Garlic-infused oil

Well, today, Winter decided to show up in Boston.  We have had an unseasonably warm winter thus far, and believe me, I am NOT complaining!  Russ and I decided to start our day with a walk in the snow with our furry friend, LUCY! Lucy is our 2 year old chocolate lab.

Love walking off the beaten track a bit on a snowy day.

This past Thursday, I was the host and moderator of a  twitter chat on the Low FODMAP diet with other dietitian experts from the US and Australia {where this diet originated}.  It was very cool to be tweeting with individuals all over the globe.  The low FODMAP diet is a special diet that helps people with stomach woes.  Being able to help people with troubling intestinal distress has been the most rewarding part of my job as a nutritionist.  One of the topics during our twitter chat, was how to include garlic flavor into the diet.  Typically garlic is a low FODMAP diet NO-NO!  BUT, infusing garlic in oil, as long as you don’t eat the garlic is A-OKAY.  This is because the FODMAPs in garlic (fructans) are water soluble so they will not leach into the oil.  (Water doesn’t mix with oil!)

So, today, I decided to make some garlic-infused oil.

Home-made garlic or herb- infused oil should be prepared and used immediately, ideally. There is a risk of serious food borne illness if the oil is left at room temperature or even refrigerated longer than 2-4 days.  Commercial brands have special anti-microbial agents added to the oils blends so that they can be often stored at room temp. or stored longer in your refrigerator.  Learn more about the safety of making homemade garlic and herb oils here.

Most garlic infused oils I have seen use olive oil which tastes great BUT I have a number of different oils I use in cooking and decide today I would make my oil with a mixture of avocado oil and extra virgin olive oil.  SO…yum.

Infusing a little extra flavor with nut and fruit oils has been my latest kitchen experiment. Here’s a small collection of my oils.

To make garlic-infused oil, gently crush a few cloves to loosen the skin and break the clove up a bit.

I use about 1/2 cup of olive oil and 1/2 cup avocado oil to 5-6 garlic cloves.

Gently heat (med-low heat) on the stove top to help the garlic infuse the oil.

My husband and kids like a bit of kick to the oil, so I add some crushed red pepper (about 1 tsp)

I like the flavor of thyme, so added a sprig or two. Garlic and thyme make great partners.

After the oil cools down a bit, pour into a clean glass jar. But, ideally, cook up your oil and use it right away.

Be sure to label with the date so you know when your 2-4 days of safe eating are up.

But this oil won’t last long.  It’s great to dip your favorite bread (gluten free bread for the low FODMAP diet peeps), drizzle over salad, add to rice and pasta dishes.

The oil may get a bit cloudy in fridge.  Just run the bottle under warm water and it will clear right up!


25 replies on “Garlic-infused oil

  • elise

    hi kate! it was so great to “meet” you at the twitter chat the other night. i have been blogging about my GI “issues” and mostly plant based diet for a few years at but I recently discovered the low fodmap diet and now i have been doing everything i can to learn more and more about it. i am SO excited to have discovered your blog and plan on continuing to follow you. i have been having amazing success doing a low fodmap diet and since tons of my readers share my digestive symptoms, they too have been asking all about fodmaps. i finally started a new site devoted to my explorations with being veg-based and also limiting fodmaps. im still doing some trial and error and fine tweaking with the amounts of different groups, but i figured id share my experiences with anyone who wants to learn about it. heres the new site: hopefully it can be a good way to keep in contact with others in the fodmaps community. im so jealous of the au research, i just hope to raise more awareness about it here in the us. anyway, thanks for being a driving force in the area and sharing your knowledge.

    • katescarlata

      Thanks for coming by my blog and sharing all your info about your site. We are all in this together. I was fortunate to visit Australia last September and meet the researchers at Monash University. I am so appreciative of their long hours of hard work fine tuning the low FODMAP diet! The diet has made such a difference for so many of my clients. I too, have a history of digestive issues. I had 2/3 of my small intestine removed due to scar tissue from a previous cyst surgery so feel so empathetic to others that have suffered. Thanks for providing a recap of the fodmap chat–it was so wonderful to have some many different people come together to share knowledge and experience. Yay!!


    • Alexandra

      In addition to IBS, I also have GERD. I’d love to try this oil but my GI doctor told me to avoid onions and garlic due to GERD. Is the amount of garlic in this oil taste-able but negligible in terms of the relaxant GERD issue or should I skip it? Thanks.

      • katescarlata

        I don’t think a small amount of this oil would be problematic but would encourage you to discuss with the doctor that is treating you and knows your case. Fats can be an issue with GERD as well–so going easy the amount of oil you consume is important as well.

  • Dan

    seems odd about the microbial problem therefore having to tore in fridge and use quickly. Is this because of personal experience? Because garlic is naturally antimicrobial/bacterial/viral. Also are you sure you need to preheat the oil the do this? heating oil twice I have read is a recipe for free radicals, cant the same effect be achieved without heating it? Just crush, plop it in a bottle of oil and give a shake every couple of days maybe.

    • katescarlata

      Thanks Nour! Enjoy. Another yummy way to infuse garlic in oil is to slow roast it in the oven–then discard the garlic cloves and save the oil in the refrigerator for later use.

  • talli

    I think I saw a blog post on your site that said the reason garlic infused oil is okay for low FODMAPS diet is that the bad stuff in garlic is water soluble, but not fat/oil soluble. If that’s correct, then can I make onion-infused oil as well by the same method?

  • Lisa Heiser

    Now that coconut has been okayed, is coconut sugar or coconut nectar an option to use in baking? I am prediabetic and I know that coconut (palm) sugar is suppose to be a better choice for diabetics. I have been using dextrose for my kids who have fructose problems,but realize I can’t eat dextrose due to it being pure glucose.

  • Lisa Heiser

    Thank-you for your reply. I hope it is okay to ask one last question. My children have severe IBS-C. I just recently tried Green Papaya Powder, and was amazed how effective it was on my digestion, would this be a safe digestive aid for people with fructose malabsorption. All the other probiotics and enzymes I have tried up until now have caused constipation.

    • Well Balanced - Food - Life - Travel

      Patricia–Avocados have moderate amounts of polyols–so only 1/8 of an avocado should be consumed per sitting. Oils do not contain carbs so avocado oil is free of FODMAPs.

  • Kari

    Eeerrcchh! You just saved a potential FODMAP wreck! I was just about to make some Garlic Infused Vinegar for a recipe that does not call for oil so thought that vinegar would be ok to do this with instead. Fortunately I thought I should double-check your webpage/my FODMAP bible, first and sure enough – it is a no go. You say the FODMAP in garlic is water soluble so infusing works with oil but would not with vinegar –sigh… Thanks for saving me!

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