Garlic is an important ingredient in your kitchen. It makes any dish spicy within a few seconds. Garlic is used in a variety of vegetarian as well as non-veg dishes. Apart from that, it is also used in curries, sauces, and other dishes. Peeling every clove of garlic is very time-consuming. Peeled cloves will last for only 3 weeks whereas unpeeled cloves will last for 6 months.
The shelf life of garlic depends on various factors such as storage place and the method of storage. We will now discuss the shelf life of minced garlic.
How long will garlic stay fresh?
Garlic will stay fresh for a long time if you store it properly. Unpeeled garlic cloves will stay fresh for around 8 to 10 days when you store them in the pantry. On the other hand, the quality of garlic bulbs will degrade if you break the bulb.
Peeled garlic cloves will stay fresh for only a few days. It is because peeled cloves of garlic will come in touch with moisture and get spoiled.
Shelf life of fresh whole garlic bulb
If you store the fresh garlic bulb properly, it will stay fresh for between 3 and 5 months. On the other hand, the shelf life of garlic bulbs will decrease if you break them. The quality of broken garlic bulbs will reduce day by day.
Shelf life of processed garlic
Garlic can be used in different ways in cooking various dishes. Some housewives use the whole garlic clove while some used minced garlic. Apart from that, some housewives also use chopped garlic cloves and make a paste of garlic.
Chopped and peeled garlic will stay fresh for about 1 year if you store it in a fridge. Even cooked garlic will stay fresh for many days if kept in a fridge.
Processed garlic comes in various forms in the market. They include powdered garlic, frozen garlic gloves, minced garlic, dried garlic, and minced garlic in jars. These kinds of processed garlic come with an expiration date. You can check the best by-dates while using processed garlic.
A jar of chopped or minced garlic can stay fresh for about 3 months in the fridge. Some commercial jarred garlic contains citric acid and stays fresh for a longer time. You can add virgin olive oil to minced garlic to extend its shelf life. Minced garlic with extra virgin olive oil will stay fresh for 2 to 3 weeks in a fridge.
Signs of bad garlic
Before using garlic in cooking, you must know whether it is fresh or bad. Consuming bad garlic will make you sick and cause digestive issues. You can try some ways to check the bad garlic. Read on to take steps to check whether the garlic is good or bad for consumption:
Smell of garlic
One of the best ways to check garlic is by its smell. Normally, the fresh garlic bulb has a unique smell. But when it gets old, you will get the sour smell of the garlic bulb. The sour smell is an indicator that garlic is not good for consumption.
So do not consume garlic cloves that have a sour smell. These cloves will cause stomach aches and food poisoning.
Appearance of garlic
The next indicator is the appearance of the garlic. Bad garlic has brown spots and it cannot be consumed. Some garlic cloves also run yellow when they get old. Do not consume yellow garlic cloves as they are unfit for consumption.
Green-colored garlic cloves can be eaten but they have a bitter taste. You can remove green shoots before adding garlic to the dish. These green shoots indicate that new sprouts are forming on the garlic bulb.
Another way to check garlic is to touch it with your hands. Fresh garlic bulb will be firm to the touch. You can use these garlic cloves in cooking various dishes. On the other hand, do not use soft garlic cloves in cooking food. It is better to throw away soft garlic cloves.
How to store garlic to increase its shelf life?
Storing the garlic properly will increase its shelf life. You can try the following ways to store garlic to keep it fresh for a long time:
You can freeze the whole unpeeled garlic bulb by wrapping it in an aluminum foil or plastic sheet. Freezing will change the texture but maintain the freshness of the herb.
Containers with proper air circulation
Another way to keep garlic fresh is by storing it in containers with good air circulation. Apart from that, you can also store garlic in a wire mesh basket or a paper bag.
Store in a cupboard
You can store garlic in a pantry or store cupboard in a dark place. Do not keep garlic under direct sun as the light will boost the growth of mold in the herb. High temperatures will decrease the quality of the herb. So, it is necessary to choose a cold place to store garlic cloves.
Minced garlic available in the market contains added preservatives like citric acid. These preservatives increase the shelf life of the garlic.
Yes, you can store leftover peeled garlic in the fridge by keeping it in an airtight container. It will stay fresh for about 2 weeks in the fridge.
Yes, you can use white or red wine to store garlic properly. Do not use balsamic vinegar as it has a strong flavor.
Yes, raw garlic has more benefits than cooked garlic. However, you must not heat the garlic above 60 degrees Celsius as overheating will kill the nutrients in the herb.
You can use garlic in various forms as per your choice. It is also possible to store mined or chopped garlic for a long time in a freezer by keeping it in a jar. You can try the above tips to store garlic for a long time and enjoy it in various dishes!
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