If you’ve ever foraged wild plants and herbs in the woods, then you’ve probably come across some wild garlic. You might have even smelled it—it’s one of the first scents to hit your nose when you enter a forest. For that reason, you may wonder if you can eat them.
Can You Eat Wild Garlic?
Yes, you can eat wild garlic. The leaves and bulbs are edible, but they have a strong flavor that some people find unpalatable. Wild garlic can be eaten raw or cooked, although it’s more often used in soups, sauces, pesto, and as an ingredient in other dishes. It can also be dried for use in winter when fresh isn’t available.
Are There Any Risks To Eating Wild Garlic?
Wild garlic is considered to be very safe for most people. However, it can cause side effects if you eat too much of it at once or if you have certain medical conditions.
Here are some things to consider before enjoying wild garlic:
Allergic reactions. Wild garlic can cause allergic reactions in some people. If you have allergies to plants in the Liliaceae family — including lilies, tulips, irises, and other flowers — this could include wild garlic as well. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include hives, swelling, difficulty breathing, and itching.
Diarrhea and stomach upset. Eating too much wild garlic can cause diarrhea and stomach upset because it contains compounds called saponins that may irritate the digestive tract.
Benefits Of Eating Wild Garlic
Wild garlic has many health benefits, including the following:
Boosts Immune System – Wild garlic is rich in antioxidants and vitamins that help boost the body’s immune system. It can also help improve blood circulation and prevent heart disease.
Reduces Cancer Risk – Wild garlic has anti-carcinogenic properties and can reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancers, especially colon cancer.
Lowers Blood Pressure – Wild garlic helps lower blood pressure by reducing cholesterol levels and improving circulation in the body. It also aids in digestion and eliminates toxins from the body to help prevent heart disease and other health issues.
Improves Brain Function – Wild garlic improves brain function by increasing oxygen supply to the brain, which increases cognitive abilities such as memory, focus, and attention span. This also helps boost concentration levels for better performance during work or studies.
What Does Wild Garlic Taste Like?
For the most part, the taste of wild garlic is similar to garlic.
However, wild garlic is not as heavy or as pungent as cultivated garlic, but it has a subtle flavor that goes well with meaty foods such as duck and pork.
How To Clean Wild Garlic
Wild garlic bulbs are notorious for being covered in dirt and mud, so it’s important to clean them before you use them. To clean wild garlic, use a sharp knife to chop off the roots and stem. Then, wash the bulb with cold water. This will remove any dirt or possible bacteria that could be on your bulb.
After washing your bulb of wild garlic, use your knife again to remove any dead leaves or damaged parts of the plant from its surface (or pass it through a food processor). You can also cut off any flowers from your bulb if you don’t want those parts to be included in your dish—but this isn’t necessary!
Finally, trim away the bottom part of each clove where it connects with another clove using a paring knife or vegetable peeler—this will allow for more surface area when cooking with wild garlic so that flavors aren’t lost!
What Can You Use Wild Garlic For?
Wild garlic is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different dishes.
Wild garlic pesto: The first thing to try is a wild garlic pesto. This is a great way to use up some of your wild garlic and it makes for a delicious sauce or dip. All you have to do is put some wild garlic leaves in the food processor with extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese and blend until smooth. Then you can use it as a dip or spread on top of grilled fish or chicken breasts!
Wild Garlic Soup: Next up is soup! This one involves only six ingredients that are all readily available at most grocery stores: onion, carrots, celery root (also known as celeriac), wild garlic leaves from your garden if possible—or store-bought if not—water or stock as needed (you’ll need enough liquid so that when all ingredients are added together they make 4 cups total), salt and pepper…and an optional serving of sour cream!
As you can see, you can definitely eat wild garlic. This is a delicious and healthy food that can be eaten in many ways. It can also be used to make some great dishes and drinks, so why not give it a try?
Kate has been in the food business for over 20 years. Worked as a cook at several buffets which include Old Country Buffet, Five Star Buffet, and Ichiban Buffet. Now, I’m mostly at home cooking for my family, caring for chickens and ducks, and tending the garden.