Garlic is a plant and considered to be part of the onion family. It is something loved by many and is often used as a way to season and add flavour to meals. It’s been made popular and used throughout history in part due to the amazing health benefits that it is thought to bring. For example, it’s been shown to help combat sickness, and also contains a range of amazing nutrients such as vitamin B6, vitamin C and manganese.
However, many often get confused about what the best way to use garlic is, and how much you should use to season a meal without causing an overwhelming garlic taste.
How much minced garlic equals a clove
The general standard is to use a clove of garlic per meal. What is a clove of garlic? Well, when you go to the supermarket you will most likely buy an individual garlic that looks like a very little onion. This is the head of the garlic, known as the bulb. This bulb has a thin, outer, paper-like layer of skin around it (similar to that of an onion), which you firstly need to peel away.
Then, underneath you will see lots of little segments, a bit like you would see after peeling an orange. Each individual one of these segments is a clove. The cloves should have clear separations between them, which makes it easy to pull out an individual clove without completely destroying the shape of the bulb.
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On average, each bulb should have about 10 cloves of garlic, so one whole bulb should last you for a decent amount of time! If you use about one clove of garlic per meal, then you can get a good 10 meals worth of seasoning out of your garlic bulb.
Once you have managed to separate the cloves, you shouldn’t just throw a clove in its whole form into your food. There are a few different ways that you can prepare garlic and incorporate it into your food and, whilst they all stem from the same clove, the way you prepare it can make a big difference to how much flavour it adds to your meal. You can prepare garlic by chopping it, crushing it or mincing it.
Chopping a garlic clove is exactly what it sounds like. You take a knife and cut the clove just like you would do with a vegetable. By doing this you will get pieces of garlic however big or small you want them to be! You then just add these pieces into your food and stir well to mix them in.
Then, to crush garlic, you need to place a knife with its thicker, flat surface placed on top of the clove. Then, with the heel of your palm, push down hard on the knife. Lift the knife and then repeat to crush it further. Just do be careful that you don’t cut your hand or fingers on the sharp edge of the knife. After doing this you should have lots of very tiny little pieces of garlic which can be easily sprinkled into your meal.
Can you substitute minced garlic for cloves?
Minced garlic is very similar to crushed garlic however it usually involves going one step further and chopping up the garlic after it’s been crushed. You can usually find a garlic press in supermarkets which will do the job for you! In terms of knowing how much you should add for each form of garlic, one clove is the equivalent of about one teaspoon of chopped garlic, or half a teaspoon of minced garlic.
There is not necessarily a best way to prepare garlic, and instead it is a matter of personal preference. First, it depends on what type of texture you prefer. If you quite like having larger pieces of garlic in your meal that add a bit of crunch to the dish, then chopping the clove is probably the option for you! It also means you can control exactly how big you want the pieces to be.
Alternatively, if you prefer garlic to dissolve into the dish and not have to chew your way through it whilst eating your dinner, then crushing the cloves is probably the best method of preparation for you. Secondly, the way you choose to prepare it depends on how strong you want the added garlic flavour to be. Crushing the cloves gives the whole dish a much stronger garlic flavour and cutting or chopping the garlic cloves gives for a much milder flavour. So, if you really love your food to taste like garlic then you should try crushing your cloves. Otherwise, chopping is the right method for you.
What is the difference between garlic cloves and minced garlic?
Minced garlic is just another way that garlic can be prepared. It is where the garlic cloves have been very finely crushed and chopped to get tiny pieces. When done to the extreme, you can even turn garlic into powder, which is a common form of garlic that people like to use.
You have probably seen little jars of minced garlic in supermarkets along with the other common spices and herbs. In fact, go and have a look in your cupboard and you probably have one in there that you didn’t even realise you had!
How much minced garlic equals a clove
You can substitute minced garlic for garlic cloves by simply using half a tablespoon of minced garlic for every clove needed in your meal. The main difference between minced garlic and garlic cloves is that minced garlic is just crushed up clove, so has gone through some preparation.
Is it better to chop or crush garlic?
People often opt for minced garlic because it cuts out the process of having to chop up or crush their own garlic, and so saves them a bit of time. The only other difference between minced garlic and garlic cloves is that minced garlic has a milder flavour, primarily because it’s not quite as fresh as when using garlic cloves. So, if you prefer to have your food having a more subtle garlic taste, then minced garlic is probably what you should go for.