Garlic is a somewhat downplayed pantry hero and nutrition powerhouse. It has anti-microbial effects, normalises blood pressure, reduces risks of atherosclerosis (stiff arteries) and prevents blood clots, making it a great weapon against cardiovascular diseases and infections.
One thing though. When garlic is chopped or crushed, enzyme (allinase) is activated and reacts with the alliin naturally found in intact garlic to produce allicin. Allicin, my friends, is what provides the double-edged sword of amazing garlic aromas to your food … AND remains in your breath and on your skin hours afterwards.
If garlic supposedly wards off vampires, then what wards off garlic breath? To be honest, I’ve had moments (e.g. before an appointment or meeting) when I’ve refrained from a garlic/hummus dish to avoid the garlicky consequences. Can anyone relate?
3 Tips to Get Rid of Garlic Breath
A food science research study tested different foods that could act as “garlic deodorants”. They breath-tested people after eating garlic and then either water or a number of other possible candidates, measuring the levels of volatile chemicals present that lead to the persistent garlic breath.
What they found works are apples and mint leaves, with the raw versions being more effective than juiced or cooked forms. Interestingly, rosmarinic acid was tested to be the most effective garlic deodorant – naturally found in culinary herbs including mint (aha!), rosemary, sage and basil. Time to buddy-up these herbs to your garlic dishes. Note that these food-based deodorants were consumed immediately after the garlic, not an hour or half-day down the track, so results may vary with different time frames.
With the results in mind, here are some simple subtle ways to tone down on the garlic breath:
- Brew up a mint tea or freshly juiced apple juice to go with your meal
- Crunch on an apple (you’ll be halfway towards your daily 2 serves of fruit too)
- Pinch a mint leaf from your dish and chew on it after your meal.
For garlic-perfumed hands, rubbing my hands/fingers along a stainless steel spoon, sink or other tool does the trick for me. Others have suggested washing my hands with mouthwash or toothpaste, or rubbing them in ground coffee powder. I haven’t tried these – partially because I didn’t have mouthwash/toothpaste/coffee powder handy when I was coated in garlic juice – but let me know how you go!
5 Amazing Ways, with Hummus
Yes, hummus is delicious when paired with quick’n’easy veggie sticks. That said, here are 5 MORE ways to love your homemade hummus even more:
- Smear on a wholegrain wrap or sandwich bread and top with colourful salad, and sliced boiled egg, salmon or classic falafel
- Thin down the hummus with olive oil and water and coat penne, spiral pasta or spaghetti and chopped veg for a quick pasta salad
- Dollop on the side of beef koftas and tabbouleh salad
- Spread onto pizza bases and burger buns instead of tomato paste or sauces
- Coat chicken pieces with hummus and crushed nuts or dukkah mix and roast in the oven at 180ºC for 12-15 minutes.
Makes: A 500mL tub (serves approx 10-12, based on 2 tablespoon servings)
Costs: $3.26 ($0.33 per serve)
Cooking time: 5-10 mins
- 1/4 cup lime or lemon juice (see Notes)
- 1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- Pinch of salt (optional)
- 400g canned chickpeas, drained (AND keep the liquid from the can)
Let’s get cooking:
- Add the lime/lemon juice and tahini to the food processor/blender (see Notes). Blend until well combined. This helps to aerate the hummus and made a creamier final product.
- Add garlic, olive oil, paprika and pinch of salt (if using). Blend to combine.
- Add half the chickpeas and blend. If too dry, add 1/4 cup of the reserved chickpea liquid. Add rest of chickpeas and blend until smooth. Add more chickpea liquid to thin it down to your liking.
- If you don’t have a food processor, use a regular blender or a stick blender. I used the Braun Multiquick 7 food processor.
- You can use freshly squeezed lemon/lime (just be sure to remove any seeds), or the bottled juiced versions too. They all work fine.
- Store hummus in the fridge in an airtight container, tupperware tub or jam jar. It can store for about 1-2 weeks.
One serve is calculated as approximately 2 tablespoonful. 1 serve provides 0.5 serves of veggies.
|Total fat (g)||10.2|
|– Saturated fat (g)||1.4|
|– Sugars (g)||0.4|