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March Veggie of the Month: Garlic

The March Vegetable of the Month is Garlic!

If someone says, “This tastes so good…what’s in it?!”—the answer is usually garlic! The flavor-packed bud is rarely served on its own because of its big powerful taste. Instead, you’ll find it in sauce, pasta, meat dishes, and anything else tasty. Don’t let this veggie’s potency scare you. It’s a fun addition to any dish, turning a simple “yum” into a big “wow!”

Garlic is a Good Source of:

  • Protein—promotes healthy cells retention and production
  • Fiber—great for liver and digestive health
  • Manganese—great for healthy bones
  • Vitamin C—a powerful antioxidant for your immune system
  • Calcium—strengthens bones and protects heart muscles

Did You Know?

  • Research suggests a connection between eating garlic and lower risk of gastrointestinal cancers. One study even found that folks whose diet included garlic had a 35% lower chance of colon cancer!
  • Garlic is a naturally occurring antibiotic. While it isn’t a cure-all for sickness, it boosts the body’s ability to stay healthy and fight disease.
  • Garlic was popular in ancient Egypt in both cuisine and medicine. King Tut was even buried with some bulbs.

How to Choose and Store Garlic

Select plump, dry, and firm garlic heads with a smooth white covering. Look for bulbs that still have the roots. Do not buy garlic with green sprouts growing from it. When home, store in a mesh bag at 32-40 degrees for up to 3-6 months.

When ready to use, peel the dry outer skin off. Crush the garlic by pressing with the flat side of a large knife blade. Then chop into small, fine pieces, crushing again if desired.

Tips to Get Children to Eat Garlic

  • Season your soup with garlic
  • Mince small pieces into any casserole or baked dish
  • Top buttered toast with garlic powder for flavorful surprise

Ways to Prepare Garlic

  • Raw
  • Sauté
  • Roast
  • Bake
  • Boil

Let’s Get Cooking

Orzo Garlic Chicken


  • 1 cup cooked orzo pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 (8 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 1 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • ¼ cup reduced fat, grated parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil
  2. Add orzo pasta and cook for 8–10 minutes, then drain
  3. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat
  4. Add the garlic and red pepper for to the skillet and cook for 1 minute, until garlic is golden brown
  5. Stir in chicken and cook for 2–5 minutes, until light brown and juices are running clear
  6. Reduce heat to medium and add parsley and cooked orzo
  7. Place the spinach in the skillet and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally
  8. Serve topped with parmesan cheese

Garlic and Herb Butter


  • ½ cup softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped dried parsley, basil, or herb of choice
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1–3 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Mix all ingredients together
  2. Shape the mixture into a roll
  3. Wrap it tightly with saran wrap
  4. Keep in the freezer for up to 6 months
  5. Cut slices off the roll as needed and store in the refrigerator for use

For more creative garlic-based recipes visit MyPlate Kitchen! With so many possibilities, like Garlic Bok Choy, Tomato and Garlic Omelet, and Whole Wheat Garlic Bread Sticks you’re sure to find something that is tasty for the whole family!

Fact Check: SDSU Extension, MyPlate Kitchen, Dr. Axe

Can’t get enough fruits and veggies? Be sure to check out Harvest of the Month, a downloadable educational program designed to make learning about fruits and veggies easy, tasty, and fun!