|Veggie of the Week... Garlic!
1. Garlic has been found to assist babies to gain weight while they are in the womb. Next time you have a baby prepare to have garlic breath. Except if you have a history of large babies in which case maybe you want to skip the extra doses?
2. Garlic strengthens the immune system and has lots of vitamin C to help fight chest infections, coughs and congestion. In the winter months garlic is a great food to boost your immune system and ward off colds and flu. An old folk remedy is to eat a clove of garlic that has been dipped in honey at the first sign of a cold. Why not try it and see if it works for you?
3. Garlic contains high levels of iodine which makes it a very effective treatment for hyperthyroid conditions. Treatment with garlic has been shown to greatly improve this condition.
4. Popular folklore says that garlic is good for more than scaring hungry vampires away! Impotency has long been thought to benefit from doses of garlic, and treatment continues in many communities to this day.
5. Cardiovascular disease can be reduced by ingesting garlic. LDL cholesterol is no friend of garlic and the aortic plaque deposits that gather on the walls of your body’s veins can be reduced with the use of garlic too. Studies have shown the amazing benefits of taking garlic in relation to heart disease.
6. Fungal and bacterial vaginal infections are toast when treated with garlic! When crushed or bruised, garlic releases Allicin which is a sulphuric compound that is a natural antibiotic. WWI soldiers even apparently used crushed garlic on infected wounds suffered in battle. If you decide to take garlic in tablet form be sure to use powdered capsules. The processes used to create garlic tablets destroy the Allicin that is present.
7. Garlic is a great source of vitamin B6 which is needed for a healthy immune system and the efficient growth of new cells. Vitamin B6 can also assist with mood swings and improve your cheery disposition!
8. Garlic can aid in the prevention of multiple types of cancer. Bladder cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer and stomach cancer have all been shown to have their tumors reduced when treated with garlic. Vitamin B6 is said to have cancer fighting abilities.
9. Garlic regulates blood sugar as it enhances the level of insulin in the blood. This may assist in the control of diabetes. Seek medical advice if you believe the use of garlic could help your condition.
Creamy Garlic Pasta with Shrimp & Vegetables
Makes 4 servings, 2 cups each
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1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (see Tip; optional)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook 2 minutes less than package directions. Add shrimp, asparagus, bell pepper and peas and cook until the pasta is tender and the shrimp are cooked, 2 to 4 minutes more. Drain well.
Mash garlic and salt in a large bowl until a paste forms. Whisk in yogurt, parsley, lemon juice, oil and pepper. Add the pasta mixture and toss to coat. Serve sprinkled with pine nuts (if using).
Tips and Notes:
Ingredient Note: Both wild-caught and farm-raised shrimp can damage the surrounding ecosystems when not managed properly. Look for shrimp certified by an independent agency, such as Wild American Shrimp or Marine Stewardship Council. If you can’t find certified shrimp, choose wild-caught shrimp from North America—it’s more likely to be sustainably caught.
Tip: To toast pine nuts, place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes.
Roasted Garlic Recipe
Roasted garlic has many uses from enjoying as is, spreading on toast, a sandwich or pita, on homemade pizzas, or used for cooking.
As many whole heads of garlic as you’d like
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. Using a knife, cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic.
3. Place the garlic heads in a baking pan; muffin pans work well for this purpose. Drizzle a couple teaspoons of olive oil over each head, using your fingers to make sure the garlic head is well coated. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 400°F for 30-35 minutes, or until the cloves feel soft when pressed.
4. Allow the garlic to cool enough so you can touch it without burning yourself. Use a small small knife cut the skin slightly around each clove. Use a cocktail fork or your fingers to pull or squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins.
Eat as is, spread on crackers, bread, pita, etc. or mash with a fork and use for cooking. Can be spread over warm French bread, mixed with sour cream for a topping for baked potatoes, or mixed in with Parmesan and pasta.