Can You Eat Garlic Clove Skin?

If you've ever wondered about eating garlic clove skin, we've got the answer.

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If you’re anything like me, you put garlic in absolutely everything. Especially, adding some nicely roasted garlic can take your dish to a whole new level. After all, there’s very little a few good cloves of garlic can’t fix—and I always add more than the recipe calls for!

When I first started cooking, my first hurdle came when I had to figure out how to peel garlic. I’ve come a long way since, but as I try to cut down on food waste, I’ve definitely begun to wonder whether I really have to throw out all that garlic skin. I even began to wonder—can you eat garlic clove skin?

Yep, You Can Eat Garlic Clove Skin—Sort of

I wouldn’t recommend it eating it as is, because garlic clove skin is tough, papery and fibrous—not exactly the best snacking material. But garlic skin has plenty of extra spicy, garlicky flavor, so there are plenty of instances where you can use it. If you’re making a sauce that you’re going to strain anyway, just smash the clove and leave the skin on to add maximum flavor. If you’re mincing garlic for a recipe, save the skin and throw it into a stock or broth later.

Garlic is also great for colds or warming you up in general, so stick the skin in some soup! Just make sure you wrap it all up in cheesecloth, so you can get the flavor without having to fish it out of the finished product. Some bakers also use a mortar and pestle to grind garlic skin and add it to their breads for a mild garlicky flavor. Find out if you can eat the rind on brie.

Garlic Skin Has Health Benefits, Too

If the flavor wasn’t a good enough reason, garlic skin also has plenty of good-for-you nutrients, much like the clove itself. It’s chock full of vitamin A, which is important for vision, immunity and more, and vitamin C, which helps your body heal and is a powerful antioxidant. Garlic skin is also packed with anti-inflammatory phenylpropanoid antioxidants. Have you heard about garlic scapes? Learn how to cook garlic scapes to celebrate their short season.

So the next time you start on some homemade garlic bread, don’t forget to save the skin. And make sure you grab a garlic keeper to store any leftover cloves!

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Amrita Thakkar
Amrita is an Assistant Digital Editor at Taste of Home. As a writer and amateur photographer, she often ends up applying these skills to her one great love: food. She can usually be found researching global cuisines, at the farmers market, doing yoga, or looking up new places to travel to.