Thursday, June 7, 2012

Making Garlic Powder


The first of our garlic harvest has been gathered (there's still quite a bit more out there just waiting!). This was our first try at planting garlic and it seems to have been a success. It's so exciting after putting all those cloves into the ground WAY BACK last fall and watching the little green shoots appear a few weeks later... then get bigger and bigger, all the time wondering if there's REALLY gonna be garlic bulbs under there.

When the leaves began to yellow, then turn brown in May (I thought we had until June or July!) we began the harvest, but after getting up the brownest-leaved ones first, we realized we probably have a few more weeks before we need to get the rest. We have garlic bulbs of every size... from one that's as big as a tennis ball, to LOTS that are much much smaller, to a few that are not much bigger than the end of my thumb. But they're all garlic and so aromatic.

The garden book says to lay the bulbs with the leaves still attached in full sun for a couple of weeks to cure... but it's been raining... I mean REALLY raining every day, it's been difficult to find full sun lately and no matter where I've put them, the water seems to puddle up underneath and I feared all our hard work would be in vain if those bulbs of yummy garlic-ness rotted in the rain... so after a week of trying to cure them... I decided to go ahead and dehydrate them and make some garlic powder.

Here's what I did...

I separated all the cloves, then peeled the papery outer layer off... and put them in the dehydrator... at first I set the temperature to 90 degrees (the temp recommended for herbs) but after 24 hours nothing seemed to be happening in there, so I upped the temp to 130 degrees (recommended for fruits and veggies)... it still took a couple of days (did I mention we've been getting torrential rains and thunderstorms for the past few weeks? and the humidity has been like 100 percent every day. Mind you, I'm not complaining, the garden has LOVED this rain and the lower than average June temperatures here in the S.C. Midlands... if you think of 70-80 degrees as low temps... we're usually up in the 90s or even 100 by this time of year)

Anyway, after a couple days, the garlic was completely dry and ready for the next step. I think next time I will slice up some of the larger cloves (I had left them whole) so there is a more uniform size, some of those bigger pieces took much longer to dry out than the others. Live and learn!

With small items like garlic cloves, I make parchment circles to line the dehydrator trays
 so they don't fall through the cracks. If I had an Excalibur dehydrator, I wouldn't
have this problem... but Alas! I don't... One day...

Next, I popped those crunchy bits of garlic goodness into the blender... a few at a time and gave them a whir...



... and continued blending until I had powder...

*Warning... if you lift the lid of the blender too soon after it stops, you will get a lovely cloud of garlic puffing out the top... I learned my lesson (garlic is so good for you, wonder if there are benefits to inhaling a garlic cloud? Hmmm???) It's a good idea to let it settle for a few minutes with the lid on, just sayin'!

If I had an extra shaker jar, I would have poured my garlic powder into one of those (I like to save shakers after they're emptied, or they sell nice glass empty ones at Fresh Market for next to nothing)

I DO have canning jars of every size... so my garlic powder went into one... a pint jar... I will add more to the jar later when I harvest the remainder of my garlic...


... and that's it! Easy Peasy!


35 comments:

  1. the top of an empty shaky cheese jar may fit your canning jars. Thanks for posting this!

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    1. Yes, Dianna Anna, I believe you're right!!! Thanks for sharing! ~~Granny

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  2. I am wondering if you could find something with screen like holes to keep your garlic from falling through. I think it would dry quicker if air got all the way around the cloves instead of sitting on parchment paper. Just a thought but I did herbs and had a problem so I used my steamer basket from a microwave set and the second batch worked much better. Thank you for sharing this idea, I would never have thought of drying garlic which I buy in bulk at BJ's and always have some go bad...no more!!!

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    1. Hmmm... I'll have to think on that, I'm sure there's something... so far parchment has done OK... but there's GOT to be a better way! Thanks ~~Granny

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    2. I've used panty-hose pulled over the tray for herbs, works great.

