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The Difference Between Lentils and Beans

What are you going to have for dinner tonight? Tacos with spinach and black beans? Risotto with brown lentils? If you aren’t sure how you’d possibly cook either dish or even know the difference between the main ingredients of beans or lentils, it’s time to get in the know.



What is a Lentil?

Lentils are the part of the Plantae Kingdom and belong to “Fabaceae” family.

Lentil or Dal (in Hindi) is very popular in South Asian countries especially in the subcontinent ( Pakistan, India & Bangladesh). Its common man food, eaten with the rice or roti (a kind of bread made with wheat flour). It is considered one of the oldest food on the planet.

The word lentil is derived from Latin Lens, no wonder they are called Lens culinaris in Latin.

It can help with the digestion as its rich in fiber and essential amino acids. Because of fiber can be helpful in weight loss also. Other than fiber it has protein, electrolytes, and potassium. It can be a good source of protein for vegans.

In old days people used to consume lentils with the husk. But with the time as human beings invented machines, we started eating without husk. If you want to have the benefits of fiber do not remove the husk.

Types of Lentils

There are so many types out there, such as black-eyed peas, pigeon peas, kidney beans, mung beans, black lentils, brown lentils, yellow lentils, red lentilsFrench green lentils, and a host of other peas, legumes, grains, and seeds out there that are a great source of dietary fiber. To understand more, you need to learn about what makes beans and lentils different and what makes them similar to get a better handle on how to cook with either or both of these incredible ingredients.Lentils and Beans

Are Lentils Beans?

There are a few immediately noticeable differences between lentils and beans. For one, most beans are larger than lentils and beans also tend to hold their shape better when they’re cooked. This means you’re more likely to see bean tacos than you are lentil tacos. Other than these basic culinary differences, though, this isn’t an easy question to answer.

In short, lentils and beans are members of the same legume family. They’re both legumes and, more specifically, they’re both grain legumes, meaning they’re grown primarily in a controlled agricultural setting as a food product for humans and, to a much lesser extent, animals. Things get trickier from there, however.

Yes, both beans and lentils are legumes, but whether a lentil is actually a different class of legume from a bean is a matter of interpretation. Some people might even classify lentils a type of bean, meaning there is effectively no difference between the two.dried beans

This is one of those vegetable/fruit type questions in the sense that the difference between a lentil and a bean is mostly subtle and may not actually matter all that much in terms of how we eat and enjoy these healthy plant-derived foods. Think of it this way. If you ask most people whether a cucumber is a fruit, they’d say no. It’s not particularly sweet and we tend to eat them in salads and with savory foods, which is how most people think of vegetables.

However, cucumbers grow from flowers and bear seeds, which technically makes them fruit. The same goes for pumpkins, tomatoes, eggplant, and other produce we tend to think of as vegetables. Lines are blurry as far as these classifications are concerned and it might not be entirely useful to draw hard category boxes around either lentils or beans.

So, really, the difference between lentils and beans is a matter of interpretation that may not be worth debate. Far more important than understanding which category each falls into is trying to understand what these foods are, why they’re good for you and how you can cook them to enjoy their health benefits.

What are the Similarities?

Perhaps a better question is asking how beans and lentils are similar. Since they belong to the same family and can be argued to essentially be one and the same, beans and lentils have a lot in common. Both are the protein-packed seed of a legume plant. Beans of all kinds and different kinds of lentils grow in seed pods and are harvested by removing the pod from the plant and, in most cases, removing the seed from the pod.

Both of these vegetables are also extremely healthy and affordable sources of both protein and fiber. The combination of protein and fiber means that eating beans or lentils helps you feel fuller on less food, which can be great for those who are trying to or need to eat modest portions for any reason, whether it’s motivated by health or financial necessity.

That’s part of the reason why beans and rice is such a great meal for those who are on a strict budget, especially if brown rice is chosen over white. The combination of the amino acids, soluble fiber and insoluble fiber in both beans and brown rice makes for complete proteins and gut-healthy fiber that is filling with minimal fat. The same goes for lentils, too, which is why Indian dishes such as daal, which is made from red lentils, are a great option for those who are getting sick of regular beans and rice.rice

Another important similarity—there are several types of beans and there are several types of lentils. There are way more legume types classified under the “bean” category than the “lentil” category, but they both offer plenty of room for exploration in terms of size, shape, color, texture, and taste.

