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How To Store Fresh Garlic Scapes How To Store Fresh Garlic Scapes


How To Store Fresh Garlic Scapes

Written by: James Anderson

Learn how to store fresh garlic scapes in this informative article. Discover the best techniques and tips to keep your garlic scapes fresh and delicious for longer.

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Welcome to the fascinating world of garlic scapes! If you’re a garlic lover, you probably already know the wonders of this flavorful and aromatic part of the garlic plant. But if you’re new to this ingredient, you’re in for a treat. In this article, we will explore the art of storing fresh garlic scapes so that you can enjoy their unique taste and texture all year round.

Garlic scapes are the curly green shoots that emerge from the tops of garlic bulbs. They are not only visually appealing but also packed with robust garlic flavor. These scapes are a favorite among chefs and home cooks alike, adding a delightful twist to various dishes.

While garlic bulbs can be stored for months, garlic scapes have a shorter shelf life and require special care to maintain their freshness. Storing them properly is crucial to preserve their taste, texture, and nutritional value. Whether you want to enjoy garlic scapes in season or save them for future use, let’s dive into the details of proper storage methods.

Key Takeaways:

  • Store fresh garlic scapes in the refrigerator for short-term use, maintaining their flavor and texture for up to two weeks. Bundle and store them in a perforated bag or airtight container in the vegetable crisper drawer.
  • Freeze garlic scapes for long-term storage, preserving their flavor for up to six months. Blanch, dry, and freeze them in airtight containers or freezer bags. Enjoy the convenience of using frozen garlic scapes directly in your cooking without the need to thaw.

What are Garlic Scapes?

Garlic scapes are the long, slender, and curly green shoots that grow from the tops of garlic bulbs. They are a part of the Allium family, which also includes onions, shallots, and leeks. Garlic scapes have a distinct shape, resembling a swirly green wand, with a bulbous flower bud at one end.

These scapes form during the early stages of garlic bulb growth. If left unharvested, they would eventually bloom into small white or purple flowers. However, most gardeners and farmers prefer to remove the scapes before they flower in order to redirect the plant’s energy towards bulb development.

Garlic scapes are not just visually appealing; they also offer a milder and more subtle garlic flavor compared to the bulbs. The taste is a combination of garlicky and slightly grassy, making them a versatile ingredient in the kitchen.

In terms of texture, garlic scapes are crisp and tender, similar to asparagus or green beans. This crunchiness adds a delightful contrast to dishes, whether they are cooked or used raw. Many people appreciate their unique texture and flavor when pickled or used in stir-fries, salads, pasta, pesto, and even as a pizza topping.

With their vibrant green color and intriguing shape, garlic scapes are not only a culinary delight but also a visual feast. They lend a touch of beauty and whimsy to any dish, making them a favorite among chefs and food enthusiasts.

Why Store Garlic Scapes?

Storing garlic scapes allows you to extend the availability of this seasonal ingredient and enjoy its unique flavor and texture throughout the year. Here are a few reasons why storing garlic scapes is a great idea:

  • Year-Round Availability: Garlic scapes are typically harvested during the spring and early summer months, making them a seasonal treat. By properly storing them, you can enjoy their taste and benefits long after their season has ended.
  • Convenience: Having stored garlic scapes on hand means that you can easily incorporate their flavors into your cooking whenever you desire. This saves you the hassle of running to the store or waiting for the next season to get your hands on them.
  • Cost Savings: During the peak season, garlic scapes tend to be more affordable due to their abundance. By storing them when they are readily available, you can take advantage of lower prices and maximize your budget.
  • Creative Culinary Exploration: Having a supply of stored garlic scapes opens up a world of possibilities in the kitchen. You can experiment with different recipes and techniques, allowing you to fully explore the versatility of this unique ingredient.
  • Preserving Nutritional Value: Garlic scapes are not only delicious but also packed with nutrients. By storing them properly, you can preserve their nutritional value, ensuring that you reap the health benefits they offer.

Whether you are a home cook looking to enhance your culinary creations or a food lover eager to explore new flavors, storing garlic scapes is a fantastic way to make the most of this seasonal ingredient. By doing so, you can enjoy their distinct taste and texture whenever you please, adding a delightful twist to your favorite dishes all year round.

