boil. Cook 2 minutes, remove from heat. Cover pot and allow to stand for 1 hour. Drain, discarding water. Combine beans, 1 quart fresh water, and vegetable broth in slow cooker. Saute garlic and parsley in olive oil in skillet. Stir into slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hour or until beans are tender.
Green and Orange Salad (serves 8)
Ingredients: 8 navel oranges, 2 tablespoons snipped chives, 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil, 1 clove garlic, minced, ¼ cup minced parsley, 3 tablespoons orange juice, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, Boston or bibb lettuce
Directions: Peel and section the oranges, removing all the membranes. Place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the parsley and chives. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, oil, mustard and garlic. Pour over the oranges and toss well. Serve on a bed of lettuce leaves.
Chicken Breast with Asian Glaze (serves 4)
Ingredients: Four 5-ounce chicken breasts with bones and skin, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 tablespoon green tea, 1 tablespoon Oriental hot mustard, 1 garlic clove, minced, 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon dried ginger, Canola oil, Salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Wash and pat dry the chicken breasts. Carefully pass your fingers between the meat and the skin to loosen up the skin without breaking it. Heat the maple syrup, tea, mustard, garlic, and ginger in a saucepan over low heat until well blended. Season to taste and set aside. Lift up the chicken skin and brush the mixture over the chicken meat. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and cover the breasts with the skin. Brush canola oil over the skin and roast for 30 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove skin before serving.
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