How to Buy Lentils and Beans for Cooking and Eating

Though there are a lot of similarities between the two and they may, indeed, even be the same thing, shopping for different kinds of beans and lentils brings up some important differences you’ll want to become familiar with if you want to cook with these ingredients.

Dried

Dried beans

You can find just about every kind of bean or lentil available in dried form, often for sale in ultra-affordable bulk quantities at most grocery stores. Lentils are smaller and cook much faster than most dried beans, which means they can cook without pre-soaking. Dried beans such as kidney or black beans usually need to be soaked before they’re cooked to reduce overall cooking time, though some culinary experts disagree with the need for soaking. Try it yourself and see if you agree!

Canned

Both brown lentils and various types of beans, including kidney, navy, cannellini, and pinto, are available as a canned and preserved vegetable. Though they’re theoretically more expensive than dried beans, if water and gas, and electricity are expensive where you live, the cost to rinse, soak, and cook dried beans may even out with the cost of canned. Softer red lentils aren’t usually available in cans, though, and due to their small size, canned brown lentils often seem quite mushy.

Fresh

Borlotti, fava, and lima beans and the kind you might find sold fresh—as in just picked, straight from the plant, still in their pods—at a farmer’s market. It is highly unlikely that you’d find lentils sold fresh at a farmer’s market unless you live in a very agriculturally diverse area.

Roasted or Cooked

Roasted chickpeas

Roasted chickpeas and fava beans are gaining popularity as a snack that stays fresh because it’s been dried out and preserved. Lentils aren’t likely to get the same treatment as a grain, though you may find some crisped lentils in their pods sold as a salty snack. These lentil crisps deliver a surprisingly healthy level of fiber and protein compared to similar crunchy, salty snack items like potato chips. However, most people don’t have the ability to make crisped lentils at home while anyone with an oven and some time can make roasted chickpeas and fava beans.

The Complete List Of Green Vegetables

Lettuce

Lettuce is planted in early spring. There are five types of lettuces

  1. loose-leaf lettuce

  2. Romanie

  3. Butterhead

  4. Asparagus lettuce

  5. Crisphead

This green vegetable flourishes between 60 F & 70 F

Source: https://extension.illinois.edu/veggies/lettuce.cfm 

Swiss Chard

A very colorful vegetable. It has many names, e.g spinach beet, perpetual spinach, crab beet, or sometimes simply the chard.

Note: When buying don't forget to check the color of leaves. Make sure it's not brown. It should be bright green and fresh.

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per 1 cup (36 g)1 leaf (48 g)100 grams

Calories 19

Total Fat 0.2 g

0%

Saturated fat 0 g


0%

Monounsaturated fat 0 g

Polyunsaturated fat 0.1 g

Cholesterol 0 mg

0%

Sodium 213 mg

8%

Potassium 379 mg

10%

Total Carbohydrate 3.7 g

1%

Dietary fiber 1.6 g

6%

Sugar 1.1 g

Protein 1.8 g

3%

Enter your text here...

Source: USDA https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list?qlookup=11147

Kale ( leaf cabbage)

Kale is fully packed with vitamins and minerals. Rich in potassium and calcium along with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K.

You can eat Kale raw, with salad, or in liquid form ( Soup or Smoothie).

Nutrient
Unit
1Value per 100 g

Water

g
84.04

Energy

kcal
49

Protein

g
4.28

Total lipid (fat)

g
0.93
Carbohydrate, by difference

g
8.75

​​​​Fiber, total dietary

g
3.6

Sugars, total

g
2.26

Arugula

Arugula or  Rocket is part of genus Eruca family. It helps to detoxify the body. Rich in folic acid and contains Vitamin c, Vitamin K, and Vitamin A.