Choosing Fresh Garlic Scapes

When it comes to storing garlic scapes, starting with fresh and high-quality scapes is essential. Here are some tips to help you choose the best garlic scapes:

  • Appearance: Look for garlic scapes that have a vibrant green color and are free from any yellowing or wilting. The scapes should feel firm to the touch and have a crisp texture.
  • Length: Longer scapes are generally preferred as they provide more versatility in cooking. However, shorter scapes can also be used effectively, especially if you plan on pickling or chopping them.
  • Bulb Formation: Check if the scapes have small bulbous formations at the end. These are the undeveloped garlic bulbs and are a sign of freshness. Avoid scapes that have already started flowering, as they may be past their prime.
  • Aroma: Give the garlic scapes a gentle sniff. They should have a pleasant aroma, reminiscent of fresh garlic. Avoid scapes that have a strong or unpleasant odor.
  • Source: Whenever possible, choose garlic scapes that are locally sourced or from a reputable supplier. This ensures that you are getting the freshest and highest-quality scapes available.

By selecting fresh garlic scapes, you are setting the foundation for successful storage. Fresh scapes not only have the best flavor and texture but also contain the maximum amount of nutrients.

Remember, the quality of the ingredients you start with significantly impacts the final outcome of your dishes, so take the time to choose the best garlic scapes available. Once you have selected your scapes, it’s time to move on to the next step: cleaning them before storage.

Cleaning Garlic Scapes

Before storing garlic scapes, it’s important to give them a thorough cleaning to remove any dirt or debris. Follow these simple steps to clean your garlic scapes:

  1. Trim the Ends: Start by trimming off the tough ends of the scapes, just like you would with asparagus. Use a sharp knife or kitchen shears to remove the bottom inch or two of the scapes.
  2. Rinse Under Cold Water: Place the trimmed garlic scapes under cold running water to rinse off any dirt or impurities. Gently rub the scapes with your hands to ensure thorough cleaning.
  3. Inspect for Pests: While rare, it’s possible for garlic scapes to have insects or pests on them. Take a close look at the scapes to check for any signs of infestation. If you find any bugs, rinse the scapes more carefully or discard them if the infestation is severe.
  4. Pat Dry: After rinsing, gently pat the garlic scapes dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels. Be sure to remove excess moisture to prevent the scapes from becoming slimy or mushy during storage.

Once your garlic scapes are cleaned and dry, they are ready to be stored using various methods. Remember to handle the scapes with care to avoid any bruising or damage that could impact their flavor and texture.

Now that your garlic scapes are clean, let’s explore the different storage options available to keep them fresh and delicious.

Storing Garlic Scapes

Proper storage is key to preserving the freshness and flavor of garlic scapes. Here are a few effective methods for storing garlic scapes:

Refrigerator Storage

The refrigerator is a convenient and effective place to store garlic scapes for short-term use:

  1. Bundle Method: Gather a handful of garlic scapes and tie them together with a kitchen twine or rubber band. Place them in a perforated plastic bag or wrap them loosely with a damp paper towel to maintain their moisture. Store the bundled scapes in the vegetable crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
  2. Container Method: Alternatively, you can place the cleaned and dried garlic scapes in an airtight container. Add a slightly damp paper towel to provide some moisture. Make sure the container is properly sealed and store it in the vegetable crisper drawer.

Garlic scapes stored in the refrigerator can stay fresh for up to two weeks. However, keep in mind that their flavor and texture might diminish over time. It’s best to use them as soon as possible for optimal taste.

Freezing Garlic Scapes

Freezing garlic scapes is a great option if you want to preserve them for a longer period. Here’s how to freeze garlic scapes:

  1. Blanching: Start by blanching the garlic scapes in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. This process helps to retain their flavor, texture, and color.
  2. Cooling: After blanching, transfer the garlic scapes to an ice bath to rapidly cool them down and stop the cooking process. This step helps to maintain their crispness.
  3. Drying: Once cooled, pat the garlic scapes dry using a kitchen towel or paper towels. Remove any excess moisture to prevent freezer burn.
  4. Freezing: Place the dry garlic scapes in a freezer-safe bag or container. Remove as much air as possible before sealing. Label the bag with the date and place it in the freezer.

