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Garlic Scapes: More Than just Garlic's Little Brother | Enhanced Garden&Life



I'm a garlic scape. I know, it's hard to believe that so much flavor comes from me, but as strange and potent as my leaves may smell, they're scrumptious in the kitchen! It's tough work being out here day-in and day-out with no roots to anchor me down. But for those who take some time to find (and eat) me, I make their dishes delicious!

If you want to change it up and add variety to your dishes or are just tired of garlic's strong flavor, then Garlic Scapes might be the solution. Made from younger garlic plants that have not been allowed to flower yet, Garlic Scapes are milder in flavor and offer a different texture from mature bulbs. The garlic scapes can be eaten raw or cooked and can also be used as an ingredient in many recipes! In this writing, I will go over what Garlic Scapes are and their various health benefits as well as how they should be harvested and prepared.

What are Garlic Scapes?

Garlic scapes are the curly green stalks that grow from garlic plants. These scapes are made from younger garlic plants that have not been allowed to flower yet, and as a result, the scapes can be eaten raw or cooked. Garlic Scapes will grow on the outside of any healthy garlic plant before the flowers start to form.

If the garlic scape is left on the plant it will turn into a flower head. Leaving the scape will stunt the growth of the garlic bulb.

When to Harvest Garlic Scapes

Harvest them about a month before you will harvest the bulb. Scapes are harvested by breaking or cutting them off the stalk. After the scape is longer than the leaves of the garlic plant.

How to Harvest Garlic Scapes

Harvesting Garlic Scapes: To remove the scapes from a plant you will need to grab them with your hands and very slowly pull the scape upward from the center of the garlic plant.

Though I know how to do it correctly, I'm horrible at actually doing it. If you do it correctly you will pull a long stem from the center of the plant.

If you don't do it correctly (which is what I usually do) then all that will happen is that it will break off from the plant, leaving you with a smaller piece of garlic scape.

How to Store Garlic Scapes

- Garlic scapes can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.

- Garlic scapes can also be stored in the freezer for up to one year.

- To store garlic scapes, wrap them tightly with plastic and put them into a zip lock bag or place them inside of an airtight container.

It is best if they are placed on either end of the refrigerator shelf so that other foods will not touch them.

What to do With Garlic Scapes

- Garlic scapes can be used in many different recipes, and are best when eaten raw.

Some good ideas for using garlic scapes include a pasta dish with fresh tomatoes, chopped red onion, olive oil, and whole wheat Italian bread crumbs; a pizza topped with tomato sauce or pesto sauce; stir fry dishes like broccoli, asparagus, and garlic scapes; a salad with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, and feta cheese.

- Garlic scapes can also be used to make pesto or stir fry sauce.

- Roasted garlic scapes are another way that they can be cooked. To do this, cut them in half, drizzle with olive oil, and roast the scapes in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit or until golden brown.

- Garlic scapes can also be simmered to make a soup broth. To do this, simply peel off any tough stems, wash thoroughly under running water, then chop into desired lengths and place in a medium-sized pot with four cups of water.

- Garlic scapes are also delicious when added to an omelet or scrambled eggs for breakfast.

- Garlic scapes are best used fresh, but they can also be stored in the fridge or freezer after being cleaned and well sealed away from moisture.

Nutrition and Health Benefits of Garlic Scapes

Garlic has been used for the flu and colds for centuries as a natural remedy. Studies have shown that garlic can also be beneficial for high cholesterol levels, diabetes (type-I), heart disease, and reducing the risk of cancer and dementia. In addition, the antioxidants found in garlic are believed to protect cells from damage by free radicals.

Garlic scapes contain essential nutrients and vitamins including calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, and vitamin C (all of which are found in the bulb). They also have a higher amount of Vitamin A than regular garlic cloves do because some of the plant's energy is diverted to concentrate on growing green leaves instead of creating storage roots. Garlic scapes are also an excellent source of protein, providing about three grams in the one cup serving.

Garlic scapes are a delicious treat that makes for an easy and unique dish. Have you ever tried them? If not, this is your chance to try something new! Comment below if you've had any experience with garlic scapes or have questions about how to grow and harvest these tasty treats. I want to help people learn more about one of my favorite vegetables!


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