So here’s the deal with garlic effectiveness. We’ve always assumed that eating it raw would do two things.
- First, it would give us all the health benefits of the bulb and
- Second, it would ruin our love lives.
USDA scientists tested this theory out – boiling, baking and microwaving garlic (both crushed and uncrushed) and evaluated them for antiplatelet activity.
The bottom line for healthy cooks? Crushing garlic freed up more of the compounds. And light cooking retained most of the benefits but microwaving removed all of the benefits.
Grow this herb in your garden, crush it for best health results but keep it away from the microwave.
We’ll have to do our own trials on the love life question it would appear.
Philipp Simon, USDA-ARS Vegetable Crops Research Unit, Madison, Wisconsin;
You can read other herb gardening posts here
Growing Culinary herbs is one of the great delights in the herb garden because there is nothing like a freshly harvested flavor to lend a sparkle to your table.
Here are five things you’ll want to know
Herb Gardening Hint Number One
Only grow those herbs you regularly use now.
I’ve seen many folks try to grow a ton of herbs and then these harvested leaves sit and are never used. It is a lot of work to grow and harvest herbs that will never see the light of day in your kitchen.
Hint Number Two
Remember that culinary herbs are usually only good for a year before they start to lose their flavor and potency.
Store them in glass jars in a dark cupboard and they’ll stay fresh for a year.
Culinary Herbs Hint Number Three
Only grow what you’ll use in a year. Let me suggest that if you only use sage for the Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey, that one lonely plant will give you more than you can possibly imagine.
It would be a waste of gardening space and gardening effort to grow several plants.
Hint Number Four
Many of the culinary herbs can also turn into garden weeds or garden thugs.
Spearmint is the Attila the Hun of the herb garden and chives self-sow like crazy and will come up everywhere. While this may sound pretty good in theory – in practice, it can take up a lot of time. So do learn to deadhead some of these plants and control the plants before they get ahead of you.
Hint Number Five
In growing the culinary herbs, you are going to eat these plants. So do not use pesticides on them. Organic methods are important for real success and flavor.
Check out my herb gardening ebook here.
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