Food waste is a big problem in the United States. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that anywhere from 30 to 40 percent of our food supply goes to the landfill. Even worse, it doesn’t break down once it’s there. The good news is there are so many little tips and tricks that will help you cut down on the waste you’re producing in your own home—starting with this hack that’ll teach you how to store garlic bulbs for months.
How to Store Garlic Bulbs
We’ve all experienced it: One second your garlic looks great. Then the next, green sprouts are popping out everywhere. While the garlic is still safe to eat, it’s not as good; they can taste pretty bitter. To save it before it gets to that point, Caroline Ginolfi, creator of Plant Based Blonde, recommends roasting your garlic then popping it in the freezer to use whenever you need it.
“This method is slightly untraditional because I prefer to keep my roasted garlic frozen in whole cloves,” Ginolfi shared on Instagram. “Many recipes roast garlic until they turn into a dreamy, buttery mush, which is undoubtedly delicious. However, it can make measuring and using them in recipes later a bit more challenging. This method takes some time, but I promise roasted garlic is always worth the little labor of love.”
Simple Steps to Follow
Ginolfi’s instructions on how to store garlic bulbs are easy to follow. After removing the outer layers of the garlic bulb (you can put them right in the composter!), cut the top of the garlic bulb to expose the tops of each clove. Then massage a little olive oil onto the bulb and bake it on a reusable silicone baking sheet at 400°F for 30 minutes.
Once your bulbs are done baking and have cooled, peel out the roasted cloves and store them in an air-tight container in the freezer. “In my experience, when there aren’t too many cloves, they don’t stick together too much when frozen directly in a container,” she says. “However, if you’re roasting several bulbs of garlic, I would recommend arranging the roasted garlic cloves on a small lined tray to freeze individually before putting them into a container.”
Aside from this roasted garlic being loaded with flavor, it’s also a breeze to use. Whenever you need garlic for a recipe, simply defrost however many cloves you want and you’re good to go. Cooking—and preventing food waste!—has never been more delicious.