Frozen garlic scapes can retain their flavor and quality for up to six months. You can use them in cooked dishes, such as stir-fries, soups, sauces, and stews. However, frozen garlic scapes may lose their crunchy texture, so they are not suitable for raw preparations like salads or pesto.

Using Frozen Garlic Scapes

When you’re ready to use frozen garlic scapes, there’s no need to thaw them. Simply remove the desired amount from the freezer and immediately add them to your cooking. Freezing does not significantly impact the flavor, so you can enjoy the delicious taste of garlic scapes even after they’ve been frozen.

Alternative Storage Methods

If you prefer alternative storage methods, you can also try pickling garlic scapes or preserving them in oil. Pickling adds a tangy and unique flavor, while preserving in oil can infuse the scapes with garlic-infused goodness.

Remember, experiment with different storage methods to find the one that suits your needs and preferences. Properly stored garlic scapes will ensure you have a versatile and delicious ingredient at your fingertips whenever inspiration strikes in the kitchen.

Refrigerator Storage

Refrigerator storage is a convenient and effective method to keep garlic scapes fresh for short-term use. Follow these steps for proper refrigerator storage:

  1. Bundle Method: Begin by gathering a handful of garlic scapes and tying them together with a kitchen twine or rubber band. This bundling method helps to keep them organized and prevents them from getting tangled.
  2. Perforated Bag: Place the bundled garlic scapes in a perforated plastic bag. The perforations allow for proper airflow and help prevent moisture buildup, preserving the freshness of the scapes.
  3. Damp Paper Towel: If you don’t have a perforated bag, you can wrap the scapes loosely in a damp paper towel and then place them in a regular plastic bag. The damp towel helps to maintain the moisture levels and prevent the scapes from drying out.
  4. Vegetable Crisper Drawer: Store the bundled or bagged garlic scapes in the vegetable crisper drawer of your refrigerator. This is the ideal spot since the drawer provides a slightly higher humidity level and stable temperature, which helps to prolong the freshness of the scapes.

When properly stored in the refrigerator, garlic scapes can stay fresh for up to two weeks. It’s important to check on them regularly and use them within this time frame to ensure the best flavor and texture.

Refrigerator storage is a great option if you plan on using the garlic scapes in cooked dishes, such as stir-fries, soups, sauces, or sautés. The cool temperature of the refrigerator helps to preserve the scapes while maintaining their flavors and aromas.

Remember to handle the garlic scapes with care when placing them in the refrigerator and when retrieving them for use. Avoid squeezing or squishing them, as this can cause bruising and impact their quality.

Now that you know how to store garlic scapes in the refrigerator, let’s explore another method of storage: freezing.

Freezing Garlic Scapes

Freezing is an excellent method for preserving the freshness of garlic scapes and extending their shelf life. Follow these steps to properly freeze garlic scapes:

  1. Preparation: Start by trimming off the tough ends of the garlic scapes. Then, chop them into desired lengths, keeping in mind the size that is most convenient for your cooking needs.
  2. Blanching: Blanching the garlic scapes before freezing helps to retain their flavor, texture, and color. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then add the prepared scapes and cook them for 1-2 minutes. Blanching time may vary slightly depending on the thickness of the scapes.
  3. Cooling: Quickly transfer the blanched garlic scapes to an ice bath. This helps to stop the cooking process and preserve their crispness. Let them cool for a couple of minutes until they are completely chilled.
  4. Drain and Dry: Remove the garlic scapes from the ice bath and drain them thoroughly. Pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels to remove excess moisture.
  5. Freezing: Spread the blanched and dried garlic scapes in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the scapes are completely frozen. Freezing them individually prevents them from sticking together and allows for easier portioning later.
  6. Storage: Once the garlic scapes are frozen solid, transfer them to airtight freezer bags or containers. Remove as much air as possible from the bags before sealing to prevent freezer burn. Label the bags with the date and amount of scapes.

