Can You Freeze Garlic Cloves?
Preserve your garlic harvest—or a bonus buy you found at the local market—by freezing. Learn how to freeze garlic safely.
For garlic lovers, there’s no such thing as too much garlic. But when you grow your own abundant crop or grab a bag of bulbs at the local warehouse store, cloves often start sprouting before you can use it all. What’s a thrifty cook to do? Can you freeze garlic cloves? The answer is a resounding yes.
Garlic is pretty versatile when it comes to freezing. You can freeze raw whole unpeeled bulbs, individual cloves (peeled or unpeeled), or chopped garlic. You can also cook or process garlic into various forms that make meal prep a breeze. Frozen garlic lacks the crunchy texture of fresh, but the flavor remains strong—and definitely lacks the chemical taste that sometimes accompanies jarred garlic.
A common method for freezing garlic is placing peeled cloves—chopped or whole—in olive oil. This is actually the only safe way to preserve garlic in oil. Garlic is a low acid food, and when it’s placed in oil, the environment lacks oxygen. This combination provides the perfect growing conditions for the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which produces botulism-causing toxin.
If you store garlic in oil at room temperature or in a fridge that’s not held consistently below 40°F, you’re putting yourself and your family at risk for contracting botulism. If botulism toxin develops and is eaten, death occurs in a few days without medical intervention. Even when you freeze garlic in oil, never thaw it or let it sit at room temperature prior to use. Always transfer frozen garlic in oil directly from the freezer to a cooking dish.
Fresh Broccoli Beats Store-Bought Every Time
Want to enjoy fresh-from-the-garden broccoli all year long? It's a snap to freeze this fiber-rich veggie to use in stir fries, soup and more. Learn the process for how to freeze broccoli in this article by Julie A. Martens.
Overwhelmed with Cucumbers?
Cucumber vines can be prolific producers of the treasured summertime veggie. Don't think it's possible to freeze cucumbers? Well, the secret lies in the preparation. Learn how to freeze cucumbers for summer-fresh fare in any season.
Never Have Too Many Cherry Tomatoes
While frozen cherry tomatoes are no longer fit to be used in tossed salads, you can blend them with herbs or use in soups and stew. In this article, Julie A. Martens offers several great uses for frozen cherry tomatoes and describes the best way to preserve them.
Freeze Spinach for Soups and More
While you won't want to serve frozen spinach in fresh salads, the leaves will work nicely in soup, casseroles and stir fries. You'll just want to freeze young leaves. Avoid the older or yellowing leaves as they'll produce a nasty taste and rubbery texture. Ever tried making frozen spinach cubes? Get more tips on how to freeze spinach in this article on how to freeze spinach.
Can You Freeze Kale?
Yes, you can freeze kale. Frozen kale works well in smoothies and blends well into quiches, crock pot stews and soups. Find more uses for frozen kale and how to best preserve this nutrient-packed green.
Put Your Onions in the Deep Freeze
Too many onions to eat right away? Not a problem. They freeze easily, and can be used in a variety of ways. Learn how to prep onions for safe storage in the deep freeze, how to keep the onion odor low and when to use frozen onions in your dishes.
Freeze Asparagus for Great Flavor
While frozen asparagus spears won't be as crisp as garden-fresh stems, they can still be used in many dishes. Here are the steps to preserving this nutrient-dense vegetable and some ideas on how to use frozen asparagus to add flavor to your meals.
Can You Freeze Garlic Cloves?
You definitely can freeze garlic. In fact, you can freeze garlic in many ways. While frozen garlic lacks the crunchy texture of fresh, the flavor remains strong—and definitely won't have the chemical taste that sometimes accompanies jarred garlic. Learn several ways to freeze garlic and how to use it to add flavor to food.
How Do You Freeze Eggplant?
Eggplant doesn't keep very long, and you won't be able to can it without pulverizing it beyond recognition. So, how do you preserve your delicious eggplant? Forget your canner and learn how to freeze eggplant. Here are several freezing methods you can try.
Enjoy a Summertime Favorite All Year
Learn how to freeze corn and you'll be able to enjoy this summertime treat all year—even with your holiday turkey. Freezing corn is simple, and it's a great way to introduce kids to food preservation. Learn the steps to freezing corn in this article by Julie A. Martens.
How to Freeze Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts bring more than taste to the table. This cabbage cousin boasts vitamins and is high in protein, so you'll want to make your locally-grown Brussels sprouts last. Learn the two ways to freeze Brussels sprouts and ways to include this frozen super veggie on your table.
Steps to Freezing Cabbage
Want to enjoy the nutrition offered by cabbage all year? This unsung hero of the vegatable garden adapts well to the freezing process. Start with dense, solid heads that feel weighty for their size. Learn more about the steps to freezing cabbage in this article from Julie A. Martens.
Freeze Celery for Soups
Celery is mostly water, and the freezing process ruptures cell walls, resulting in a limp, mushy product. But frozen celery works fabulously in casseroles, sauces, stock, and other hot concoctions. You can also use it as an aromatic with soups, broths for cooking rice, or roasts, tossing after cooking. Learn the steps to freezing celery in this article.
Overstocked on Mushrooms?
Mushrooms might last about a week in the refrigerator, which might not be enough time to enjoy the bounty you may have grown or foraged. Consider freezing mushrooms. Learn which method of freezing mushrooms works best, and get some ideas for how to use them in recipes.
To freeze garlic cloves in olive oil, puree peeled cloves in a food processor with oil. Use a ratio of 1 part garlic to 2 parts oil. Pack the puree into an airtight container. At this ratio, the oil keeps the mixture from ever freezing solid, so you can scoop out what you need as you’re cooking. Garlic oil makes a wonderful base for sauces and sautéing veggies. It’s also a tasty addition to mashed potatoes, cooked pasta, and artichokes.
A twist on this idea is to create garlic paste. Puree peeled garlic cloves, adding a dash of kosher salt and a little olive oil—enough to form a paste. Use a spoon or scoop to form balls of garlic paste. Flash freeze on a parchment-lined tray, then toss frozen balls into a freezer bag.
If you don’t want garlic oil, you can freeze whole individual cloves—peeled or not—in airtight containers or freezer bags. Once garlic freezes, peels come off easily, but think ahead to your typical meal prep. If you’re usually short on time, it might be worth the effort to peel cloves before freezing.
Chop peeled cloves and tuck into snack size bags, freezing in a thin layer. To use, just break off a piece of the frozen layer. Alternatively, you can flash freeze garlic—whole cloves or chopped—on a parchment-lined tray. Toss the frozen garlic into freezer bags.
No matter how you freeze garlic, be sure to seal it in a container that won’t allow garlic odor to escape and flavor your freezer—and everything in it. Double and even triple bag garlic that’s stored in freezer bags.
- How to Freeze Green Beans
- How to Freeze Corn
- Freezing Zucchini: A Great Way to Chill Out
- How to Freeze Broccoli
- How to Freeze Okra
- Can You Freeze Mushrooms?
- Freezing Eggplant
- Can You Freeze Celery?
- Freezing Onions
- Freezing Cabbage