women

Eat your way to better health with these flavorsome dishes.

When you grow up on a garlic farm, your feelings for the so-called ‘stinking rose’ can go either way. For Natasha Edwards, it was the foundation of a respect and passion that shines through every page of her fascinating new book Garlic: The Mighty Bulb (Kyle Books, £14.99).

Description: Garlic Gourmet

‘Years and years of planting, harvesting, plaiting, cooking, tasting and talking about garlic have done nothing to dampen my enthusiasm,’ says Edwards. ‘I love garlic’

Much more than just a recipe collection, the book introduces readers to many wonderful varieties of the bulb, such as silverskin, porcelain, artichoke and rocambole, and its many health benefits, thanks to a cocktail of nutrients

‘Garlic contains allicin, a sulphur compound that has antibiotic, antifungal and antiviral propertied,’ says Edwards. ‘And its anti-infective power is now supported by a huge amount of scientific evidence.’

Description: ‘And its anti-infective power is now supported by a huge amount of scientific evidence.’

‘And its anti-infective power is now supported by a huge amount of scientific evidence.’

Factor in its vitamin B1, B3, B6 and phosphorus content, plus antioxidant vitamin C and selenium, and it’s understandable why the bulb is a potent immune booster.

Not only does it enhance the body’s natural killer cells, says Edwards, garlic thins the blood, reduces cholesterol, helps lower blood pressure and has potential anticancer effects. In fact, its healing qualities are so well respected, the World Health Organization recommends one clove (2 -5g) of garlic a day to promote general health. ‘I’d suggest one to two cloves a day as a preventative dose,’ adds Edwards.

When it comes to inventive ways of cooking with the bulb, the book has a wealth of delicious, healing recipes – chicken soup takes on an Asian twist with Vietnamese chicken broth with noodles (good for colds), garlic and rosemary focaccia, a garlic syrup to soothe sore throats and a mouth-watering garlic pesto. And if you’re married a taste for garlic may mean you end up losing your friends, Edwards has the following advice.

 ‘Eat more garlic! This may seem counterintuitive, but evidence suggests the more you eat, the easier it is for your body to metabolise it.’ Or eat it with lemon slices or parsley. Alternatively, spread the word, says Edwards. ‘Make sure those around you eat garlic, too. Not only is it good for them, they’re less likely to notice any garlicky smells.’

Courgette

Fritters

Description: Fritters

Serves: 4 as a starter

Per serving: 174 calories; 7g protein; 11g fat (of which 1g saturated fat); 12g carbs (of which 1g sugar)l 1.2g fibre; 0.3g salt

2 medium courgettes, grated

100g mozzarella, grated.

A handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves

4 tbsp flour

2 tbsp olive oil

Sweet chilli dipping sauce, to serve

1.    Place the grated courgettes, mozzarella and chopped mint into a large bowl. Crush in the garlic cloves, season with salt and black pepper, then mix.

2.    Add in the flour and one tablespoon of olive oil and stir well, adding more flour if necessary. Shape the mixture into golf-ball-sized pieces, then flatten.

3.    Heat the remaining olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Fry for two to three minutes on each side.

4.    Stand on kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil, and straight away with sweet chilli dipping sauce.

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