Reasons to make your own garlic powder
Home grown home made garlic powder is amazing smelling and tasting. Instead of the salty, MSG laden powder you buy at the store, you can have your own real aromatic, tasty, concentrated garlic powder to last all winter through. Chopped garlic and herbs in a jar or tube in the grocery store seem like a great time-saving idea and I was excited to see them way back, but there are so many preservatives in the liquid they are suspended in. Your own pure garlic powder has to be better for you.
In the summer, many people like to grow their own garlic or buy local organic veggies. Often at harvest time garlic is cheap and plentiful, local garlic gets more scarce and expensive as the winter goes on. If not stored under ideal conditions over the winter, the garlic can dry, mold, mildew or rot. Sprouting is a possibility too and though you can use the outer part of the clove, the green stem area is usually wasted. You certainly need less of the real garlic powder to make a tasty impact on a dish!
Dehydrating garlic for powder is something we tried for the first time this year. Drying your garlic means it is instantly ready for use with no thawing or chopping. You don’t have to keep track of the garlics condition all winter whether it is starting to rot or sprout. If you don’t have ideal storage conditions in your house or the room to have garlic hanging in your basement, dried garlic powder is a great alternative. We used a Jenn air convection oven, though you could use a stainless steel dehydrator just as well.
Garlic drying tips
- Drying is great for preserving garlic you don’t expect to store well or an inconvenient size to store. If the garlic was left in the ground to long, the heads come apart into cloves so hanging the garlic to cure isn’t possible. If the garlic got a lot of rain just before harvest, it may not keep as well.
- When drying anything, herbs, vegetables or garlic, make sure to fill all three shelves in the oven to get the best return for the electricity.
- To protect your soft furnishings, and any coats or clothing hanging within reach of the aromatic drying exhaust, hand a curtain or sheet in the kitchen doorways. It is amazing how the aroma clings.
- If chopping the garlic by hand, wear disposable gloves, or remember that washing your hands on stainless steel will help remove the garlicky smell from them.
- When the garlic is dry, always get it into sealed jars as soon as possible so it doesn’t rehydrate
To make garlic powder
- Use a food processor to finely chop the garlic into a paste
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
- Spread the garlic paste in a thin layer on the paper
- Set your convection oven to ‘Drying’ at 140 Fahrenheit, dehydrators can be lower for true raw food
- Dry until the paste is crunchy. After 2 hours peel it off and turn it over breaking up any thicker areas. Dry another 1-3 hours until you can easily break the garlic layer up in your fingers
- Grind in a pestle and mortar to make the garlic powder.
- Use it for garlic bread with butter, adding to Tzatzki sauce, pizza or pasta sauce, it is very versatile.
I`d love you to add your recipe and use suggestions in the comments box!
Enjoy your own garlic powder, it really is worth the effort.