Have you ever found yourself cooking a big meal and wished you had more garlic on hand? Whether your recipe calls for chopped garlic, minced garlic, or whole cloves of garlic, sometimes the amount needed is much greater than what is available in your pantry. Can you freeze garlic? That’s one of the most common questions about garlic and the answer is yes! Freezing garlic is a great way to preserve this delectable seasoning so that it can be easily added to recipes when needed.
Garlic can be a real pain to use when you have to peel it first, but freezing garlic makes this process so much easier. Freeze garlic for convenience and to keep it fresh. You can freeze whole in its natural form or minced depending on how you will use it later. This blog post aims to equip you with all the garlic-freezing knowledge so that you can save precious time and make cooking more efficient.
So the first question that comes to mind is, can’t I just refrigerate the garlic? Why do I need to freeze it? Well, refrigerating the garlic cloves is a valid preserving technique for a few days. But refrigerated garlic will last maybe a week before its quality starts to degrade. Freezing garlic is a much more proven way of preserving it as it allows the garlic to retain its flavor for a much longer time than when stored in the refrigerator.
Often, garlic is frozen as peeled cloves, minced, or as garlic paste. The reason behind this is just the ease of use that you get with garlic already being ready in the form you plan to use it in. However, this does not mean that you cannot feeze whole garlic bulbs. In the sections below you will find different methods to freeze and store garlic so that you can use them for months to come. But before that, there are a few things that you need to be aware of.
Buying garlic is pretty straightforward. Choose garlic heads that are large and dry. The best garlic heads have tightly wrapped skin, especially around the tip of the garlic bulb. Avoid any bulbs that have brown spots or seem too soft. If you buy peeled garlic cloves, make sure that they don’t have brown spots and are not shriveled.
The key to keeping garlic fresh is to keep its skin intact, especially around the tip. If your garlic is dirty, use some paper towels to rub the garlic’s skin gently. You can even remove the outermost layer of the garlic skin. Just take care that you don’t expose any of the garlic cloves. Use a pair of scissors to trim the roots as close as possible to the base of the garlic, and this will also help you remove any excess dirt.
Peeling garlic is one of the most time-consuming and frustrating tasks in the kitchen, which is why we already have a blog post ready for you that is going to make this task so much easier.
Unless you absolutely need the whole garlic head to be frozen, it might be better to separate it into cloves just for freezing and then use them later.
To defrost the garlic, you can move them to the refrigerator overnight to let them thaw or even soak them in some warm water to speed up the thawing process.
Freezing peeled garlic cloves is super simple. Before you freeze the garlic cloves, get rid of any cloves that have brown spots on them.
When you are ready to use the frozen garlic cloves, simply remove as many cloves you need and add them to a bowl of lukewarm water for a few minutes to help them thaw. Once thawed, you are ready to use them in whichever way you like!
Freezing garlic will quickly become your favorite kitchen hack once you know how easy and convenient it is to get some from your fridge and just add them to your cooking pan.
First, crush the peeled garlic cloves with the flat end of a wide knife to mince your garlic. Next, hold the knife with your dominant hand and place the other hand flat on the tip end of the knife. Using a rocking motion, chop the garlic until you get a fine mince. Now that the minced garlic is ready let’s freeze it.
It is best to feeze minced garlic into portion sizes so that it is easier to use them. There are a few different ways to do this as well.
Frozen minced garlic will easily last in your refrigerator for up to 6 months. However, it will start to lose its flavor when stored for long periods. Try to use the garlic within 3 – 4 months for maximum flavor.
You can also freeze garlic paste using the same technique as above. Simply make your garlic paste by adding your peeled garlic cloves to the blender and blending them into a smooth paste. Now, you are ready to freeze them using either the ice-cube tray method or the scooping method.
You can freeze roasted garlic as well. Simply peel the roasted garlic to remove its flesh into a bowl. In the case of whole roasted garlic, the simplest way to do it is by cutting the garlic in half around its center and squeezing each half in a bowl to release the flesh. You can freeze roasted garlic using ice cube trays like described above, or you can directly transfer them to freezer-safe bags.
Frozen roasted garlic will also last up to 6 months. But for maximum flavor, use it within 3 – 4 months. The best thing about freezing minced or roasted garlic is that you don’t need to worry about defrosting it. You can simply add it in the frozen form itself to your pan!
Garlic is an excellent ingredient to include in your diet. And having it frozen and ready to use makes it a perfect meal prep option. Give these techniques a try, and you will be freezing garlic for a long time to come for sure!
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