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    3. This is a post I did on making dehydrator screens http://myredapron.com/2011/04/19/make-your-own-dehydrator-screens/

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  3. I have used the mesh from needlepoint on mine for years - some have said that it is not food grade plastic (depends on how you feel about that). I have cut mine to the size of the trays and it works really well. Also for things that stick you can lift out the mesh and bend it to remove the dehydrated food - works well for pineapple and watermelon.

    My other comment would be the fellow who gave me a bunch of garlic to grow dries his on the floor of his garage under his car. He says just to lay it down between were the wheels go and it dries in about the same amount of time. Old farmer tricks are the best. Love the post Granny and extremely happy you are feeling better. :)

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    1. Thanks Peggy... needlepoint mesh would probably work well!

      Alas, I have no garage... will have to wait awhile to try that one out! ;-)
      ~~Granny

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  4. Thanks for sharing! I'll have to get my kids to start separating the cloves this afternoon and maybe get them in the dehydrator tonight.

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  5. I have the same kind of trays and I bought a roll of window screen and cut it to fit all my trays. Works great and it's washable.

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    1. Fantastic idea... thanks!!!! ~~Granny

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  6. I bought some latch hook rug material at Walmart to use in my trays.. took two packs, but it's like plastic screen and lets air flow pretty well. I used it for hash browns. That may help with air flow..
    Thank you for posting this Granny! Love it!

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    1. Thanks for the idea Joyce! ~~Granny

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  7. Can you buy Storebought garlic and do this same technique?

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    1. Krystal, storebought garlic would do just as well, yes! ~~Granny

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  8. so if planted on March 17th, when will they be ready to harvest, live in NE, Ohio near Lake Erie?

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    1. Good question!!! Takes about 8 months so maybe November??? But it might be too cold then... check in October. ~~Granny

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  9. got one question...how do you keep the oils in the garlic from turning your garlic powder into a giant clump? I have made powder for years but will only do a VERY small batch because it clumps up due to the oils, even after drying.

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    1. Haven't had any problem so far with clumping... I'll let ya know if I do!~~ Granny

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    2. I was wondering the same thing cause I made my own powders (garlic and Onion) but they are clumping. I tried adding grains of Rice to see if it was a moisture thing but it is still clumping and when I go to sprinkle my powders I get a few grains of rice with it. HELP!!

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  10. Just poke some holes in the jar lid for a shaker ?
    Michele

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    1. Lots of good option here! Thanks, ~~Granny

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  11. Would an oven work if I don't have a dehydrator? Mine doesn't have a light I can turn on and off, so I would have to use the "Warm" setting? ( <200 degrees). Anyone try it this way?

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    1. An oven would work but keep an eye on it! ~~Granny

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    2. I do mine in the oven at the VERY lowest temp and I slice my cloves (took me forever with 5 bulbs) and it took about 6 or so hours for it to dehydrate it completely.

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  12. I need to try this! Will blend it right in the mason jar though- no extra dirty dishes! :D

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    1. GREAT idea!!!! If my blender would work with a mason jar, I'd do that too. Mine is a weirdo blender!!! ~~Granny

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  13. So glad to see you posting again! Feeling better I hope. Sent my presto canner back and got the 15 1/2 qt AA canner. After a trip to Atl in a few days I will be trying it out.

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    1. Much better, thanks Gin! Yay for your AA canner... I absolutely LOVE mine!! How exciting for you. ~~Granny

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  14. if anyone has any tips for growing garlic in Alaska, I would love to hear them. We're in the Anchorage area, but our growing seasons are just so darn short there's a lot of things I haven't figured out how to do up here yet, and getting good garlic is one of them. We don't yet have a greenhouse built, but are working on plans for that in the future (other projects are currently taking priority..)

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    1. Here's an article published last August in the Anchorage Daily News (I Googled "growing garlic in Alaska and it popped up!). Some good tips... http://www.adn.com/2011/08/17/2019961/garlic-has-a-place-in-alaska-gardens.html Good luck! ~~Granny

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  15. sliced mine in gourmet mandoline from QVC... dry faster :) anyone know a fast way to peel??

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  16. I have a quick question... did you leave the dehydrater on 24/7 over the couple of days that it took to dehydrate the garlic?

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