Caramelized garlic is some kind of magic. Taking a strong taste like garlic and caramelizing until it’s sweet, now that’s incredible! You may think it’s impossible if your following a whole-food plant based diet, but I have just made it POSSIBLE!
My secret to this oil free goodness is Aquafaba! A.K.A. Bean water. The water, or brine, left over after cooking beans, preferably garbanzo or any white bean. It is the best fat replacer I have found yet. You can get the same water from a can of beans. This liquid is even made into french macaroons – I’ve tried that and miserably failed, but others have been gloriously triumphant. Don’t take my word for it, the internet is full of those who have made an art of it.
My experience with aquafaba hasn’t been so artistic, but definitely has brought out some sweetness in garlic. I also use it when roasting veggies, in baked goods, as a base for sauce, the list goes on, here are some of the recipes I’ve used it in.
Peel garlic removing the entire clove.
In a silicone baking pan or glass baking dish cover the cloves in aquafaba. The liquid should be just above the cloves.
Bake at 400 F for approx 45 min, stirring every 15 min. Once the cloves are soft and the top layer is brown it is ready to be made into butter. You can continue to cook if you would like it more caramelized, just keep an eye on it, you want it golden brown, and not burnt.
Take a fork and mash the garlic into the sauce until it has a soft buttery texture. Add a little salt if you like. If your making a big batch you can whip it up with a blender, or hand blender.
Freeze unused portion after 2-3 days. I freeze it in a silicone ice cube tray, then put it in a freezer bag and anytime I need garlic for a recipe I throw in a cube. It thaws well back into “butter”.
Makes a terrific spread hot or cold.
Notes & Tips:
Raw garlic in cold dips like hummus need to be removed in order to not go rancid. When using raw garlic it’s best to blend it with the liquid and then strain out the garlic pieces, or use a cube of caramelized garlic for an extra special garlic flavor and no straining or risk of spoilage.
Cloves can be left whole or blended/mashed. If whole, they will very easily spread, as they are very soft. I like to keep it whole until I am ready to use it, so I know how many cloves I have, one frozen cube of garlic usually contains 1-2 cloves.