Garlic scapes are a byproduct of growing garlic. In order for your garlic to get big and strong, We prune away the flower and flowers stem of the garlic to prevent it from lapping up all the resources. But did you know you can eat them? In fact, they are delicious. So instead of throwing them away, learn how to store garlic scapes for a nice snack!
While not nearly as strong as the garlic itself, The garlic scape adds a beautiful hint of garlic to anything they are added too. It’s a very light taste and smell that goes well in many dishes, such as stirfries.
These can be preserved in a variety of different ways. From freezing, fridge storage, and longer-term canning and dehydration. Learning how to store garlic scapes is a vital skill if you want these guy’s all year round.
Storing Garlic Scapes in the fridge to keep them fresher longer
It should come as no surprised when you store things in the fridge they tend to last a lot longer. But there are some methods in which you can use to expand this time line much further while still maintaining that just cut freshness.
The best method is really very simple. Here it is:
- Remove the flower head
- Cut all the way down until the woodiness ends and fleshy-bit begins *These are compost friendly! read more bellow*
- Put them in a glass of water like you would with a flower vase
- Cover in plastic wrap
- Change water every day for the longest freshness
This method will keep your scapes fresh for a solid 3 weeks before they start to wilt and become poor quality.
To further explain about the compostability of garlic scapes, normally, you would want to avoid putting garlic in your compost bins since its poison to many critters. That is unless you have a compost setup for this sort of plant!
But with garlic scape flowers it’s different. They aren’t nearly as potent as garlic and the decompose very well. There are a few things you need to do before hand to prep garlic scapes for your compost bin, tho.
Composting left over garlic scape flowers
- Cut them up into small manageable pieces, Even going as far as to blend them into a slurry
- COOK THEM to at least 150F/65C. Depending on your compost makeup it might already be this hot, However better safe than sorry.
The reason being, Garlic can carry nasty diseases that can hurt your compost pile and ruin it if it can’t get hot enough to kill the pathogens. Helping that along by cooking them in advance gives you much better odds.
If you know your compost doesn’t reach 150f naturally, Than maybe you should consider avoiding this method.
That’s it for that method, but we aren’t finished learning how to store garlic scapes, Let’s continue on!
Storing Garlic Scapes in the freezer
I’m never a fan of freezing anything fresh. It’s such a darn shame and should be a last resort to a dying plant. But, I know a lot of people don’t mind so I always try to include a freezing method in these articles. Call me Ramsay fanboi but…
Anyway, How to store garlic scapes by freezing them, let’s get this over with you heathens.
Luckily for us, And me especially, and most definitely you since you have no taste buds – garlic scapes are super resilient.
They tend to keep fairly well in a frozen state, more so than would normally be expected. But you still have to blanch them.
To blanch garlic scapes:
- Remove flower top all the way down to the woody flesh
- Cut them up into 1/4 inch pieces
- Wash very very well, like any fresh produce
- Dip into a boiling hot pot of water inside a strainer for 30-40 seconds
- Dunk the entire thing into an ice-cold bowl you totally had ready and didn’t forget.
- Spread out on cookie sheet
- Freeze for 2 hours
- Collect and place in plastic airtight bags
Blanching anything is usually super easy, But I’ll be honest, it’s a great content thickener.
Anyway, pretty much standard procedure here for freezing greens and other veggies.
Speaking of, I pose a question to you geeks out their. If a food replicator from star trek was told to produce frozen vegetables, Would it blanch them first? Let me know what you think.
Moving on: Once your scapes are blanched, spread them out over a pan and stick the entire thing in the freezer for a couple hours. This will prevent them from sticking together when you put them all into a single airtight bag.
So after a few hours, do that. Open up your freezer, Scream profanities when the bakeing sheet flies out at you and you catch it half naked and it’s really cold, and than bag them.
I recommend this bad boy if you ever want to use vacuum sealing, which is definitely the recommended method to store these.
Why should you buy this one in particular? Well, I like it. But if that’s not enough reason than the fact is can use bags that are x%(varies) less expensive than name-brand bags is a pretty big winner of a reason.
I remember watching an educational video on the topic. If I can find it I will embed it here. Basically, the cost of brand name bags came to something like 50-75 cents per bag, While the off-brand bags were as little as 0.01-0.10 cents apiece. A very big difference which means very big savings.
How to store garlic scapes in a jar by picking them
Now we get to the fun stuff, The long term storage. The apocalypse bunker filling goodness that is canning and pickling fresh produce. Need I say more? I need not I think.
So get your end of the world bunker prepped full of awesome garlic scape pickles, which btw, Are absolutely picklicious.
Garlic scape pickling method
So juicy with a little crunch, They make for a delicious snack or with any meal that calls for a tangy sharp pickly bite.
It’s really easy to pickle garlic scapes:
All you need is:
- 1 tablespoon pickling salt
- 3/4 cups of water
- 3/4 cups of apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns, black
- 1 teaspoon dill seed
- 1/2 pound of garlic scapes
Remove the flower and woody stem bits, wash them very well well before placing them inside the jar. Add your peppercorns and dill into the jar first followed by the scapes.
After that, add the vinegar, salt, and water to a boil. Add the pickling brine slowly to the garlic scapes resting inside the jars. The same rule, as usual, leaves 1/2 inch of headspace, bounce it around a bit to get the bubbles out, and refill.
Clean off the rim of your jar and place the seals. Put the jars in the prepared waterbath for 10 minutes. Remove from jars, add the covers but don’t tighten, allow to cool on a cloth on the counter until a pop. Seal the jars tightly.
Allow to brine for at least 2 weeks before eating.
Once open these will last for 3-4 weeks, if sealed, they can remain good for years.