Frozen garlic scapes can maintain their quality for up to six months. The blanching process helps to preserve their flavors while the freezing temperature slows down the enzymatic activity that causes loss of quality over time.

When you’re ready to use the frozen garlic scapes, there’s no need to thaw them. Simply take out the desired amount and add them directly to your dishes. Freezing does not significantly affect the flavor, so you can enjoy the delicious taste of garlic scapes even after they’ve been frozen.

It’s important to note that frozen garlic scapes may lose their crisp texture. Therefore, they are best suited for cooked dishes such as stir-fries, soups, stews, sauces, and roasted vegetables.

Now that you know how to freeze garlic scapes, you can enjoy their amazing flavor and aroma all year round!

Using Frozen Garlic Scapes

Using frozen garlic scapes is incredibly convenient, as you can easily incorporate them into your cooking without the need to thaw. Here are some helpful tips for using frozen garlic scapes:

  • Cooking: Frozen garlic scapes can be added directly to your cooked dishes. Whether you’re making stir-fries, soups, stews, or sauces, simply toss in the desired amount of frozen scapes and let them thaw and cook along with the other ingredients.
  • Flavor Enhancement: Garlic scapes have a milder flavor compared to regular garlic cloves. However, even when frozen, they will still lend their distinct garlic taste to your dishes. Adjust the amount of frozen scapes to suit your personal preference for garlic intensity.
  • Chopping: If your recipe calls for chopped or minced garlic, you can easily chop or crush the frozen garlic scapes while they are still frozen. The texture may be slightly different from fresh scapes, but the flavor will still be delicious.
  • Pesto and Sauces: Frozen garlic scapes are great for making garlic scape pesto or adding an extra flavor boost to your sauces. Simply blend the frozen scapes with other ingredients like herbs, nuts, and cheese to create a delicious pesto or incorporate them into your favorite sauce recipes.
  • Roasting: Roasting frozen garlic scapes is a fantastic way to bring out their natural sweetness and enhance their flavors. Toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and then roast in the oven until tender and slightly caramelized.

Remember, frozen garlic scapes may not have the same crunchy texture as fresh ones. However, they still deliver the distinctive garlic taste to your dishes while adding a touch of convenience to your cooking routine.

Properly stored and used frozen garlic scapes can be a versatile ingredient in your kitchen, providing the unique flavor of garlic year-round. Enjoy their delicious taste and experiment with new recipes, knowing that you have a readily available supply of frozen garlic scapes at your fingertips.

Now that you’re armed with the knowledge of using frozen garlic scapes, let’s explore some alternative methods for storing these flavorful delights.

Store fresh garlic scapes in the refrigerator in a breathable bag or container to maintain their freshness. They can also be stored in the freezer for longer-term use.

Alternative Storage Methods

Aside from refrigerating and freezing, there are a few alternative storage methods you can try for your garlic scapes. These methods offer unique ways to preserve and enjoy the flavors of garlic scapes:

Pickling Garlic Scapes

One creative way to store garlic scapes is by pickling them. Pickled garlic scapes not only preserve their flavors but also impart a tangy and unique taste. Here’s a simple pickling method:

  1. Prepare the Brine: In a saucepan, combine equal parts water and vinegar, such as apple cider or white vinegar. Add salt, sugar, and any desired spices like mustard seeds, peppercorns, or red pepper flakes. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir until the salt and sugar dissolve.
  2. Trim and Pack the Scapes: Trim the tough ends of the garlic scapes and pack them tightly into sterilized jars. Pour the hot brine over the scapes, making sure to cover them completely.
  3. Seal and Store: Wipe the rims of the jars to ensure a clean seal and screw on the lids. Allow the jars to cool at room temperature, then refrigerate them for at least a week to allow the flavors to develop. Pickled garlic scapes can be stored in the refrigerator for several months.

Pickled garlic scapes make a delicious addition to salads, sandwiches, cheese platters, or as a tangy accompaniment to various dishes. They provide a delightful twist of flavor and can be enjoyed year-round.

