We were always under the impression that once garlic had sprouted, it was on its way out. Those green shoots were a supposed indication that the garlic had passed its prime, accompanied by the ominous warning that sprouted garlic was the cause of nasty morning-after garlic breath.
A recent study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry suggests that those green sprouts may be actually be filled with heart healthy antioxidants.
After researchers in Korea (a country that knows their garlic!) observed the growth in old heads of garlic for five days, they concluded that the seedlings contained new compounds to protect the plant against pathogens. These compounds also increased the antioxidant levels in the older bulbs.
No word on whether or not the age of the garlic has any effects on the breath issue.
Sprouting carrots, onions, chickpeas, beans and wheat may also be safe to eat, as long as they are not beginning to soften. Potatoes however, are considered poisonous once they begin to sprout, or form “eyes,” and should be avoided.
photo: Glasshouse Images