Have you ever noticed how garlic can make almost anything taste better? The other night I wanted to cook some white fish, but when I opened the package I couldn’t believe how fishy it smelled! I crushed and chopped four cloves of garlic and sauteed them in a small amount of coconut oil, then put the fish in the pan. Within minutes the smell of fish was replaced by a wonderful aroma of garlic.
Garlic does a lot more than just improve flavor, though. First mentioned as a medicine about 6,000 years ago, garlic has been an important part of healing throughout the world. Even Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, used garlic to heal infections and reduce pain. It is now known as anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antibacterial. Allicin, a compound in garlic that is also found in onions, accounts for it’s pungent smell and powerful cancer-protective punch.
Speaking of cancer-fighting, here are a few of the claims about garlic’s ability to impact cancer cells:
Garlic has been known to inhibit
-the transformation of normal cells to pre-cancerous cells,
-the promotion of pre-cancerous cells to cancer,
-the spreading (metastasis) of cancer cells to the surface of blood vessels.
Although the debate continues regarding the active ingredients in garlic, there is no doubt that it is a healthy addition to our diet. It can be used fresh, cooked, aged, or in a supplement form. When I returned from my first trip to Italy (Ive had the opportunity to go twice) I frequently cut up tomatoes and garlic, sautéed them, and then added them to chicken, shrimp, or just as a dip for fresh bread.
The following is a recipe for garlicky kale… even my husband said it was good! Try it for a Lenten Friday! Do you have a garlic recipe to share?
4 c. Stemmed and chopped curly kale in bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil (or one tablespoon coconut oil)
1/2 red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2tablespoons lemon juice
Cover the Kale with cold water and set aside. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and add onion and a little sea salt, sauté for 3 minutes. Then decrease heat and add garlic and sauté for 3 more minutes until tender. Drain kale and add it to the pan with a little more salt. Saute until the greens turn bright green and wilt, about 3 minutes. You may need to add a little water and continue cooking, covered, until they become a little more tender, just a few more minutes. Drizzle with the lemon juice and serve. You can use other greens if you don’t have kale, such as spinach, Swiss chard, collard greens, mustard greens or almost any other kind of leafy green.