Because of its highly versatile properties, garlic is made available in various forms. Minced garlic stands today as one of the most flexible types, which is why it’s a common item in many grocery stores and spice shops. But sometimes, you may need this highly aromatic spice, only to find out you’re all out. Well, not to worry, as there are good substitutes available to take their place.
What is Minced Garlic?
Minced garlic is simply finely chopped garlic. It may be stored in a jar and filled with water to preserve the flavor and aroma or made from a fresh bulb right there in the kitchen. But not everyone can prepare fresh garlic to be completely minced, and this opportunity was noticed by brands and individuals. The result is a packaged batch of minced garlic available for purchase in many grocery stores.
Garlic itself is popularly known as the stinking rose. It comes in various varieties, with the most popular being the white American garlic with the most intense aroma and flavor. Other varieties include Mexican and Italian garlic, which are milder. Though not real garlic, the white-skinned elephant garlic also qualifies as a variety due to its mildly intense flavor. And sometimes, baby garlic is also used in recipes, in which case, they’re called green garlic.
Garlic is highly medicinal, and this quality is another major reason it’s a popular item in kitchens. The health benefits of garlic have been exploited from as far back as the time of the Greeks down to ancient Rome and Babylonia. Its relevance in human culinary history has also been explored in Ancient Egypt, China, and even Sumerian times. Nutritional benefits of garlic include its high oxidant content, antimicrobial properties, and richness in vitamins and minerals. Garlic is so beneficial to health; it’s a common addition to remedies for illnesses ranging from influenza to gastric infections, fever, cholera, dysentery, typhus, diarrhea, and even respiratory diseases!
Minced Garlic Nutrition Facts
Minced Garlic in Recipes
Garlic itself is a highly sought-after spice in an extensive range of recipes. This popularity is owed to its sweet-sour taste and powerful aroma. And when minced, these qualities become more pronounced as more surface areas are exposed. Plus, the smaller diced bits can be easily incorporated into any food.
Minced garlic is used by cultures and societies all around the world. From Europe to Asia, America to Africa, there’s hardly a recipe or dish that doesn’t benefit from this flexible onion-like spice. It works in almost everything, from fried foods to boiled, baked, roasted, and even plain recipes. A few of these are listed below;
- Burgers and sandwiched
- Garlic rice
- Salads and dressings
- Chicken and Beef recipes
- Baked goods
- Fish recipes
- Garlic bread
Minced Garlic Substitutes
Your recipe may call for minced garlic, and you either can’t cut it up small enough yourself or don’t have a jar of it in your spice rack. In such times, it’s good to know how to substitute for it to save yourself the stress of pausing your cooking halfway. And below, you’ll find decent alternatives that can produce that intense flavor and aroma in your cooking as minced garlic would.
A good bulb of fresh garlic is a perfect substitute for minced anytime. It’s fresh, just as pungent, and you probably already have one hanging around. Plus, it’s a cheaper alternative and can work in every recipe. Two cloves of fresh garlic are enough to substitute 1 teaspoon of minced garlic in your recipe. Simply crush with a mortar and pestle or mulch in a food processor, and you’re good to go!
Granulated garlic is simply dried garlic processed into coarsely powdered form, much like the texture of cornmeal. Because of its texture, granulated garlic releases lots of flavor and aroma to liquid dishes and recipes and is a great addition to marinades, stews, soups, and sauces. When substituting with granulated garlic, use half teaspoon for 1 teaspoon of minced garlic. This is because granulated garlic is more concentrated and will release more flavor, especially in liquids.
When fresh garlic is dehydrated or dried and packages, it’s called garlic flakes. These forms of garlic are more intense because their dried nature traps the flavor and aroma inside the flakes, allowing them to keep for a longer time. They’re also easy to use, as they come prepackaged. Garlic flakes make a great equal quantity substitute for minced garlic in most recipes. And if it’s liquid, like marinades and soups, the taste gets more intense the longer it sits in it, so it’s best to put it earlier than you would for minced garlic.
Both garlic powder and granulated garlic are made the same way, from dried and crushed garlic cloves and flakes. But garlic powder has a fine texture and thicker density. Garlic powder is a commonly store-bought prepackaged spice, so the chance of already having it at home is very high. And you can use it as a good substitute for minced garlic in any recipe. Note that garlic powder is more concentrated, so for every teaspoon of minced garlic, replace it with 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder.
If you have garlic salt in your spice rack, it can serve as a decent last-minute substitute for minced garlic. It’s almost as potent as the latter and incorporates easily in virtually every recipe that calls for minced garlic. You can use garlic salt in equal quantities as minced garlic in any recipe but note that this will add about 3/8 teaspoon salt to your cooking. So, balance it up by decreasing the originally planned quantity of salt for the dish.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is minced garlic stronger than chopped?
Yes, it is. Minced garlic releases more of the flavor compounds and leads to more intensity in the recipe. Chopped garlic has its effects, but it’s not as pronounced as minced garlic.
Can I freeze minced garlic?
Yes, you can. If you’re good at mincing garlic, freezing a large batch can save you the stress of having to do it every time, you need some. You can keep minced garlic in your freezer for up to 4 months, and though it will lose its crunchy texture, the flavor and aroma will stay preserved. When freezing minced garlic, only use freezer-safe containers like glass containers, ice trays, freezer plastic bags, and Ziploc bags.
Which is better; minced garlic in water or oil?
Minced garlic in water is better. The aim of using garlic is to add intensity to the flavor and aroma. Minced garlic preserved in water retains its garlic taste better, thus gives you more of this and zero oil.
Ran out of minced garlic? Well, you can go ahead with any of these substitutes if you have them. They work for a wide range of recipes, and once you’ve mastered your way around them, running out will no longer be a problem for you.