Nutrient
Unit
1Value per 100 g

Water

g
84.04

Energy

kcal
49

Protein

g
4.28

Total lipid (fat)

g
0.93
Carbohydrate, by difference

g
8.75

​​​​Fiber, total dietary

g
3.6

Sugars, total

g
2.26

Spinach

Ahh, spinach my childhood love. I remember this green vegetable from the cartoon “Popeye the sailor man”. Spinach is rich in iron.

A hundred grams of spinach has

  • 25 calories
  • 2.8g protein
  • 0.8g fat
  • 1.6g Carbohydrates
  • 2.8g fiber

source https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/ingredient-focus-spinach

Romaine lettuce

Romaine Lettuce is the every gym buff’s and nutritionist’s love.  Only 8 calories and 1-2 grams of Carbs/Cup. So if you are thinking to lose some weight Romaine lettuce will be your best friend.  This green leafy vegetable is very good for your immune system.

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per 1 leaf inner (6 g)1 leaf outer (28 g)1 cup shredded (47 g)1 NLEA serving (85 g)100 grams1 head (626 g)100 grams.

Total Fat 0.3 g

0%

Saturated fat 0 g


0%

Monounsaturated fat 0 g

Polyunsaturated fat 0.2 g

Cholesterol 0 mg

0%

Sodium 8 mg

0%

Potassium 247 mg

7%

Total Carbohydrate 3.3 g

1%

Dietary fiber 2.1 g

8%


Sugar 1.2 g

Protein 1.2 g

2%

Vitamin A
174%
Calcium
3%
Vitamin D
0%
Vitamin B-12
0%
Vitamin C
6%
Iron
5%
Vitamin B-6
5%

Iceberg lettuce

The topmost ingredient, used in every Salad. Green in color and crunchy in texture. Rich in Vitamin C, A & K. Also contains Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B9.

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per 1 leaf, small (5 g)1 leaf, medium (8 g)1 leaf, large (15 g)1 cup, chopped (1/2" pieces, loosely packed) (57 g)1 cup shredded (72 g)1 NLEA Serving (89 g)100 grams1 head, small (324 g)1 head, medium (6" dia) (539 g)1 head, large (755 g)100 grams

Total Fat 0.1 g

0%

Saturated fat 0 g


0%

Polyunsaturated fat 0.1 g

Enter your text here...

Monounsaturated fat 0 g

Enter your text here...

Cholesterol 0 mg

0%

Sodium 10 mg

0%

Potassium 141 mg

4%

Total Carbohydrate 3 g

1%

Dietary fiber 1.2 g

4%


Sugar 2 g

Enter your text here...

Protein 0.9 g

1%

Vitamin A
10%
Calcium
1%
Vitamin D
0%
Vitamin B-12
0%
Vitamin C
4%
Iron
2%
Magnesium
1%
Source : https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list?qlookup=11

Collard greens

Collard green is a natural detoxifier and can help to remove the toxin from the body. It improves the cardiovascular health and lowers the cholesterol. It has the good amount of proteins.

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per 1 cup, chopped (36 g)100 grams100 grams

Total Fat 0.6 g

0%

Saturated fat 0.1 g

0%

Polyunsaturated fat 0.2 g

Enter your text here...

Monounsaturated fat 0 g

Enter your text here...

Cholesterol 0 mg

0%

Sodium 17 mg

0%

Potassium 213 mg

6%

Total Carbohydrate 5 g

1%

Dietary fiber 4 g

16%


Sugar 0.5 g

Enter your text here...

Protein 3 g

6%

Vitamin A
10%
Calcium
1%
Vitamin D
0%
Vitamin B-12
0%
Vitamin C
4%
Iron
2%
Magnesium
1%
Source: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list?qlookup=11161

Artichokes

It lowers the sugar level in blood. It may help you the fight against the cancer. Increase the cardiovascular health. It improves your digestion and detox liver.

Total Fat 0.2 g

0%

Saturated fat 0 g

0%

Polyunsaturated fat 0.1 g

Enter your text here...

Monounsaturated fat 0 g

Enter your text here...

Cholesterol 0 mg

0%

Sodium 94 mg

3%

Potassium 370 mg

10%

Total Carbohydrate 11 g

3%

Dietary fiber 5 g

20%


Sugar 1 g

Enter your text here...

