Garlic is a popular ingredient used in many cuisines around the world. It adds a unique flavor and aroma to dishes. Garlic can be used raw, but is also commonly roasted, which gives it a mellow, sweet, and nutty taste. But how many calories does roasted garlic contain?
What Is Roasted Garlic?
Roasted garlic is whole garlic bulbs that have been roasted in the oven or on the grill. The high heat gently caramelizes the natural sugars in the garlic, creating a soft, sweet, nutty flavor and aroma. The roasting also breaks down the pungent compounds in raw garlic that give it its sharp bite.
To make roasted garlic, take a whole garlic bulb and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap it in aluminum foil or place it in a small baking dish. Roast at 350°F to 400°F for 45 minutes to an hour, until the garlic feels soft when squeezed. Once cooled, squeeze the garlic cloves out of their papery skins. The roasted garlic cloves can be used mashed or pureed in spreads, sauces, stews, mashed potatoes, pasta dishes, vinaigrettes, and more.
Calories in Garlic
The calories in garlic come primarily from carbohydrates and protein. Raw garlic contains approximately:
- 149 calories per 100 grams
- 33 calories per clove (3 grams)
- 4 grams of carbohydrate per clove
- 0.2 grams of protein per clove
- 0.1 grams of fat per clove
The calorie count may vary slightly depending on clove size and variety. In general, garlic is low in calories and high in nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese.
Does Roasting Change the Calorie Content?
Roasting garlic does not significantly alter its calorie content. Since roasting only uses dry heat, the calorie profile remains similar to raw garlic. The caramelization of natural sugars during roasting may slightly increase the carbohydrate content. However, the difference would be minimal in the context of a serving size or recipe.
It takes about three cloves of garlic to make one tablespoon of mashed roasted garlic. Three cloves of raw garlic contain approximately:
- 99 calories
- 12 grams carbohydrates
- 0.6 grams protein
- 0.3 grams fat
This calorie count would still apply for one tablespoon of mashed roasted garlic, assuming three average-sized cloves were used. Roasting does not create any oil or add significant calories beyond what the garlic naturally contains.
Calories in Serving Sizes of Roasted Garlic
Here are some common serving sizes of roasted garlic and their approximate calorie content:
|1 roasted garlic clove (3 grams)||33|
|1 tablespoon mashed roasted garlic (9 grams)||99|
|1 head roasted garlic (50 grams)||545|
|1 teaspoon minced roasted garlic (3 grams)||33|
|1/2 tablespoon roasted garlic oil (4 grams)||44|
As you can see, the calorie content is quite low for typical serving sizes of roasted garlic. Even consuming an entire head of roasted garlic only amounts to about 545 calories. So enjoying roasted garlic can provide a flavor boost without too much caloric impact.
Nutritional Benefits of Roasted Garlic
While roasted garlic is relatively low in calories, it provides some important nutritional benefits. Here are some of the key nutrients found in roasted garlic:
- Manganese – An essential mineral that aids bone health, nutrient absorption, metabolism, and blood sugar regulation. 1 tbsp of roasted garlic contains 7% of the recommended daily intake.
- Vitamin C – Roasted garlic contains about 5.5 mg of vitamin C per tablespoon. Vitamin C supports immune function and collagen production.
- Vitamin B6 – Necessary for protein metabolism, red blood cell function, and cognitive development. You get 0.1mg of vitamin B6 in every tablespoon of roasted garlic.
- Selenium – A trace mineral with antioxidant properties that helps regulate thyroid hormones. Roasted garlic provides 6 mcg of selenium per tablespoon.
- Flavonoids – Compounds in garlic with anti-inflammatory effects that may help lower disease risk.
Roasting may slightly increase the bioavailability and antioxidant capacity of these nutrients in garlic. The Maillard reaction that occurs during roasting creates antioxidants absent in raw garlic. Overall, roasted garlic provides a nutritious flavor punch.
Tips for Enjoying Roasted Garlic
Here are some easy ways to add roasted garlic to your recipes and diet:
- Make aioli or toum – These classic garlic sauces only require roasted garlic, olive oil, lemon, and salt blended together.
- Toss into any pasta dish – Roasted garlic combines deliciously with tomato sauce, pesto, olives, spinach, and Parmesan for pasta.
- Rub onto meats before grilling or roasting – The caramelized garlic adds tremendous flavor to steaks, chicken, pork chops, etc.
- Spread onto bread before making sandwiches – Roasted garlic takes ordinary turkey, ham, or BLT sandwiches up a notch.
- Blend into mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes – The mellow garlic adds a new dimension to these comforting side dishes.
- Top pizzas before baking – Roasted garlic pairs well with classic pizza toppings like mushrooms, peppers, sausage, and of course, more cheese.
With a little creativity, you can add roasted garlic to all types of soups, stews, rice dishes, baked goods, and more. A little goes a long way in providing a sweet, aromatic garlic punch.
Should You Worry About Garlic Breath or Body Odor?
A downside to eating garlic, roasted or raw, is the tendency for garlic breath or body odor to linger after consumption. The odor results from allicin, one of the sulfur compounds in garlic responsible for its strong smell and flavor.
Will roasted garlic make your breath or sweat smell? Possibly, but not to the same degree as raw garlic. The roasting process mellows and caramelizes the garlic, reducing some of the harshness of the allicin. Consuming roasted garlic in moderation, as part of a balanced diet, should not cause significant garlic breath or odor issues.
