|The finished product: there are always some larger pieces which refuse to grind down to a fine dust|
However, last year I was rather puzzled to find my harvest wasn't disappearing quite as quickly as expected. Some time later I found the solution to the mystery in our spice cupboard: a jar of garlic powder stood proudly in prime position on the top shelf.
It turns out NAH prefers using the powdered form because it's less fiddly and so quick to use. To say I was a bit cross when I tackled him about it is putting it mildly as I felt all my hard work up at the allotment was being rejected. Later when I'd calmed down and could put myself in 'my customer's shoes' I resolved to have a go at making my own garlic powder.
We both use the green garlic I grow which uses up the smaller cloves from a cropping garlic bulb. It starts the home grown garlic season much earlier and still fits NAH's easy to use criteria. These always yield a small bulb at the end of the green garlic season, so I used these to experiment with last week. My bulk harvest is still a few weeks away yet.
The amount you need isn't fixed, so make as much or as little as you want according to what you have. Make sure the cloves are well dried first, then we'll go straight to the Method...
|My garlic pieces after a couple of hours in the oven|
- Peel the garlic cloves and compost the peelings
- Crush the cloves in a food mixer or blender until you have the smallest pieces possible. Do this in small batches if you have a lot of garlic to process
- Spread the small garlic pieces out evenly on oven-proof nonstick trays and place in an cool oven (90°C for a fan assisted oven, 110°C conventional, or Gas Mark ¼). Alternatively use a dehydrator if you have one - cover the trays with greaseproof paper or parchment so the garlic doesn't stick to them
- Open all outside doors and windows and close the kitchen door to minimise the garlic smell entering the house and lingering for several days - though NAH liked the smell and it does subside after a couple of hours or so (optional)
- Heat the garlic through until fully dried - approx 6-8 hours. Give the trays a shake every hour or so to check on progress and help the process along
- Once cooled, grind the garlic (in batches if needed) using a food processor or stick blender until a fine powder is formed for around half the garlic
- Taking care not to breathe in any of the fine dust (I didn't and had a quite a coughing session as a result), carefully transfer to jar(s) - a funnel helps to prevent spillage
- Make sure each jar lid is screwed on tightly and store in a cupboard
NAH pointed out this is quite a fiddly and expensive way to make garlic powder. I'd say making a huge batch and the better taste of the final result just about makes it worthwhile.