I understand not wanting to be eaten, but really, garlic makes such a song and dance about it. Those fiddly cloves. That endless papery skin. Even that handy knife hack leaves to papyrus-like scrolls of useless garlic outers all over your chopping board ― ugh.
Except, are they useless? Because according to chef, gardener and TikToker @SpicyMoustache (and using my own subsequent research), garlic’s skin is actually much more useful ― and delicious ― than you’d expect.
“You can use every part of your garlic,” the cooking and gardening enthusiast shared to over three million viewers on the app. And yes, the skins were very much included.
You can make a surprisingly tasty (trust me, I’ve tried it) garlic powder from the skins.
All you have to do is collect the unwanted peels, soak them in a large bowl of water to clean them, and then pat them dry with a clean tea towel or kitchen roll.
Then, place them in the oven at a low temp ― around 54-66ºC to prevent them from burning ― until they’re dried out. If you have a dehumidifier, even better.
Then, you can whizz the dried skins in a blender or crush them with a pestle and mortar to create a fine powder that’s perfect for getting a flavourful kick into your soups, stews, curries, and more.
Having tried it myself, I’ve been impressed by its surprisingly zingy, aromatic taste ― though it doesn’t pack as much of a punch as garlic powder made from cloves, so you may need to use more than you’re used to.
What if I don’t feel like doing that?
That makes sense, TBH ― but garlic skin’s uses aren’t just limited to garlic powder.
For instance, they go brilliantly in homemade stock or gravy (just be sure to strain them out before serving).
Just chuck your unwanted garlic and/or onion skins into a pot with herbs and seasonings (I like bay leaves, thyme, and whole peppercorns) along with any bones and skins from meat (if you have them), cover them in water until there’s an inch of space left at the top of your pot, and simmer for a couple of hours before straining.
The longer you cook it, the better ― I like to use my slow cooker for this, as it’s much cheaper than gas.
Then, I like to pour any stock I’m not using immediately into an empty ice cube tray to freeze for individual use.
Whatever you do with them, though, it’s probably a good idea for your tastebuds and your wallet for you to hold onto your garlic skins.