How to Preserve Garlic

Preserving Garlic

We often receive Answer Line questions regarding food storage and garlic seems to be the one people find the most complicated. “Why can I purchase garlic already chopped or pureed in jars yet you say that I cannot do this safely at home?”

Garlic is a low acid vegetable and will support the growth and toxin production of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum when given the right conditions; conditions include:

• Improper home canning

• Improper preparation and storage of fresh herb and garlic-in-oil mixtures

• Moisture, room temperature, lack of oxygen, and low-acid conditions all favour the growth of C. botulinum


Blue garlic?

Garlic contains anthocyanins which are water-soluble pigments that may turn blue, green or purple under acidic conditions. Garlic that has changed colour and has been handled correctly is generally still safe to use.

• Choose firm, plump heads of garlic with tight cloves and dry skin

• Avoid shrivelled, sprouting, or mouldy bulbs

• Store whole heads of garlic in a cool, dry, and dark spot (not the refrigerator) in well-ventilated containers such as mesh bags for up to 1 month

• Individual cloves can be stored for 3 to 7 days

• For longer storage, try roasting and freezing the garlic or pickling it