Preserving Garlic Scapes in Oil

Another alternative storage method is preserving garlic scapes in oil. This method infuses the scapes with the flavors of garlic while providing a versatile ingredient for various culinary uses:

  1. Prepare the Scapes: Trim the garlic scapes, removing any tough ends. Cut them into desired lengths to fit in sterilized jars.
  2. Blanch and Cool: Blanch the scapes in boiling water for a minute or two, then transfer them to an ice bath to cool quickly. This blanching process helps to preserve their color and flavors.
  3. Pack in Jars and Add Oil: Drain the cooled garlic scapes and pat them dry with a kitchen towel. Pack them tightly in sterilized jars and fill the jars with a high-quality oil, such as olive oil, making sure the scapes are fully submerged.
  4. Seal and Store: Secure the lids on the jars and store them in the refrigerator. The garlic scapes can be preserved in oil for several weeks, providing a flavorful ingredient for dressings, marinades, sautés, and more.

When using garlic scapes preserved in oil, the oil itself takes on the garlic flavors, making it a versatile addition to various dishes. Just scoop out the desired amount of scapes and oil as needed in your recipes.

Experimenting with pickling and preserving garlic scapes opens up a world of culinary possibilities. These alternative storage methods allow you to enjoy the unique flavors of garlic scapes in creative ways beyond the traditional refrigeration and freezing methods.

Now that you’ve learned about the different methods for storing garlic scapes, it’s time to wrap up and put this invaluable information to use.


Storing fresh garlic scapes is the key to enjoying their distinct flavor and texture all year round. Whether you choose to refrigerate, freeze, pickle, or preserve them in oil, proper storage ensures that the deliciousness of garlic scapes is preserved for your culinary adventures.

When selecting garlic scapes, look for ones that are vibrant green, firm, and free from any signs of wilting or discoloration. Their unique shape and crisp texture make them a visual feast and a delightful addition to a wide range of dishes.

Refrigerator storage is ideal for short-term use, keeping garlic scapes fresh for up to two weeks. Bundle them together and store them in a perforated bag or airtight container in the vegetable crisper of your refrigerator. This method allows you to easily incorporate garlic scapes into your cooked dishes, adding a burst of flavor.

Freezing garlic scapes is a great option for long-term storage. Blanch the scapes before freezing to retain their flavor and color, and then pack them in airtight containers or freezer bags. Frozen garlic scapes can be used directly in your cooking without the need to thaw, making them convenient and versatile for a variety of recipes.

For those looking to explore alternative storage methods, pickling garlic scapes infuses them with a tangy and distinct taste. Preserving garlic scapes in oil imparts the flavors of garlic while providing an ingredient that can be used in dressings, marinades, and more.

No matter which storage method you choose, the wonderful flavors and versatility of garlic scapes will surely enhance your culinary creations. So go ahead, experiment with different techniques, and savor the taste of garlic scapes throughout the year.

With the knowledge and tips provided in this article, you can confidently store fresh garlic scapes and enjoy their amazing flavors whenever your taste buds crave a garlicky twist. Embrace the magic of garlic scapes and elevate your cooking to new heights!

Frequently Asked Questions about How To Store Fresh Garlic Scapes

Can I store fresh garlic scapes in the refrigerator?

Yes, you can store fresh garlic scapes in the refrigerator. They can be kept in the crisper drawer in a plastic bag for up to two weeks.
What is the best way to store fresh garlic scapes for long-term use?

The best way to store fresh garlic scapes for long-term use is to freeze them. You can chop them into small pieces and store them in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to six months.
Can I store fresh garlic scapes at room temperature?

It’s not recommended to store fresh garlic scapes at room temperature for an extended period as they may spoil quickly. It’s best to store them in the refrigerator or freezer.
How do I know if fresh garlic scapes have gone bad?

Fresh garlic scapes that have gone bad will become slimy, discolored, or develop a foul odor. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to discard them.
Can I store fresh garlic scapes with other vegetables?

Yes, you can store fresh garlic scapes with other vegetables in the refrigerator. However, it’s best to keep them in a separate plastic bag to prevent their strong aroma from affecting other produce.

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