Protein 3.3 g

6%

Vitamin A
0%
Calcium
4%
Vitamin D
0%
Vitamin B-12
0%
Vitamin C
19%
Iron
7%
Magnesium
15%
Source: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list?qlookup=11007

Bok Choy

Bok Choy or Chinese Cabbage is a very nutrient dense green vegetable. It enhances the blood circulation. It makes bones strong, and good for the health of the heart. Some studies show that it also protects from cancer.

Below are some nutrition facts.

Amount Per 1 leaf (14 g)1 cup, shredded (70 g)100 grams1 head (840 g)100 grams

Calories 13

Total Fat 0.2 g

0%

Saturated fat 0 g

0%

Polyunsaturated fat 0.1 g

Enter your text here...

Monounsaturated fat 0 g

Enter your text here...

Cholesterol 0 mg

0%

Sodium 65 mg

2%

Potassium252 mg

7%

Total Carbohydrate2.2 g

0%

Dietary fiber 1 g

4%


Sugar 1.2 g

Enter your text here...

Protein 1.5 g

3%

Vitamin A
89%
Calcium
10%
Vitamin D
0%
Vitamin B-12
0%
Vitamin C
75%
Iron
4%
Magnesium
4%
Source : https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list?qlookup=11116

Broccoli

Broccoli - The love of fitness enthusiasts and gym rats. This green and nutritious vegetable has a lot of health benefits. Sulforaphane (found in broccoli) can help to fight against the lung and colon cancer. You can get 2 crops per year. Rich in Vitamins D & Vitamins A

Cabbage

There are 3 common types of cabbage.

  • Green Cabbage
  • Savoy Cabbage
  • Red Cabbage

Below are nutrition facts

Calories 16

Dietary fiber 2.9 grams

Carbohydrates 3.6 mg

Vitamin C 18.2 mg

source: https://extension.illinois.edu/veggies/cabbage.cfm

Cucumbers

Cucumber is the part of Cucumis sativus family. Can be eaten as a pickle, raw or with salad. Cucumber is full of water, low in sodium that makes it an ideal vegetable for fat loss, or low cholesterol.

Brussels Sprouts

Very popular in Belgium. Brussels is the rich source of Vitamin C & K. It's the part of the same group as cabbage. Use it in the salad or cook it.

Nutrient
Unit
Value per 100 g

Water

g
86

Energy

kcal
43

Protein

g
3.38

Total lipid (fat)

g
0.3
Carbohydrate, by difference

g
8.95

​​​​Fiber, total dietary

g
3.8

Sugars, total

g
2.2
Calcium, Ca
mg
42
Iron, Fe
mg
1.4
Magnesium, Mg
mg
23
Phosphorus, P
mg
69
Potassium, K
mg
389
Sodium, Na
mg
25

Asparagus

Sometimes also called sparrow grass. Asparagus is used as medicine as well.

Rich in rutin and low in sodium like other green veggies. You can read more about nutrition and recipes here http://www.michiganasparagus.org/our-team

Scallions or Green Onions

Green Onions or Scallions is the part of the lily family. Rich in Vitamin K and Fiber. Sometimes used as a starter dish in some parts of the world (Especially, in southeast Asia).

Nutrition Facts

Total Fat 0.2 g

0%

Saturated fat 0 g

0%

Polyunsaturated fat 0.1 g

Enter your text here...

Monounsaturated fat 0 g

Enter your text here...

Cholesterol 0 mg

0%

Sodium 16 mg

2%

Potassium 276 mg

7%

Total Carbohydrate 7 g

0%

Dietary fiber 2.6 g

4%


Sugar 2.3 g

Enter your text here...

Protein 1.8 g

3%

Vitamin A
19%
Calcium
7%
Vitamin D
0%
Vitamin B-12
0%
Vitamin C
31%
Iron
8%
Magnesium
5%

Celery

Celery is the part of Apiaceae family. Classified as a vegetable and has a lot of fiber. Widely used as part of weight loss diet.

