What is garlic powder?
Garlic powder is a spice made from dehydrated garlic cloves that have been ground into a fine powder. It is a popular seasoning in many cuisines, particularly in Mediterranean and Asian dishes. Garlic powder is often used as a substitute for fresh garlic, as it provides the same flavor without the need for chopping or crushing. It is also a convenient option for those who don’t have fresh garlic on hand or don’t want to deal with the strong smell that fresh garlic can leave on your hands.
How is garlic powder made?
Garlic powder is made by dehydrating fresh garlic cloves and then grinding them into a powder. The dehydration process typically involves slicing the garlic cloves into thin pieces and then either air-drying them or using a dehydrator. Once the garlic is completely dry, it is ground into a fine powder using a spice grinder or food processor.
There are two main types of garlic powder: regular garlic powder and roasted garlic powder. Regular garlic powder is made from raw, dehydrated garlic cloves, while roasted garlic powder is made from garlic cloves that have been roasted before being dehydrated and ground into a powder. Roasting the garlic cloves gives the powder a slightly sweeter and more mellow flavor than regular garlic powder.
Potential health benefits of garlic powder
Garlic has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, and garlic powder may offer some of the same health benefits as fresh garlic. Here are a few potential health benefits of garlic powder:
May lower blood pressure
High blood pressure is a common condition that can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Some research suggests that garlic may help lower blood pressure by dilating blood vessels and reducing the resistance to blood flow. A 2013 study published in the journal Integrated Blood Pressure Control found that taking garlic supplements for 12 weeks reduced systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) by an average of 9 mmHg.
May improve cholesterol levels
High levels of LDL cholesterol (often referred to as “bad” cholesterol) can increase the risk of heart disease. Some studies suggest that garlic may help improve cholesterol levels by reducing LDL cholesterol levels and increasing HDL cholesterol (often referred to as “good” cholesterol) levels. A 2015 meta-analysis published in the Journal of Nutrition found that garlic supplementation was associated with a significant decrease in total cholesterol levels.
May have antimicrobial properties
Garlic has long been used for its antimicrobial properties. Some studies suggest that garlic powder may be effective against certain types of bacteria and fungi. A 2013 study published in the journal Food Control found that garlic powder was effective at inhibiting the growth of several common foodborne pathogens, including E. coli and Salmonella.
May have anti-inflammatory properties
Inflammation is a natural response to injury or infection, but chronic inflammation can contribute to a variety of health problems, including heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Some research suggests that garlic may have anti-inflammatory properties that could help reduce inflammation in the body. A 2015 study published in the Journal of Immunology Research found that garlic extract was effective at reducing inflammation in the lungs of mice.
Garlic powder is a versatile spice that can be used in a wide variety of recipes. Here are a few ideas:
Seasoning for roasted vegetables: Toss your favorite vegetables in olive oil and sprinkle them with garlic powder, salt, and pepper before roasting them in the oven. This works well with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and Brussels sprouts.
Garlic bread: Mix garlic powder with melted butter and spread it on a baguette or sliced bread before toasting in the oven. This is a great side dish for pasta dishes or soups.
Homemade salad dressing: Mix garlic powder with olive oil, vinegar, and a bit of honey to make a flavorful salad dressing. This works well with green salads or roasted vegetable salads.
Garlic mashed potatoes: Mix garlic powder with mashed potatoes for a flavorful twist on a classic side dish.
Garlic chicken: Sprinkle garlic powder on chicken breasts or thighs before baking or grilling for a flavorful and easy main dish.
Garlic pasta: Toss cooked pasta with olive oil, garlic powder, and grated Parmesan cheese for a simple and flavorful pasta dish.
Garlic shrimp: Season shrimp with garlic powder, salt, and pepper before sautéing in olive oil. Serve with rice or vegetables for a quick and tasty dinner.
Garlic hummus: Add a teaspoon or two of garlic powder to homemade hummus for a flavorful dip or spread.