Is sprouting garlic safe to eat? - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 02-18-2004, 02:18 PM
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You know how if garlic has been lying around for too long it sprouts green shoots out the top? (Onions do that too, so this question goes for them too.)

I seem to remember being told at some point in the distant past that you shoudn't eat them at this point. Has anyone else ever heard that? Is there any truth to it? What's the reason (if any)?

In the past I didn't want to waste the whole thing so I would simply remove the green bit from the middle and eat the rest. These days I just use the whole thing, and I'm still alive so it can't be that bad. But I still wonder sometimes ...

Any ideas?
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#2 Old 02-18-2004, 02:46 PM
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How sprouted is sprouted for you?

For me, if there is 1/4 inch or less of the green stuff sticking out of the clove. I remove it and use the clove as I normally would. If there is more sprout or the clove otherwise doesn't look right, darker color, squishy, etc., into the compost pail it goes.

Onions I don't know about. They never stick around my house long enough to sprout. Garlic doesn't get the opportunity to much either.
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#3 Old 02-18-2004, 03:01 PM
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There is a risk of sprouted garlic carrying food borne pathogens as with any sprout. If the sprout is really small, by all means use the clove as normal. Examine the other cloves on the bulb, if they have "little green eyes" Either I roast the entire head and make a garlic spread or I peel and mash the cloves and freeze them for future use.

I googled up a use for sprouted garlic. I have never tried this but I think I might...
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#4 Old 02-18-2004, 03:03 PM
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Thanks Maresche.

Only 1/4 inch? The garlic I used tonight had at least an inch coming out the top! Hmm. And I've had onions with a good few inches growing out the top also. It seems that the veg I buy from little corner stores is often close to sprouting even when you buy it and by about a week or so later I have a garden in my cupboard. I guess it's a better sign than the stuff you get from supermarkets is so far from ripe that it would probably keep forever. I need some middle ground I guess.

Like you, I also don't use it if it's dark or squishy, but if it's firm and sprouty then I've been using it.

By the way, how can it be growing weeks or months after it's been harvested?
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#5 Old 02-18-2004, 07:40 PM
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I have heard it is ok to use but it make it bitter.

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#6 Old 02-18-2004, 08:06 PM
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afaik, it just isn't as tasty? We go through garlic so fast in my house though it rarely sprouts!
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#7 Old 02-19-2004, 03:58 AM
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tastes fine sprouted to me...just a lil stronger.
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#8 Old 02-19-2004, 11:13 AM
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I use sprouted garlic all the time and nothing bad has happened to me yet (or to the people I cook for).
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#9 Old 02-19-2004, 11:49 AM
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We go through garlic so fast in my house though it rarely sprouts!

Maybe I just have a green thumb!
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#10 Old 02-09-2011, 11:56 PM
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I googled sprouting garlic, so I'm going to bump a 7 year old thread here.

I was going to pickle garlic and so I peeled 36 heads of garlic. Because that took so long I had to wait until the next day to pickle them. I put them in a very large jar, which, it turns out, is an excellent way to sprout garlic. Now I have almost 4 pounds of sprouting garlic. Unless I decide to become the Johnny Appleseed of garlic, I have way too much to plant. (Especially with all the snow we just got.) Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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#11 Old 04-15-2013, 09:28 AM
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Just remove the spouts and use the garlic. That’s what I would do.

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My blog (in French): L’herbivore —
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#12 Old 04-15-2013, 11:30 AM
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wow, 9 year old thread laugh.gif


All parts of the garlic plant are edible, although some bits get fibery/woody with age. Even the seeds are used, often sprouted. All thats true of onions too.

Some types of garlic are grown just for their leaves (Allium ursinum, for example). Green bits naturally have more of the green-bits vitamins like A, B's, K and they tend to be milder.

Just yesterday I dug up three skinny 6-8" tall garlic plants and chopped them up with onion and oregano for a raw condiment to go with my stew. Good stuff. Any taller or fatter and they would have been too fibery.

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#13 Old 04-15-2013, 01:49 PM
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They occasionally sprout before I've finished a pack of bulbs. I always use the short green shoots with the bulb. Pickle away!

The sky is purple and things are right every day

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#14 Old 05-25-2013, 05:53 PM
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My mother told me to remove the lil green sprout because it is bitter .... My mom is Italian I figured she should know smiley.gif
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