If you are concerned about garlic breath, here are some tips that can help:
- Chew fresh parsley, mint, or basil after eating garlic to mask odors
- Drink milk, since the lactic acid neutralizes garlic compounds
- Use mouthwash or brush your teeth after eating garlic
- Avoid garlic right before important social interactions or close conversations
- Stay hydrated and wash garlicky hands before touching your mouth
As for body odor, be sure to bathe regularly, wear deodorant, and change garments after cooking with garlic to minimize lingering scents. With a little mindfulness, you can still enjoy roasted garlic without offending those around you.
Is Roasted Garlic Keto-Friendly?
The ketogenic or “keto” diet relies on very low carbohydrate intake, usually limiting carbs to 5-10% of total daily calories. With about 12g of carbs per tablespoon, is roasted garlic keto-approved?
Roasted garlic can fit into a keto eating plan in moderation. Avoid eating excessive amounts at once. Stick to 1-2 cloves or 1-2 teaspoons minced or mashed per recipe or meal. Count the carb grams from roasted garlic within your daily allotment.
Also bear in mind that using the roasted garlic-infused oil does not add significant carbs. You can drizzle the oil over keto-friendly foods more liberally than the whole roasted cloves or paste.
Some easy ways to use roasted garlic on keto include:
- Sautéing greens like spinach in roasted garlic oil
- Adding a minced clove to omelets or scrambled eggs
- Stirring a teaspoon into keto-friendly sauces and dips
- Tossing roasted garlic oil with non-starchy roasted veggies
- Blending a clove into homemade mayonnaise
In summary, with responsible portioning, roasted garlic can absolutely be included in a ketogenic eating pattern.
Calorie Count of Roasted Garlic vs. Raw
Let’s do a direct calorie comparison of raw garlic versus roasted garlic:
|Raw garlic||1 clove (3g)||12|
|Roasted garlic||1 clove (3g)||12|
|Raw garlic||1 tbsp, minced (9g)||36|
|Roasted garlic||1 tbsp, mashed (9g)||36|
As the comparison shows, raw and roasted garlic contain virtually identical calories when equivalently sized portions are compared. The differences are negligible. So you can use raw and roasted garlic interchangeably in recipes without worrying about a calorie increase from roasting.
Should You Eat Roasted Garlic for Weight Loss?
Is roasted garlic advantageous for weight loss diets? Potentially, yes. Roasted garlic offers several benefits that can support a weight loss regimen:
- Low-calorie flavor enhancer – Roasted garlic can make foods more satisfying and flavorsome without adding significant calories.
- High satiety – The fiber and nutrients in garlic provide bulk and fullness to help control hunger.
- Anti-inflammatory – Garlic contains anti-inflammatory compounds that could help improve metabolic health markers.
- Antimicrobial properties – Garlic may benefit gut health by controlling harmful bacteria linked to obesity.
- May boost metabolism – Animal studies found garlic could increase norepinephrine and adrenaline levels to burn more energy at rest.
While human studies are lacking, the potential benefits of roasted garlic for weight loss make it a smart addition to a healthy diet. Use roasted garlic to add flavor to lean proteins, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and more without fear of it derailing your weight goals.
How to Make Low-Calorie Roasted Garlic Recipes
Want to keep the calories of your roasted garlic recipes under control? Here are some tips:
- Use cooking spray instead of oil when roasting garlic in the oven to avoid excess calories from oil.
- Combine roasted garlic with lower-calorie ingredients like veggies, broth-based soups, tomatoes, mushrooms, herbs, spices, vinegar, mustard, and lemon juice.
- Avoid pairing roasted garlic with high-calorie ingredients like cream, butter, cheese, oily sauces, bacon, etc.
- Measure portions of mashed roasted garlic precisely using measuring spoons instead of guesstimating.
- Substitute Greek yogurt for some oil when making roasted garlic sauces and spreads.
- Roast a whole head of garlic and spread out the cloves over multiple servings and meals.
With a focus on low-calorie cooking methods and ingredient pairings, you can certainly craft Roasted garlic recipes aligned with weight goals. A little goes a long way in providing taste without excess calories.
Health Risks of Eating Too Much Roasted Garlic
While roasted garlic is very healthy in moderation, eating too much may cause some undesirable effects. Potential risks of overdoing it on the roasted garlic include:
- Bad breath and body odor
- Heartburn, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea (gastrointestinal distress)
- Increased risk of bleeding problems, especially if taking blood-thinning medication
- Drug interactions with certain medications metabolized by the liver
- Allergic reactions (skin rash, asthma, anaphylaxis in rare cases)
- Low blood pressure
- Liver damage when consumed in extremely high amounts
Sticking to about 1-2 cloves (3-6 grams) of roasted garlic per meal is considered safe for most healthy adults. Those with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may need to further limit intake if they experience discomfort. The key is moderation and not overindulging to avoid potential adverse effects.
Roasted garlic is very low in calories, providing around 12 calories per clove. Roasting does not significantly change the calorie content compared to raw garlic. In addition to its mellow sweet flavor, roasted garlic offers nutritional benefits from compounds like manganese and vitamin C.
Enjoy roasted garlic in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet. Roast garlic using minimal added oil to keep the calorie content low. Combine roasted garlic with low-calorie ingredients like vegetables when cooking. While excessive intake can cause issues, roasted garlic is generally recognized as safe when consumed in reasonable food amounts. So spread a little roasted garlic on your next meal and reap the nutritional rewards and delicious flavor. Just be considerate of those around you!