Vampires. Night rides. Backpacking. Full-moon skiing. You get the picture.
In addition to those long-fanged blood-suckers, there are a few other secondary reasons to eat it.
This week, I’ve got another, dare I say easier and even more delicious recipe to add almost-raw, low-temp-cooked garlic to your diet. I’m a bit obsessed, and I think you will be too. We’re talking cardiovascular, antibacterial, cancer, and vampire protection. Seriously, every day I’m eating ’em:
Tuesday’s Healthy Fuel Recipe: Low-Temp Slow-Cooked Garlic Cloves
- whole garlic heads, 6-8
- olive oil
- fresh cracked pepper
- salt (coarse if available)
- Place heads of garlic on cutting board, and cut off tops across all cloves (cut off “pointy” end) so that all cloves are exposed.
- Place cut garlic heads on one large layer of aluminum foil.
- Drizzle with olive oil (maybe ~1/4 tsp each head), and sprinkle with salt & pepper).
- Fold foil loosely around garlic.
- Place in slow cooker or electric pressure cooker (set to slow cook) on low for 8 hours.
- Squeeze or pick garlic out of skins and add to everything.
Garlic smells, looks, and tastes like it just *is* healthy for us. Some foods are like that. Asparagus and broccoli. One look, one smell, one taste, and you’re sure you’re getting healthier. Here’s what that wonderful garlic flavor is doing inside your body:
First, cardiovascular protection: Garlic is able to lower our blood triglycerides and total cholesterol, at least moderately. What’s more, it’s highly anti-inflammatory and highly anti-oxidant, which means less damage to blood vessel cells (where plaques get lodged and do damage), less oxidative stress, and more healing. Garlic has vast set of sulfur-containinng compounds that reduce both oxidative stress and inflammation, and these work to protect our heart, our vessels, and our cells.
Next, antibacterial and antiviral benefits: These benefits can reduce infections in our mouths, throats, stomachs, and GI tracts (including yeast overgrowth).
Third, cancer prevention. Like many other fruits and vegetables, allium vegetables (including garlic), have strong anti-cancer properties. In longitudinal studies, high intake of garlic is associated with reduced amounts of almost all cancers, (except breast and prostate, interestingly). In fact, it’s the sulfides (once again) that likely play the largest role in anti-cancer prevention. These sulfurs activate a molecule in cells that triggers many metabolic activities, including programmed cell death, in the cell nucleus when something’s gone array (such as overgrowth in the case of cancer and tumors).
Why low-temp cooked or raw? When it comes to vegetables, cooking is tricky. Some nutrients become more bio-available (well-absorbed) when cooked and some are destroyed. In the case of garlic, the less heat the better. In fact, it’s those wonderful sulfur compounds that are reduced with heat, losing potency above 200 deg and really suffering above 350 deg F. Our low-temp slow cooked garlic stay right around 200 deg F, delivering delicious, creamy garlic cloves without losing the nutrients. Traditionally roasted garlic is cooked at 450+ deg F.
Add the delicious cooked cloves to salads, cooked meats or beans, sauteed veggies (once plated), eggs, and more. Most studies are based on the equivalent of 18 cloves or so per week. C’mon, give me a challenge.
My other favorite raw garlic recipes:
Light at Night Fresh Pesto (easy recipe on this video):
Again, the primary reason is vampires. Secondarily, increase raw-ish garlic in your diet to reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, and cell detox while increasing cancer prevention and antibacterial/viral action in your gut. Really it’s a win/win either way.
Fuel Your Adventure. Nourish Your Body.
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