Eat Local! February
February 1, 2015
Eat Local! (February)
Allium vegetables are recognized for their unique class of organosulfur compounds that are heavily researched in association with vascular function, cholesterol production inhibition and platelet aggregation. Garlic seems to be a more concentrated source of these compounds and it has been found that they reach their peak concentration after being chopped, minced or diced and let sit for about 10 minutes before cooking. This allows the enzyme allinase to break down allicin into beneficial organosulfer compounds.
Research has identified many beneficial properties of these compounds including possible protection against gastric and colorectal cancer, modest reduction of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and induction of phase II detoxification pathways (to help clear drugs and carcinogens from the body). For more information, see Linus Pauling Institute.
Enjoy these recipes and help put onions and garlic on the pedestal they deserve!
One of the easiest ways to add a potent depth of flavor to any dish, roasted garlic can be used just about anywhere garlic is called for; hummus, pasta dishes, stir-fry, over vegetables, the base of sauces and pastes, soups, etc. My favorite way to enjoy it is simply spread on bread, just like butter. Beware, deadly garlic breath will ensue!
2-3 Whole Garlic Bulb
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2 Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb, leaving 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 square of aluminum foil. Drizzle a couple teaspoons of olive oil over each head, using your fingers to make sure the garlic head is well coated. Wrap to seal and place in a muffin tin. Bake at 400°F for 30-35 minutes, or until the cloves are soft and opaque. Remove from oven and let cool.
4 After garlic has cooled to a manageable temperature, use a 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.
Rosemary Caramelized Onion Bean Dip
Served with fresh dipping vegetables, this dip is perfect to share with friends and family at your next get together – especially if you’re feeding a crowd with food allergies or intolerances (dairy- and gluten-free). Bean dips are high in fiber and are a fun twist on hummus.
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 small sweet onion, sliced thin
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1½ cups canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic (roasted if you like!)
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Ground pepper to taste
- Over medium heat, heat olive oil in skillet. Add onions and rosemary sprig; sauté until very soft or caramelized. Remove rosemary stem. (If you don’t have fresh rosemary, use dried but roughly chop or pulse in food processor/blender first).
2. Add onion and all other ingredients to food processor (or high powered blender) and blend until smooth. (If texture is too thick, add 1 tsp of water at a time until desired consistency achieved).
Recipe developed in collaboration with the Heart Healthy Woman.
Article and recipes by Darci Barman, MSN, RDN, LD, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics from Bastyr University. Darci practices “foods-first”, integrative and functional nutrition at Pilgrim’s Wellness Clinic in Coeur d’Alene, ID.