You'll often see a recipe calling for a crushed garlic clove - but what is the best way for crushing garlic to use in your recipes? And what's the difference between crushed garlic and minced? Find out here!
In almost all recipes that call for garlic, the cloves are required to be either minced, chopped or crushed.
Whilst mincing and chopping garlic is straightforward enough, crushing garlic can be achieved in a few different ways.
So what is the difference is between mincing and crushing garlic cloves?
As garlic is quite a potent ingredient, the way in which you prepare it can inhibit or promote its flavor in the dish you are making.
Garlic is comprised of little cells, each of which is filled with a juice that contains sulfur. When you crush garlic, as opposed to chopping it, the cells are broken up and release the garlic juice that enhances the garlic flavor.
However, crushing garlic cloves does not break up the cells as much as chopping them does. Essentially, the smaller you chop the garlic, the more you break up the cells, creating a more potent garlic flavor. Chopping very finely is known as mincing.
So, for dishes that require a milder garlic taste, you should opt for crushed garlic cloves. However, if you are looking for some added heat in your dishes, chopping or mincing your garlic is the best option.
The benefits of garlic
Not only does garlic add a lovely flavor to nearly any dish, it’s packed full of health benefits.
Garlic is considered to be part of the onion family, similar to shallots and leeks. Early civilizations used garlic for its medicinal purposes due to the sulfur compounds it contains.
Just one garlic clove contains roughly 4.5 calories but is packed full of incredible nutrients including manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, selenium and fiber.
Garlic is a great, immune boosting ingredient and can actually help you fight against the common cold as well as reduce blood pressure. Garlic also helps to lower cholesterol, which helps to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Furthermore, some of the antioxidants contained within garlic can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
The best way to crush garlic
There are all sorts of ways to crush garlic, but the way we prefer requires simply a chef’s knife and a chopping board. This method is super simple!
Simply place your garlic clove onto your chopping board. Lay the knife flat against the garlic clove and raise it just slightly. Using the bottom of your palm, smack the flat of the blade down onto the garlic clove, which will both peel and crush it.
Now, all you need to do is discard the garlic peel and you can add the garlic to your recipe.
If you don’t have a chef’s knife or perhaps don’t have the strength to crush garlic with the technique mentioned above, you can use our alternative method which requires just a chopping board, sharp knife and fork.
Peel the garlic and place it on your chopping board. Position the fork over the garlic clove with the tines running across it. Press down to crush the garlic clove. Rotate the fork and repeat.