Making Garlic Powder

August 28, 2012

Credit: Celeste Longacre
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Garlic is a wonderful and powerful savory addition. It jazzes up many recipes and also contains healing properties. Truly fresh garlic is pungent, white, hard and full of a juicy liquid.  I believe that much of the garlic that is sold in stores has gone past its peak (rubbery or soft) and has lost much of its medicinal value. One way to maintain not only its flavor but also its healing powers is to dry it and make it into garlic powder.

We discussed planting garlic last fall. It should be picked when it has four green leaves left on the plant. The leaves will begin to turn brown in the summer—one at a time. I generally pick about eight garlics at a time, bundle them tightly together and tie them with string. I then hang the bundles in a shady, airy place to begin to dry.

I leave the garlic bundles hanging out for two to four weeks. When I am ready to start making the powder, I bring the bundles in and separate all of the cloves. This can be a messy job so I do it all together before I begin to cut into the garlic itself.

Next. I cut the tops and the bottoms of the cloves and try to tear a strip or two of the skin.

Placing these cloves in a dehydrator tray, they are put at a low temperature (below 115 degrees) overnight. This will help to loosen the peels and aid the next process.

Day number two consists of peeling all of the cloves then slicing them up in a food processor.

Back into the dehydrator they go for six or seven days. Again, keep the temperature below 115 degrees as this will help the garlic to maintain its healing properties.

Once the chips have cooled, they can be put in a tight jar until you have time to complete the process.

When you are ready to make the powder, put the chips in a blender (not too many at a time) and hit the “chop” button. Wait about a minute after processing before opening the blender as there will be lots of powder floating at first.  I then put the powder through a strainer so that the ultimate product is fine. The larger chips just go back into the blender.

Place into jars and seal. The flavor is unbeatable—it truly tastes like garlic that has just been picked from the garden. But now it is ready to be used all year long.

               

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Celeste Longacre has been growing vitually all of her family's vegetables for the entire year for over 30 years. She cans, she freezes, she dries, she ferments & she root cellars. She also has chickens.

Celeste has also enjoyed a longtime relationship with The Old Farmer's Almanac as their astrologer.

Her new book about living lightly on the Earth is coming soon!

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Comments

Liking the scent of garlic is

By SheilaD

Liking the scent of garlic is one thing. Liking this much garlic drying is another. I have a friend who makes his own garlic powder and the garlic concentration is intense. Definately going to put the dehydrator in the garage or porch. It's pretty cold where I am, 30 deg F most days. Do you think I can run the dehydrator in temp. Will I be overworking the dehydrator or will it be able to maintain a temp of 115 if it's working outside?

Thanks for this good post.

Hi SheilaD, You are

By Celeste Longacre

Hi SheilaD,

You are right--the scent of lots of garlic drying is quite intense. I always do my drying on the porch, but I also do it in the summer when the temps are much warmer. You may have problems trying to do it now. It might be a better idea to block off a small room (or bathroom) inside where it's warmer. A bathroom with a fan might be ideal. Good luck!

thank you. I really

By SheilaD

thank you. I really appreciate your help.

I live in southern spain.

By william bradshaw.

I live in southern spain. After I peel the garlic would leaving it out in the sun for 6 or 7 hours make it brittle or putting it in a solar oven for a few hours be suitable. Would love to hear comments on this. William.

Hi William, I'm not sure,

By Celeste Longacre

Hi William,

I'm not sure, but my guess is that leaving it out in the Sun would make it brittle (it also might make it green which would render it inedible). A solar oven may also be too hot. You want the garlic to stay in a very low heat spot while it is drying.

I live in Eastern Oregon.

By Pamela Cleary-Wilson

I live in Eastern Oregon. This is Onion & Garlic country. I have recieved bags of garlic & onion from farmers & I have dried & powdered them, then I give them away to friends. I also dry & powder zuccini,& tomato,& I store them in gallon jars in my garage refrigerator. I use all 4 in Rubs, Soups, & Stews. Last month 1 of our dogs got sprayed in the face,by a skunk, we dumped a bunch of the tomato powder in a 5 gallon bucket of warm water & bathed her outside. It worked just as well as store bought tomato juice! I also dry our Jalepeno & Habinero peppers. The Habinero makes a great Pepper Spray, but I use it in the garden. We also dry our produce in the garage.

Hi Pamela, That sound

By Celeste Longacre

Hi Pamela,
That sound spectacular. How do you dry tomato?

I just cut my Roma's into

By Pamela Cleary-Wilson

I just cut my Roma's into thick slices & let them dry, until they are brittle. Then into my Bullet blender & I've got powder. I don' buy Tomato paste anymore. I just add some water to my powder & make it pasty. I got great ideas from Euell Gibbons book,"Stalking the Wild Asparagus." Copywright 1962. I highly recommend this book, to anyone that is interested in the basics. I've even made a sort of flour out of dry zuccini, I use it as a thickener. We have been planting gardens that are too big for us, so that we can share with our friends in town. Last year we donated 3500 lbs. of produce to our local Food Bank. I tell folks, when you plant your seeds, plant a few more for the Food Bank.

I use a flexable tube garlic

By Teresa in Michigan

I use a flexable tube garlic peeler to peel large quanities of garlic. It's fast and easy. It works best on dry husks. Wet/damp not so well. I love your garlic powder article. I just wish I had planted more garlic this year! I'm printing out the instructions and will be trying it next year.

Hi Teresa, Good luck next

By Celeste Longacre

Hi Teresa,
Good luck next year!

