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Whole books have been written about garlic, an herb affectionately called "the stinking rose" in light of its numerous therapeutic benefits. A member of the lily or Allium family, which also includes onions and leeks, garlic is rich in a variety of powerful sulfur-containing compounds including thiosulfinates (of which the best known compound is allicin), sulfoxides (among which the best known compound is alliin), and dithiins(in which the most researched compound is ajoene). While these compounds are responsible for garlic's characteristically pungent odor, they are also the source of many of its health-promoting effects.

You can increase the health benefits you receive from garlic by letting it sit after you've chopped it or crushed it. If you give your chopped/crushed garlic time to sit before changing its temperature (through cooking) or its pH (through the addition of low-acid foods like lemon juice), it will give the alliinase enzymes in garlic an opportunity to work on behalf of your health. For example, in the absence of chopping or crushing, research has shown that just 60 seconds of immediate microwaving will cause garlic to lose some of its cancer-protective properties. Immediate boiling of whole, intact garlic will also lower these properties, as will immediate addition of a very low-acid ingredient like lemon juice.

We like using raw garlic in many of our recipes. If it is a cooked dish you are preparing and you cannot tolerate raw garlic, add chopped garlic towards the end of the cooking time to retain maximum flavor and nutrition. Too much heat for too long will reduce the activity of the health-promoting sulfur compounds.

We also offer green garlic. Green garlic is simply immature garlic and looks like a slightly overgrown scallion or green onion. Sometimes when there is green garlic and bunching onions in the same box, a quick whiff of the roots (or taste) will distinguish one from the other. To use, trim off root ends and any tough part of the green leaves. Chop or slice white, light green, and the first few inches of the dark green leaves (as long as they are tender). Use as you would green onions or garlic, noting that it is stronger than the former but milder than the latter. 

Garlic Broccoli

Use this recipe for broccoli, cauliflower, carrots or any vegetable.

Vegetable Chowder

Vegetable Chowder
yield: 8-10 servings 

Notes: All of our kids love this cheesy soup that is packed full of veggies.  It is a good way to use the cooking celery we had in our boxes this week.

3 to 4 cups diced peeled potatoes
4 cups broccoli florets (or a mixture of broccoli and cauliflower florets - this is how our kids like it best)
1 Tablespoon dried minced onion
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 cup grated carrots
8 to 12 stalks cooking celery, diced (or 2 regular celery stalks)
1 Tablespoon plus one teaspoon Mckay's chicken broth seasoning (if using water)
4 cups water (or chicken broth)
1 cup butter
1 cup flour
5 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 bag frozen corn
4 cups (1 pound) shredded cheddar cheese

In a soup kettle, combine potatoes, broccoli (or broccoli/cauliflower mix), onion, carrots, celery, garlic, McKay's and water (or chicken broth); simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  In a saucepan, melt butter; stir in flour.  Cook and stir over medium heat for 2 minutes.  Whisk in milk, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil; boil and stir for 2 minutes.  Add to vegetable mixture with the corn, simmer for 5 minutes.  Stir in cheese until just melted. Enjoy!

Source: from CSA member Sonya M.