Have you ever purchased one of those large containers of peeled garlic from any Buy-In-Bulk-Warehouse to save yourself time and money? BUT THEN, after you got home you learned the garlic has an expiration date and you only have 3 weeks to eat 3 pounds of garlic! YIKES.
Well, that happened to one of my dear friends. She called me up and said, "help me eat this garlic!" She sent over a large yogurt tub full of peeled garlic. Now, as much as we love garlic in my home, even that's too much garlic for us to consume in time. I had to find another way to make the best out of this.
I've already tried the garlic in oil trick, while it is delicious, it too has a short shelf life. I needed a long term solution. After a little Google research, I tried and liked two successful methods to preserving peeled garlic cloves.
The First and Simplest Method
Spread the garlic cloves onto a baking sheet and freeze them for about 20 minutes. Transfer them to a good air-tight freezer container and keep stored in the freezer. They will keep 8- to 12-months in the freezer. Use them in soups, salsas, etc. just as you normally use them. They don't take long to thaw out, if you need to chop them.
The Second Method is Making Your Own Garlic Powder
Fresh garlic powder is just Wonderful! It's amazing just how much more aromatic and flavorful it is compared to the store-bought powder. All it takes is a one-cup food processor, a little foil, food dehydrator and a spice grinder (an old coffee grinder.)
Line the dehydrator tray with foil then evenly spread the minced garlic out.
Cover and dry out for about 4 to 6 hours. Vents on lid should be half open. Your house is going to smell like an Italian restaurant during this time. You may as well have Italian for dinner just to satisfy your cravings. Check on the garlic by the fourth hour; it could be completely dry by then. Garlic will have a light golden toasted look and be completely dry.
Some of the garlic sticks to the foil. Carefully scrape it into a wide mouth bowl before grinding into a powder. Using an old coffee grinder, pulse the dried garlic until it is a semi-fine powder. Store in an air-tight jar away from heat and light. Powder will keep for several months.