Everybody's Favorite Superfood: Garlic — 9 Great Recipes

From tomato sauce to stir-fries, garlic is one of the most recognizable aromatics, present in almost every cuisine worldwide. Not only is it delicious, but garlic also holds a place among many other nutritious vegetables and seeds as a superfood.

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One of the healthiest ingredients that adds flavor without fat, garlic is a powerhouse in the kitchen and the base of almost all meals. Garlic is part of the allium family, which means it's related to leeks and onions. It is one of the earliest cultivated crops, thought to have originated in Central Asia, and there is evidence that it was grown and used by ancient cultures in China and Egypt.

Although there is no true definition of a superfood, the word generally refers to nutrient-rich foods that benefit health. Aside from its flavor properties, garlic has been used for its medicinal benefits as long as it has been cultivated and some of these uses have been verified by modern science. Garlic is thought to help maintain or lose weight, lower blood pressure, and reduce the amount of bad cholesterol (LDL) in your body.

Although it may not ward off vampires, garlic is also believed to help repel mosquitos and was used in Medieval Europe to protect against the plague — which actually may have worked, as it contains antibacterial properties that fight off bacteria and viruses within the body.

Black garlic (standard raw garlic that has been fermented) boasts a mellower and milder flavor and doesn't leave eaters with undesirable garlic breath. It also contains about twice as many antioxidants as the standard stuff.

Once you learn how to peel garlic efficiently (the thin paper can be tricky!), learn how to slice and dice garlic like a pro.

Garlic can be purchased in supplement form, but we think it's a whole lot tastier to get all the garlic you need in the food you eat, like these delicious, garlicky dishes.

Baked Garlic

When roasted whole, garlic turns creamy with a slightly sweeter, milder flavor than raw garlic. It tastes great on its own, but you can also spread roasted garlic on crostini or use it to make amazing garlic mashed potatoes.

Chicken Breasts with Garlic Spinach

Garlic and chiles add lots of flavor (without unnecessary fat) to spinach in this healthy chicken meal.