The treasured find of my visit to the farmer's market yesterday are these beautiful garlic chive (allium tuberosum) flowers. They come into their delightful blossoming during late summer to early fall. Not only are they little white jewels that please the eyes and palate, but garlic chive blossoms also attractive pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
(For wonderful images of pollinators dancing on garlic chive flowers, click HERE.)
Garlic chives are also known as Chinese chives, and indeed, they are often used in China andother Asian countries for cooking. They impart an intense garlic-leek flavor to dishes and are delicious when added to ingredients for stuffing dumplings.
Garlic chives contain allicin, (an active compound that's also found in garlic) and other nutrients, they confer many health benefits including:
- as allicin releases nitric oxide, eating garlic chives may help to reducing stiffness in the blood vessels and decreasing blood pressure.
- garlic chives also contain quercetin, which may reduce the risk of plaque buildup in arteries.
(Quercietin is a flavonoid that has antioxidant properties and is beneficial in helping balance blood pressure and to buffer stress.)
- in addition: minerals such as potassium and calcium along with vitamins C and K are part of the other health-promoting compounds.
So, garlic chives are tasty, healthy, beautiful, and supportive of our fragile eco-system by providing nourishment for pollinators that--in turn--benefit plants and us!
Chief Fermentation Officer