All About…Spring Garlic!

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Have you ever had spring garlic?  If so, you already know how delicious it is.  If not, let me tell you how delicious it is!!  I’ll start by saying I am absolutely not a morning person.  I basically stay in bed until the absolute last possible second, then rush around to get out of the house on time with coffee and a quick, grab-able breakfast from the fridge that I can eat in the car on my way to work.  It’s always a close call.  HOWEVER!  All of this changed the minute I put spring garlic in my eggs over the weekend.  I now, somehow, manage to drag myself out of bed for the sole purpose of making scrambled eggs before I leave the house.  Now, that’s a total of about 10 minutes, max, but for someone who allows less than a minute at home for breakfast on a typical day, that is quite a feat!  While I could go on and on about how magical this little spring delicacy is, let me first explain what it is.

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If you’ve seen spring garlic, you know that it looks a lot like scallions, aka green onions.  So what exactly is it?  Well, it’s young garlic that has not yet developed a bulb, and it is usually pulled out of the ground early, in spring, if the garlic crops look crowded.  Removing the young garlic plants allows the ones still in the ground to develop into big ole garlic bulbs that we all know and love.   Now, if you are wondering how these differ from garlic scapes, the difference is simply that the spring garlic is the actual garlic plant, whereas scapes are the flowers, essentially, that grow from the actual garlic plant.  Similar tastes, but different things.
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What does spring garlic taste like?  Mmmm, a little bit of heaven, if I’m being honest.  It is a milder flavor than a garlic bulb, but still potent.  I used maybe a tablespoon in my scrambled eggs (though I put more on top because they are so delicious that I want them all!), and the flavor was noticeable but not overwhelming.  I did not feel like I would knock someone over with my garlic breath after eating them, but you know, brush your teeth anyway.
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So why should you eat it?  First of all, as mentioned more than necessary, it is delicious!  Nutritionally, too, spring garlic has all of the health benefits that regular garlic has, but it’s a bit easier to eat raw than regular garlic (see above re: brushing your teeth), and when eaten raw, you get the most health benefits, particularly in the allicin, a compound found in garlic that is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties.  Basically, all signs point to eating more spring garlic!
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How can you enjoy this spring treat?  Well, my favorite way is in my eggs, chopped up and mixed in with scrambled eggs.  I found one tablespoon of chopped spring garlic was perfect for two eggs.
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You could also easily add it to salads or a sandwich or make pesto out of it.  Share your favorite way to eat it below!
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