Farmer’s Market Find – Black Garlic!

Every Spring I look forward to the opening day for my local organic farmer’s market.  This means that until late fall, I will be eating and preparing food as it becomes seasonally available.  I believe that this is the way we were meant to eat.

Every farmer’s market carries the basics…tomatoes, corn, zucchini etc.  My local organic market is no exception, but every once in a while I will come across something I have never seen or heard of before. Today was one of those days!

My find today was black garlic!  Have you ever heard of black garlic?  I had never heard of it until today when  I picked some up thinking it was just the color that was different from regular white garlic.  Boy was I wrong!

Something New or Something Aged

What is black garlic?  Black garlic is actually white garlic that has been aged or fermented.  Black garlic is made by fermenting white garlic in a carefully controlled (humidity and temperature) environment for from 30 to 60 days.  The garlic becomes soft with a fig like consistency and has a sweet molasses, balsamic vinegar flavor.  Quite delicious and two of my three dogs love it!

Incorporating Black Garlic into Your Dog’s Diet

Black Garlic is still so new to me that I haven’t come up with any creative ways to use it.  I have started incorporating it in both my and my dogs’ diets just by eating a couple of cloves here and there.  Rue and Sage consider it a great treat, and Maya is coming around. Maya took a clove from my hand and ate it just the other day.  Up until then I’ve just thrown a clove or two in with her meal.

I recently noticed that one of my favorite pizza joints has a black garlic pizza sauce on their menu!  Because I am not an adventurous eater especially when it comes to pizza (I like simple classic) so I have not tried it yet.  I will soon; I almost ordered it the last time I had pizza!

Health Benefits and Nutritional Value of Black Garlic 

Garlic is rich in manganese, calcium, phosphorous, selenium, and vitamins B6 and C.  It reduces inflammation, increases immunity, improves cardivascular health, and fights cancer.  It is also a deterrent for ticks.

Black garlic has all of the health benefits of white garlic without the sharp flavor and potential for digestive upset.  It is rich with amino acids and has almost double the antioxidants when compared to white garlic.  Black garlic contains very high concentrations of a compound called S-Allycysteine (SAC) making it more readily absorbed by the body than white garlic.

White Garlic is still considered a better method of pest control when added to the diet than Black Garlic because of it’s higher allinin content.

So why not add this nutritional power house to your dog’s diet (and yours!)  All in moderation of course.  As with anything ­čÖé