I'm trying to understand why

By Robert Garson

I'm trying to understand why you would peel one or two strips off and then put into a dehydrator. That is more work than completely peeling at one time and getting it over with. I noticed a small knife in the pictures and that is where the problem lies. Use a chef's knife, cut off ends, then cut in half without cutting through the lower skin, the skins will almost fall off and you have saved a day of the process.

Hi Robert, Good to know.

By Celeste Longacre

Hi Robert,
Good to know. Thanks!

What kind of dehydrator do

By Luella Malone

What kind of dehydrator do you use?????

Hi Luella, I use a L'EQUIP.

By Celeste Longacre

Hi Luella,
I use a L'EQUIP.

you can also cut ends, peel

By Tim in Iowa

you can also cut ends, peel and place in a jelly jar, cover with peanut oil and refrigerate. saves time later, when you want the whole clove. when the cloves are gone use the remaining oil in a stir-fry

To be safe, a garlic and oil

By Almanac Staff

To be safe, a garlic and oil mixture has to have some acid agent like citric or phosphoric acid added (and it has to be refrigerated, too). The FDA recommends that if you want to make your own infused garlic oil, you should prepare it fresh and use it right away. If you are saving any leftovers, you must refrigerate it right away and use within a week.

I have noticed that most

By Cary Lafaye

I have noticed that most garlic powder sold in stores comes from China and to me, has a bitter taste. If you are going to buy commercial garlic powder, do check the label to make sure it comes from the U. S.

Hi Cary Lafaye, This is one

By Celeste Longacre

Hi Cary Lafaye,
This is one of the reasons that I make my own garlic powder. Personally, I'm not in favor of eating a lot of food from China.

Thank you so much for all the

By Hope Garden

Thank you so much for all the information about garlic. It came at a much needed time because I used the seeds off a previous year's crop, sprouted them and then planted.......uhhhh two 4x4 beds of garlic simply because I couldn't bear to "kill" any of the "babies" and I couldn't find anyone to take the rest! Thanks to your article, I have a great winter activity ahead of me! Personally, I won't mind a house that is redolent of garlic or "kitchen perfume" as my Dad used to call it.

Hi Hope Garden, Good luck

By Celeste Longacre

Hi Hope Garden,
Good luck with your new winter activity! I also love kitchen smells in my house....

Six or seven DAYS? When I

By SunriseEast

Six or seven DAYS? When I make "sun" dried tomatoes and apple rings, the temp is 135 degrees, and it takes 10 - 16 hours, depending on the thickness of the cut. Please, Celeste, confirm the dryer time for your thinly sliced garlic chips...

Hi SunriseEast, The reason

By Celeste Longacre

Hi SunriseEast,
The reason that it takes so long is that the temperature is very low and the garlic itself is so sticky. The first year I dried the garlic for only four days and, after I powdered it, it became quite sticky and solid in a few months' time. If you let it get really dry, this doesn't happen.

Oh my, looks like a lot of

By lnoft97@aol.com

Oh my, looks like a lot of fun for do-it-yourselfers, but I wouldn't want my house reeking of garlic for days. I'm afraid it's a little bottle off the spice shelf for me. Nice article though if you have a ton of garlic - maybe make some for Christmas gifts along with dried herbs.

Hi Inoft97, I dry it out on

By Celeste Longacre

Hi Inoft97,
I dry it out on the porch so that my house doesn't smell like garlic. At the low temperature, though, it really isn't too bad. And, yes, these little bottles make terrific Christmas presents.

Hi, I grow Garlic in South

By Robert WAllis

Hi, I grow Garlic in South Australia. We managed 900kg this year.ts all through our place and the smells not a problem.
As its our first year selling we thought we might sun dry some flakes in case we can not sell it all.
All my research and experience over the last 5 years indicates that most of the Alliun, the sulfur compound that makes Alicin when exposed to air (Alicin is the healthy stuff), is released at the moment of crushing.
We have a number of top chefs as customers. They all say the slice their garlic just before use so as to leave some moisture in to keep garlic healthy and superior taste.
Through a mix of garlic varieties we have natural garlic all year round.
I have no doubt garlic powder retains a lot of the garlic flavour, however I am very sceptical on it Allicin potency.
I have read on other sites rehydrating flakes might retain more Allicin and flavour!!!
More to the point does anyone know what the ideal moisture content % dried garlic should have. I have read 5.5% on a chineese site but I HATE CHINEESE GARLIC so dicarded that info.
Any ideas appreciated

Hi Robert, I don't know the

By Celeste Longacre

Hi Robert,

I don't know the % that dried garlic needs to be, but it does need to be quite dry. The first year that I made this, I only dried it for a few days. It looked good and powdered nicely, but, as it was not completely dry, it stuck together in the jar after a while. This longer-dried stuff sometimes gets sticky the following summer as it is quite humid where I live. I don't really know what to say about the medicinal part. I have recently read that the medicine only begins making when the garlic is crushed. Folks recommend letting the garlic rest for about ten minutes before adding it to a dish so that the medicine can happen. Of course, this has to do with fresh garlic.

Thanks for your reply

By Robert WAllis

Thanks for your reply Celeste. A lot of people in Aussie seem to make Garlic Salt and talk about it caking in the jar.
Interesting that you have also read about the medical bit happening around the time of crushing. I crush it by eating cloves raw!!!
Cheers Robert

What is wrong with the smell

By Karen Coghlan

What is wrong with the smell of garlic, I love garlic.

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