Nutrient
Unit
Value per 100 g

Water

g
95.43

Energy

kcal
16

Protein

g
0.69

Total lipid (fat)

g
0.17
Carbohydrate, by difference

g
2.97

​​​​Fiber, total dietary

g
1.6

Sugars, total

g
1.34

Source : https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2914

Zucchini

This green fruit comes in two varieties, Yellow and light green.

Nutrient
Unit
Value per 100 g

Water

g
94.79

Energy

kcal
17

Protein

g
1.21

Total lipid (fat)

g
0.32
Carbohydrate, by difference

g
3.11

​​​​Fiber, total dietary

g
1

Sugars, total

g
2.5

How long do mushrooms last? Increase the Life of Mushrooms

how long do mushrooms last in the fridge

Increase the Life of Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a unique and often misunderstood fleshy fungi that can bring new interest to a boring dish or serve as a main dish on their own. While cooking with mushrooms is exciting and fun, keeping them fresh is crucial to protecting their flavor and keeping them safe to eat.

How long do mushrooms last?

The shelf life of mushrooms depends on a number of things, such as how old the mushrooms were when purchased as well as the heat and humidity of the mushrooms’ environment. Storing them in the refrigerator is a good way to extend their shelf life, but they can stay fresh even longer depending upon how they are prepared for storage.

Mushrooms carefully stored in the fridge can maintain freshness for 5-7 days. Sliced mushrooms have a shorter shelf life of 2-5 days as they begin to oxidize after being sliced. If you plan to slice your mushrooms, it is recommended that you wait until you are ready to use them before slicing.

It is also recommended that whole mushrooms be purchased rather than pre-sliced. Dr. Catherine Cutter, a respected food specialist, cautions that pre-cut mushrooms may have a greater risk of being infected with a bacteria known as Listeria monocytogenes simply because they are handled more during processing.

How long do mushrooms last in the refrigerator?

There are some ways to gain maximum freshness from mushrooms for an extended period in the fridge. Most culinary experts agree that freshly purchased mushrooms should be removed from their containers and placed in paper sacks or wrapped in paper towels before being placed in the refrigerator.

The reason that paper is a better storage option than plastic has to do with the biological makeup of mushrooms. These tasty tidbits are comprised mostly of water, in fact, mushrooms contain about 90% water as opposed to most vegetables that consist of around 70% water. As we all know, water evaporates and storing mushrooms in plastic means that the water cannot evaporate properly and can make the mushrooms soft and “mushy.” Storing in the paper provides a breathable alternative, allowing the moisture to evaporate and keeping the mushrooms dry and fresher.
Due to the high-water content of mushrooms, do not rinse them before storage.

How long do cooked mushrooms last?

Cooked mushrooms should not be kept longer than three days and should be stored in the refrigerator between 34 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it is always a good idea to check cooked mushrooms for signs of spoilage or odors if they have been stored in the refrigerator for more than a day.

Do certain types of mushrooms outlast others?

Surprisingly, mushrooms have little variance between types and how long they keep. If kept in the refrigerator in paper containers, whites, portabellas, and other types should stay fresh for the about the same period. While it is recommended that the mushrooms should be used within a day or two, it is possible that they may stay fresh for as long as a week.

Are there tips for purchasing mushrooms to help them stay fresh longer?

The first step in the process is to inspect mushrooms before buying them carefully. Look for discolorations, dark spots and areas of dampness and do not purchase if noted.
Some grocery stores and supermarkets sell mushrooms by the pound in large bins which are an excellent way to purchase them. Shoppers can inspect each mushroom for freshness or signs of age.

Other stores commonly sell mushrooms in cardboard containers sealed in plastic wrap. While this does not afford the visibility as the bins, it is still usually possible to check the mushrooms for signs of spoilage.
Look for firm mushrooms with no discolorations and with caps that are not separated from the stems.

 

Can mushrooms be frozen for later use?

It is quite possible to freeze mushrooms if they may otherwise spoil before time to use them. The first step is to make sure that the mushrooms are fresh with no soft spots or other blemishes. Chop or dice the mushrooms and spread them out in a single layer on a platter or baking sheet, then freeze for two hours.
After the two hours has elapsed, transfer the frozen mushrooms into freezer containers and place back into the freezer. Frozen mushrooms can keep for six to eight months.

