How To Give Your Salad Garlicky Flavor Without The Bad Breath

Most people adore the flavor of garlic, but few are happy about the lingering smell it leaves behind. When it comes to garlic-infused salads, there's a neat little trick you can utilize to better preserve your breath after a meal. Simply take half a clove of fresh garlic and rub it around the inside of the serving bowl. The salad ingredients and dressing will acquire subtle notes of garlic, as opposed to the more overpowering flavor that results when raw garlic is added to recipes directly. This versatile hack even works well with all sorts of salad bowls, from metal to glass.

The source of garlic's intense aroma is alliinase, an enzyme that's released when raw garlic is pulverized. When garlic is consumed, alliinase gets absorbed by the body and even makes its way into the bloodstream. That's why odors are so overpowering after eating a garlic-heavy meal, as alliinase is literally emanating from every pore. By dressing a salad with just the residue from a garlic clove, you're limiting how much your body absorbs, which then limits how much your body smells after enjoying your meal. In order to use this garlic hack, you'll need a primer on how to access cloves.

Tips for choosing and peeling garlic

If you find raw garlic overwhelming, you might try using its milder cousin, elephant garlic, instead. This Brobdingnagian allium has more in common biologically with leeks than conventional garlic, but it still releases alliinase when cut open. You'll find it with the rest of the produce in supermarkets and specialty shops. If you're concerned that its size will make it unwieldy, thankfully, elephant garlic is just as simple to prep as the smaller stuff.

Peeling garlic is not exactly challenging, but it can be a little tricky to do with finesse. To get started, take the bulb and roll it around the counter using your palm. This will loosen the cloves and make them easier to remove. Once you've freed one from the bulb, take a large kitchen knife and place it over top of the garlic clove. Position the blade so the flat side is flush with the clove, and use the heel of your palm to press it into the garlic. The goal is to disengage the skin of the clove without affecting the shape too much. Next, peel off the skin and use a knife to remove the root, which you'll find on one end. You can now cut the clove in half to rub around your salad bowl, as cutting into the garlic releases all its magical flavors and aromas. If you're still concerned about odors remaining on the cookware, or even your hands, there's a hack for that.

How to eliminate garlic smells from tableware (and yourself)

After you enjoy your salad, you might be wondering how to deodorize your salad bowl. Garlicky odors on containers can usually be eliminated with a long soak. In this case, fill your sink with warm water, add dish detergent, and submerge the cookware in soapy water. After scrubbing and rinsing, check to see if the bowl still smells. If so, sprinkle salt inside the bowl and scrub again, as salt's abrasive texture can loosen particles and reduce odors.

When it comes to garlic-scented hands, lemon is a powerful odor reducer. In this case, you can take a wedge of lemon and rub it all over your hands before washing with warm water and soap. This trick is effective because lemon acts as a neutralizer for the alliinase in garlic. As for unpleasant odors on your breath, try drinking a glass of water to eliminate any remaining garlic particles in your mouth. For sweet-smelling breath, snacking on an apple after a garlicky meal is also beneficial, as is chewing on a couple of mint leaves.