Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Homemade Garlic Powder

Over the weekend, I came across this post for homemade garlic powder over at The Burlap Bag,  a funky little DIY blog I peek at every now and again.

Why on EARTH would anyone go to the trouble of making their own garlic powder. Are you serious? I've got better things to do with my time than make garlic powder when I can buy perfectly good garlic powder from the grocery store. Her post talks about all the preservatives in garlic powder.


So I went to my pantry, and looked at my container of garlic powder. Mine happened to be Safeway brand. I couldn't find ANY listing of ingredients on the jar ( Um, isn't that a legal requirement for labeling? ) but what I DID see startled the snot out of me.

Made in China. 

In the trash bin my garlic powder went. Do not pass go, Do not collect $200.

From wikipedia on garlic:

 Garlic is grown globally, but China is by far the largest producer of garlic, with approximately 10.5 million tonnes (23 billion pounds) grown annually, accounting for over 77% of world output. India (4.1%) and South Korea (2%) follow, with Egypt and Russia (1.6%) tied in fourth place and the United States (where garlic is grown in every state except for Alaska) in sixth place (1.4%).[16] This leaves 16% of global garlic production in countries that each produce less than 2% of global output. Much of the garlic production in the United States is centered in Gilroy, California, which calls itself the "garlic capital of the world".[17]
When I was at a different grocery store, I specifically looked at the garlic cloves packed 4 in a mesh sleeve - Product of China.  I looked at the minced garlic in jars - no indication of country of manufacture. I'm going to need to research that further.

Homemade Garlic Powder ( courtesy of The Burlap Bag )

-Getcha garlic. Lots and lots of garlic ( Maura's Note: Look for garlic in the store labeled "organic" OR grown in California. If it is organic, it couldn't have been grown in China. If it is grown in the US, you're on the right track )
-Peel them all.

-Cut them into thin, uniform slices.

-Stick them in the oven at the lowest temperature yours will go (mine goes to 150). OR a dehydrator! But we don’t have one of those.

-Leave it in there for forever. (ok, a couple of hours. your oven is barely on) But they need to be VERY VERY DRY. Brittle. If they are a little “wet” still and you do the next step, they will jam everything. (i know from experience with a few fatter garlic pieces. oooooops)

-Then stick them in a coffee grinder. OR a mortar & pestle if you like a good arm workout. 30 seconds in a coffee grinder and you will have garlic powder EXACTLY like the kind you’d buy at the store. Except without the preservatives that some of the store ones have. Yuck, preservatives! Yay, all natural garlic powder!

Thanks to The Burlap Bag for the pictures, too!