Some love it, others hate it. Allium Sativum, or garlic, is a member of the onion genus along with leeks, scallions and shallots. Humans have consumed these pungent bulbs---both culinarily and medicinally--- for over 7,000 years. Its strong odor is enough to put some people off. Garlic's health benefits, however, are undeniable. And as a cooking ingredient it's ability to add depth and flavor is something to behold.
As a health food, garlic is a superhero in plainclothes. Here are but a few of garlic's health benefits and why you should be eating more of it:
- reduces blood pressue
- reduces plaque in the arteries
- lowers oxidative stress
- lowers cholesterol, blood glucose and triglycerides
- high in inulin which nourishes and heals mircrobiome in the gut
- high in allicin and diallyl sulfides which improves function of the heart and entire cardiovascular system
- promotes in-body production of glutathione, a detoxifying compound which also supports colon health
- fights unfriendly bacteria
As you can see, garlic is a superstar food, especially for the cardiovascular system. No wonder some call it "Russian Penicillin". It was even used in WWI and WWII as an antiseptic against gangrene.
If you're used to garlic powder, try the real thing. Sure, it takes a bit of work but the rewards are plenty. Likewise, buying pre-chopped or peeled garlic is simply not the same. In the words of Anthony Bourdain "Too lazy to peel fresh? You don't deserve garlic."
Recipe using garlic:
For many of us, these are the hottest days of summer. And Gazpacho, a chilled Spanish soup of tomato, garlic, cucumber, bell pepper and olive oil is a perfect dish for cooling down. It may sound strange to some, but once you taste gazpacho you'll have cravings for years to come. It's also packed with natural nutrition, especially since all the ingredients are raw. The other ingredients also balance out the raw garlic, which can be a bit hardcore on it's own. Here's our favorite gazpacho recipe with a little moringa powder for good measure.
Ingredients (serves 6)
2- slices stale white bread, crusts removed (not moldy, dry)
1- small onion chopped
2- cloves garlic, minced
2- tbsp olive oil
1- tbsp salt
1- cucumber, seeded and peeled
1-large bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4-5- large tomatoes, seeded and skinned
2-tbsp vinegar (red-wine vinegar is best)
2 1/2-cups ice water
pinch of cayenne
1 or 2 - tbsp moringamio leaf powder
Soak the bread in water and squeeze out all the liquid. Then put the bread, onion, garlic, olive oil and salt in a blender and puree.
Add the cucumber, pepper, tomatoes and vinegar and puree until smooth.
Season to taste with salt and cayenne.
Chill for minimum 12 hours
To serve, dilute with ice water.
Garnish with chives, olives, croutons or red and green peppers. If you have moringa powder, sprinkle a bit on top.
And there you have it, Gazpacho from Spain's Andalucia region with a little moringa twist.
More from the moringamio blog: Recipe- Moringa Pesto Tagliatelle with Homemade Turkey Ragu & Manchego