 

Summing it up

With proper care and preparation techniques, most edible varieties of mushrooms can be kept and enjoyed for maximum periods of time for additions to salads and soups, favorite sauces, or as additions to many main dish recipes when a touch of something special is called for. Hope fully now you know that how long do mushrooms last.  If you have any question let me know in the comments 🙂

how much is a clove of garlic? Here are secrets you need to know

How much is a clove of garlic?

The weight of a clove varies from 1 gram to 6 grams (source: https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cookbook:Garlic ). Taste and weight depend on the type of garlic.

Types of garlic:

Till today there are more than 400 species of garlic are found. The most common species of garlic is “Allium Sativum.” And this is most commonly available garlic. Allium Sativum is further subdivided into two categories.  Hardneck and Softneck.

Hardneck Garlic
Hardneck can be recognized by the stalk.

  • Rocambole
    • Purple stripe
    • Asiatic,
    • Marbled Purple Stripe,
    • Glazed Purple Stripe.
    •  CerolePorcelain

Softneck Garlic

Softneck Garlic has many layers. The outer layers are thick. Inner layers of cloves are smaller (closer to the bulb). Below are two popular types of softneck Garlic.

    • Silverskin garlic
    • Artichoke garlic

Creole Garlic
Black Garlic
Scapes
Ramps
Elephant/Buffalo Garlic

How many cloves in garlic?

There are 10-15 cloves in the garlic (whole bulb). On average a supermarket clove can weigh about 3-6 grams. Most of the recipes require only 2-3 cloves of garlic. Mincing will decrease the weight. Below are some details.

How much is a garlic clove minced?

One small clove of garlic = ½ teaspoon minced garlic.
One medium clove = 1 teaspoon minced
One big clove = 1.5 teaspoons of minced garlic

13 medium-size cloves are equal to the ¼ cup.

How much is 2 garlic cloves minced?

Below is what you will get if mince two garlic cloves
2 garlic cloves (small) = 1 tsp
2 medium cloves = 2 Tsp
2 big cloves = 3 Tsp

how much is three garlic cloves minced?
3 small garlic cloves (minced) = 1.5 tsp
3 medium garlic cloves (minced) = 3 tsp
3 big garlic cloves (minced) = 4.5 tsp

How much is four garlic cloves?

small garlic cloves (minced) = 2 tsp
4 medium garlic cloves (minced) = 4 tsp
4 large garlic cloves (minced) = 6 tsp

How much garlic powder equals one clove of garlic?

Fresh garlic always tastes better than the powder. I still use fresh garlic cloves but if you are allergic or want to use only for the medical purpose. Then garlic powder is ideal. Garlic powder is the dried (dehydrated garlic cloves) in powder form. In my experience, 1 fresh garlic clove is equal to teaspoon garlic powder.

Substitutes of Garlic

Some friends of you called and told they are coming for dinner. You said Kool and started cooking. Then you check your fridge and found that there is no garlic. Dam! (actually, this happened to me last week, lol). Below are some substitutes if you are traveling or due to any other reason you can’t find fresh garlic.

Garlic Flakes: 1/2 teaspoon = 1 clove
Granulated Garlic = 1/4 teaspoon = 1 clove
Garlic Salt = A fresh garlic clove is equal to ½ garlic salt. Keep in mind if you use garlic salt use less salt in the recipe as it has already salt in it.

How Long is Garlic Good For

How Long is Garlic Good For?

In most cases, garlic doesn’t sell with a “best by” date. If you buy garlic that’s been prepared in any way, whether that means it’s been peeled by the grocery store, become garlic powder, garlic confit, garlic oil, garlic juice or processed into a paste and packaged into a tube, chances are that you will have some sort of expiration date to go off of, but that’s usually not true of fresh garlic bulbs. This article will focus on raw garlic or fresh garlic that comes complete as bulbs in its own all-natural papery skin. Though it doesn’t come with a label stating when it’s no longer good, garlic has its own natural way of telling you that it’s past its prime as an ingredient for cooking.

