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Let's get something straight: nothing can ever substitute the flavor of raw garlic. That being said, sometimes preserving garlic makes sense. Perhaps you have an overflow of garlic in your kitchen, are prepping ingredients for a future meal or decided to try something new. It only makes sense you learn how to preserve garlic so it's always handy when you need it.
There is one particular method we prefer above all others and that is freezing. Not only will freezing garlic extend its shelf life but also prevent food-borne illnesses like botulism. Frozen garlic requires minimal work and keeps well for up to six months.
HOW TO PRESERVE GARLIC IN THE FREEZER
First, peel your garlic and decide whether you'd rather freeze it whole or chopped. Whole garlic cloves may be frozen in small freezer bags and will be a bit mushy when thawed.
It's ideal to freeze chopped garlic in an ice tray designated for that particular use. After the garlic has frozen solid, pop it out of the tray and store in a freezer bag. It's a good idea to double bag it to keep strong odors away from other foods.
HOW TO PRESERVE GARLIC IN OIL - A WARNING
Garlic and oil can be toxic if left at room temperature or stored in a refrigerator kept above 40F degrees. That's because garlic's low acidity and the oil's lack of oxygen contribute to the development of clostridium botulinum, a deadly bacteria.
That being said, if you'd like to store garlic in olive oil it's best to keep it in the freezer. One way of doing it would be to puree garlic using a 2-to-1 ratio of oil to garlic. Freeze it as mentioned above and, if you'd like, blend with a touch of salt for extra flavor.
How do you preserve garlic? Have you tried freezing it whole or chopped? Share your thoughts in the comments below.