Power Ingredient #3: Garlic
Why garlic should be your cooking go-to ingredient.
I choose garlic for multiple reasons. First, I love the flavor. If you aren't a fan, I do feel bad for you, but then the sentiment of this post can partially be applied to your favorite seasonings.
Garlic flavor can be used on just about any savory dish to enhance it. Unlike salt, consuming extra of this can actually do some good, rather than harm. Certainly, garlic flavor can be overdone, but that's true of any seasoning, spice, or flavor agent.
I sincerely believe that people who think their cooking is sub-par, just need to sample as they go in order to reduce the risk of over or underseasoning. After all, it's what chefs do!
And choosing seasonings or seasoning blends often adds ZERO calories to a dish. Depending on the blend, it could add some sodium, maybe a carb or two, but when you compare that to a deep-fried dish, or any dish with breading, or something served with a heavy sauce for flavoring, the nutritional comparison is pretty alarming.
And garlic is definitely one of those go-tos that won't add anything but good to your meal. One clove has 4 calories, by the way.
In fact, according to the HealthEssentials blog through the Cleveland Clinic, garlic has been shown to boost immunity, control inflammation, improve cardiovascular health, clear up skin issues, help kill additional bacteria in food (along with proper preparation methods of course), and help prevent athlete's food because of its antifungal properties. The article was written by dietician, Dr. Laura Jeffers.
Some of these benefits were from eating it, some are from topical use, but still, that's quite a bit of good from something that tastes great and has no calories.
So if you aren't a fan of garlic, I encourage you to think about some of the other seasonings you like and look into those. Other common ones, like oregano, parsley and rosemary also have health benefits from regular consumption. Again, they'll add no, or almost no calories, but their natural chemical properties can be a really big help.
What about risks or side effects? For garlic, some people's skin can be sensitive from handling it, but mostly there aren't any side effects unless you eat too much too fast, espeically if you aren't used to it, or if you take it as a supplement, as you could have some mild side effects. Today's information is mainly about benefits of it as a seasoning.
So, garlic fans... what's your favorite way to use garlic? Mine is with Italian seasoning over chicken, or in my potato pancake recipe.