Factors That Influence Whether Garlic is “Good”

Unlike some foods, it’s a bit foolish to put a specific time limit on your garlic’s freshness. That’s because there’s no set amount of time between purchase and spoilage for garlic. Why is that? There are a few reasons, though it is chiefly because garlic is a natural food that hasn’t been processed and, therefore, tends to do what it likes. You can buy five heads of garlic on the same day and they’ll go bad days or even weeks apart from each other. Let’s explore the reasons behind this so you can get on the road to independently judging garlic before you use it.

Proximity to Growing Location

One big factor that can impact how fast your garlic goes bad is your proximity to its growing location. Garlic that has to travel to you from the other side of the world probably isn’t going to last as long as garlic that grew in your neighbor’s backyard. Though all garlic goes through the same basic process of being picked and drying out a bit before use, the interval between the end of the drying process and when you pick it up and take it home can be entirely unpredictable.

Even if your grocery store or market lists the origins of the garlic you’re buying, you may not be able to tell when it left its point of origin. While locally grown garlic isn’t necessarily guaranteed to stay fresher for longer, it’s a safe bet that garlic grown closer to home was picked not too long ago and it will most likely be stored at room temperature. Garlic that’s imported from far-flung locales needs to travel, often through slow transit methods like ship and train transport, and it can sit in customs for days before being cleared. Then it has to be distributed, sorted and set out for sale. By the time it reaches you, your garlic could already be well past its prime.

Duration in Storage Prior to Purchase

The amount of time it takes for a grocer to set garlic out for sale can also impact how fresh your garlic is when you receive it. In case it isn’t already clear, garlic has a longer period before it goes bad if it hasn’t been sitting around being transported or stored for days and days. This means that grocery stores with a large stock of garlic could theoretically be letting some of that stock gradually go bad as they work through what they have in their storage area.

So, even if you live in an agricultural area that relies on garlic as a major crop, it’s hard to tell exactly how fresh the garlic you’re buying is. It could be that the garlic you buy today is from the same shipment as the garlic you bought six weeks ago. The only way you can know for sure is to ask and you might not get a forthcoming answer. Plus, if the storage facilities your garlic was housed in at any point in this process weren’t properly cooled, that probably means faster spoilage as well.

How to Tell if Garlic Has Gone Bad

As you can see, there isn’t a magic number to let you know exactly when you should toss out your garlic. That doesn’t mean that you can’t tell when garlic is good or bad, though. Here are some things to look out for before you use garlic you aren’t sure about.

Sprouts

Most people assume that green sprouts growing out of their garlic cloves means the head has gone bad, but that’s not the case. Natural health enthusiasts insist that sprouted garlic has health benefits and should be used as normal, but if you don’t agree with this line of reasoning, you can still use your garlic. Just cut the clove in half lengthwise and pull out the sprout. If you really don’t like the taste of sprouted garlic, even without the bitter sprout intact, you can go ahead and throw it away. Better still, you can plant a few of those sprouted cloves and see if they take root and grow into a whole new garlic bulb!

Discoloration

Fresh garlic

Fresh garlic should be a very pale yellow color and it should be opaque. If yours is starting to look dull and brown or even take on a transparent hue, it’s time to toss it. The skin should be predominantly white (unless you’ve purchased purple garlic), but not all garlic is pristine. Remember that this is a crop that grows in the ground, so don’t immediately toss out ahead of garlic if it has some brown spots on the exterior skin. Crack open a clove and judge it that way. The exception here is if the skin smells of mold or mildew or has an obvious fuzzy mold growth. In that case, you can just throw the whole head away.

Texture Changes

Fresh, edible garlic cloves should be firm and smooth. If your garlic is looking withered, mushy or rotten, it’s probably not worth using. There are some exceptions—you might be able to slice a clove in half to get rid of some of the nastier bits, but you can also just use another clove on the same head. Garlic doesn’t go bad all at once and because the individual cloves are segmented and separated from one another by the skin, you may actually find that only one clove has gone off while all the others are fine.

you can read here more about garlic measurements