Experts Weigh In On Whether or Not It’s Safe to Eat Sprouted Garlic

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Whenever I’m cooking dinner, I won’t lie: I always throw so much garlic into the dish. It doesn’t matter what it is—most of the time, garlic spruces up a meal. Personally, I can never have enough!

But there’s something that’s always plagued me: Sprouted garlic.

You know what we mean: When you’re removing the cloves from the garlic bulb and you notice those green sprouts that have ground on it. Does that mean the garlic has gone bad? Does that mean you need to throw away the entire bulb of garlic (and have a garlic-less dish? The horror!)?

Luckily, Bon Appetit covered this burning question in a recent article—and makes us feel much less silly for always wondering about it.

First, they acknowledge that the green shoots are anything but bad for you. “Don’t worry—it’s not menacing or dangerous,” the article states. “It’s just the garlic sprouting more garlic out of itself, like Deadpool regenerating every time he loses a limb.”

The article also points out that the sprouted garlic will likely have a more bitter taste than your standard, more sweet-tasting non-sprouted garlic. And while the taste is different, you still shouldn’t worry: “Even though the flavor is a little less than ideal, sprouted garlic is fine to eat,” the article concludes.

One caveat: If you’re cooking up a dish where garlic is the main ingredient, because the taste can differ with sprouted garlic, Bon Appetit doesn’t recommend using it (purely for taste reasons). Instead, save the sprouted garlic for a dish where garlic is just a small ingredient (okay, so none of the dishes I make—noted!).

Additionally, the article offers a way you can remove the sprouts—if you really feel like you need to.

“If you’re really concerned, you can slice the offending cloves in half lengthwise and simply pull the green sprout out,” it states, adding, “but honestly we don’t bother unless we’re using the sprouted cloves raw, like in a salad dressing, which is where you’re most likely to taste the difference.”

Now we’re craving some honey garlic chicken stir-fry or an herb and garlic prime rib roast. We’re off to go make one!

What about you—what’s your favorite dish to incorporate garlic into? Did you ever wonder if sprouted garlic was safe to eat? Do you usually omit it in a meal or use it anyway? How do you think you’ll use it now, knowing what you know now?