I’ve always been a big fan of garlic! I’m the kind of person that puts 4 cloves of garlic in a recipe that calls for 2 (much to the chagrin of my family at times.) But I know that not everyone is as enthusiastic about garlic as I am, and I’m hoping that today’s post about all the ways to use garlic will change some minds! Today there are more reasons than ever to embrace flavorful, aromatic garlic, and make it a mainstay in your home and kitchen.
Of the many ways you can utilize garlic, only a portion of those involve food. Garlic is being recognized more and more as a “superfood” with qualities that can be beneficial to health and wellness. It can also be used for personal hygiene, and even has practical household applications. The list of uses for garlic below is far from exhaustive, but will hopefully give you some insight as to just how useful those flavorful little cloves can be!
11 Ways to Use Garlic
Health & Beauty
1. Skin Conditions
Garlic is packed anti-inflammatory antioxidants which can help soothe many kinds of skin irritation, like rashes and even psoriasis outbreaks. Rub garlic oil on affected areas for smooth skin.
Garlic’s anti-inflammatory properties also make it useful for removing splinters! Place a slice of garlic over a sliver, and cover it with a bandaid or piece of tape. Check on it in a half-hour or so, and the inflammation should have gone down enough that the splinter will be more exposed and easier to remove with a pair of tweezers.
3. Cold Sores
Another application for garlic’s anti-inflammatory effects? Cold sores! Cut a clove of garlic in half and rub the cut side on your cold sore. The anti-inflammatory effects can help reduce both the pain and swelling associated with cold sores.
4. Athlete’s Foot
Harness the antimicrobial power of garlic to soothe and treat fungal infections like athlete’s foot. Toss a few cloves of crushed garlic into a warm foot bath, and soak your feet for about 30 minutes.
5. Health Benefits
Try to cook with garlic every day! Ingesting garlic regularly can help promote a healthy weight, ward off colds, improve heart health, and boost metabolism. Some studies also suggest that garlic possesses cancer-fighting qualities!
6. Hair Growth
Garlic can help promote hair growth and re-growth. It is suspected that applying garlic to the scalp helps to increase blood flow and circulation, which promotes hair health and strength. Many people rub slices of garlic directly onto their scalps, while others opt to take garlic supplements.
The antioxidants in garlic can kill the bacteria that causes acne breakouts. Rub cut cloves of garlic directly on pimples, or check out the garlic supplements that are commonly available in health food stores.
Home & Kitchen
8. Repair Cracks
Ever notice how chopping garlic always makes a sticky mess of your fingers? That’s because garlic has natural adhesive qualities! A bit of garlic juice can help repair hairline cracks in glass and ceramics. Just crush a couple of cloves of garlic, and apply the garlic juice to the crack. Wipe away any excess juice and let it dry. The adhesive should prevent further spreading or damage from the crack.
9. Kill Pests
You can also use garlic to kill and deter pests! Use a food processor or blender to finely chop a whole head of garlic cloves. Place the garlic into a quart-sized container or mason jar, fill the container with hot water, and let it steep overnight. In the morning, strain the garlic away and pour the garlic-infused water into a spray bottle. Use the spray to kill pests and keep them from coming back!
10. Roasting Garlic
Garlic makes a delicious addition to almost any recipe, but it does have a very strong flavor! Roasting garlic before using it creates a more mellow, sweet garlic flavor. And it’s so simple to do! Just cut the top 1/2″ or so off of a head of garlic, drizzle it in olive oil, wrap it in foil, and roast in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.
11. Storing Garlic
After roasting the garlic, you can freeze it so you always have roasted garlic at the ready. Just crush the cloves and freeze them in ice cube trays, then store the frozen garlic cubes in a freezer bag. Use your garlic cubes in soups, mashed potatoes, hummus, pesto, salad dressings, potato salad, and much more!