Garlic is a staple ingredient in every household. It is one of the most versatile seasonings that has endless health benefits. Whether it is a pasta dish or a curry, no savoury recipe is complete without garlic.
As much as we love garlic, the job of washing, peeling and chopping may seem tedious after a while. And let’s face it, we hardly use the amount that the recipes call for.
More often than not, we end up using way more garlic than required. But don’t worry! We’re not here to call you out for your indulgence in garlic. If anything, we’re here to make your job a lot easier.
If you’re a fan of savoury and flavourful dishes, you have surely heard of dried garlic seasonings. Garlic salt and garlic powder work as great substitutions for fresh garlic.
These seasonings provide the same flavor and nutrition as the plant. They are also easy to use and far more versatile than chopped or crushed garlic.
But in spite of providing similar flavor, garlic salt and garlic powder are different from each other regarding many aspects. And you have to choose your seasoning carefully as it can vastly affect your dish.
Before we dive into an analysis of these seasonings, let’s look at the importance of consuming garlic in our meals.
Health Benefits of Garlic
Garlic powder and salt may be convenient to use but they cannot measure up to fresh garlic in terms of flavor, smell and nutrition. Studies have shown that adding any form of this mighty plant to your everyday meals can aid you with the following health benefits.
The chemical allicin in garlic has antibacterial properties that can defend the body against common colds and flu. Its antiviral properties can boost the immune system and prevent viruses from invading your system.
Additionally, garlic has anti-inflammatory properties that can quell various chronic diseases including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, arthritis, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
Besides, garlic can help lower bad cholesterol levels since it has a lipid lowering effect. In case of hypercholesterolemia, consuming 7.2 grams of aged garlic or garlic powder per day for four weeks can somewhat decrease systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure.
A component of garlic acts as a hydrogen sulfide donor, which can moderately regulate the insulin levels to control type 2 diabetes when it is taken during dinner time every day.
Some studies have shown that consuming 1000 mg of garlic supplements every day for 8 weeks can help reduce fatigue, pain and tender joints in people with bone diseases such as osteoarthritis.
Thus, garlic does not only increase the taste of our foods but it also helps us maintain our health. There are many substitutes of garlic available in the market. But the most popular ingredients are garlic salt and garlic powder.
What is Garlic Salt?
Garlic salt is one of the many alternatives for fresh garlic. It is basically salt with a savoury touch in it. You can even use it instead of salt in any savoury dish.
Some Characteristics of Garlic Salt
Ingredients and Procedure of Making Garlic Salt
Making garlic salt is simple and requires only two ingredients. You can even make it at home by yourself. Take some regular table salt and garlic powder. Now mix them in ratio 1:3 by volume or 1:6 by weight and your garlic salt is ready!
You can swap the table salt with Himalayan pink salt if you want a healthier alternative.
This may sound like a simple ingredient but the addition of salt can alter a dish in many ways. Especially if you add both common salt and garlic salt.
You need to adjust the amount of salt or omit it completely from the recipe or your dish may end up too salty.
It won’t be wrong to say that garlic salt is more or less an upgraded version of table salt. So you can add it to any dish that requires regular salt. We love to use it on fish before broiling it. It also makes a great seasoning for baked chicken.
Garlic salt also makes a great dry rub for skewers and roasts along with other herbs. It’s a game changer for sauteed vegetables and stir fries. You can even make an easy and delicious snack by sprinkling some garlic salt on fries, popcorn, boiled vegetables and roasted nuts.
If you don’t have garlic powder at hand, you can opt for granulated garlic or minced garlic with salt. ⅛ teaspoon of garlic powder is equal to a medium sized fresh garlic clove.
What is Garlic Powder?
Garlic powder is the strongest garlic seasoning. It is made from dehydrated garlic and even the smallest amount provides a strong savory-sweet flavor of garlic.
Some Characteristics of Garlic Powder
Ingredients and Procedure of Making Garlic Powder
Making garlic powder is a little more complicated than garlic salt. But it is simple enough to make at home. First garlic cloves are peeled and thinly sliced. Then they are toasted at 150 Fahrenheit in the oven or dehydrator until they’re completely dry.
Finally, the dehydrated garlic is grinded into a fine powder.
Even though garlic powder is derived from garlic itself, its flavor and taste is less notable than fresh garlic. So if you want to use garlic powder as a substitute for fresh garlic in a recipe, you have to adjust its amount accordingly.
It has a sweet aftertaste and works well with other seasonings and herbs.
Unlike fresh garlic, garlic powder does not burn when it’s used as a dry rub for broiling meat and fish. You can use it in any dish as a substitute for fresh garlic. It can also be mixed with salt to make garlic salt.
We love to use it in our breading for fried chicken. It gives a subtle garlicky kick to salad dressings, smoked veggies and grilled meat. Besides, it is perfect for any
savory sauce and marinades. The seasoning powder is a great alternative for garlic in soups, stews and curry dishes.
If you’re out of garlic powder, you can use garlic flakes instead. 1 teaspoon of garlic flakes is equal to ½ teaspoon of garlic powder. Or you can go for fresh minced garlic. But make sure to adjust the recipe since fresh garlic has a stronger flavor.
Comparison Between Garlic Salt and Garlic Powder
Even though garlic salt and garlic powder are used as an alternative garlic flavor in various dishes, there are some aspects in which the two are vastly different from each other.
Although the flavor of garlic powder is milder than fresh garlic, it can be used in any recipe that calls for garlic. You just have to adjust the amount according to your taste.
However, the main component of garlic salt is salt. So if you try to substitute it for fresh garlic, then you’ll also be adding a good amount of salt to your dish. This will only increase the saltiness of your dish and eventually make it inedible.
The main difference between the two seasonings is the ingredients. But this can considerably change the usage as well. The pure garlic powder that is made from only dehydrated garlic has no additional flavoring unlike garlic salt.
So garlic powder is more versatile.
Fresh or pure garlic has multiple health benefits. It has shown to improve various malady including heart diseases. However salt or sodium chloride does the opposite.
Salt is often associated with increasing the risk of various cardiovascular disorders including high blood pressure. So garlic powder made purely out of dried garlic is the healthier option.
Are they interchangeable?
They are interchangeable to some extent but you have to be very careful when you alter one with the other. Once again, the only difference between them is that garlic powder is derived from dried garlic only and garlic salt has table salt in it.
When you add garlic salt in a dish instead of garlic powder, you may drastically increase the saltiness of the dish as well. However if you use garlic powder and table salt separately you can adjust the amount of salt. And it also gives you more control over your recipe.
Besides, you can make garlic salt by mixing garlic powder and salt but you cannot make garlic powder out of garlic salt! So garlic powder has more usability in the kitchen.
Therefore both ingredients have their own advantages and disadvantages. Garlic powder is healthier and more versatile. However, garlic salt provides much more flavor to any dish on its own.
You can choose any one of these according to your preferences. We are sure that they will be a game changer in your culinary experiences.