Skip to Content

Why Is My Garlic Green Inside? (Explained)

Sharing is caring!

Garlic is one of our daily essentials. It is a very quality herb that is used for cooking various dishes all over the globe. Besides being used as a spice, it also has medicinal properties.

Addition of garlic in any food adds a new taste and aroma, which makes our food more delicious and flavorful.

People all around the globe prefer using fresh garlic for daily use. However, sometimes many unusual hues are noticeable inside garlic which might raise a concern of whether the garlic is safe to use or not. 

Now, let us discuss why garlic turns green inside and also discuss some fascinating facts about this herb.

Why is my garlic green inside? 

The green color inside the garlic can be formed due to chlorophyll production, the development of a new sprout, etc. Additionally, if the garlic is kept in storage for a long time, it may turn green on the inside. Thus, if the inside of the garlic turns green, the flavor may become slightly bitter.

Garlic that has some green inside it should be safe to eat, raw or cooked. Most of the time, green inside garlic means it is starting to grow. Garlic can be green inside for various reasons. Here are some reasons that it causes garlic green inside of it. 

Presence of germ in the garlic:

One of the most frequent causes of the insides of garlic cloves turning green is the presence of germs inside the garlic cloves. The germ of the garlic tends to remain soft and colorless when it is in bud stage.

However, the germ of the garlic begins to harden and turn green as it begins to grow. Because of this green tint, an unpleasant bitterness starts to develop inside the garlic.

Production of Chlorophyll inside the garlic bulb:

The leaves of garlic are white color due to the absence of chlorophyll in them. However, due to various environmental factors, sometimes the garlic might get exposed to sunlight. 

As a result, the plant will start to make chlorophyll by the process of photosynthesis in response to the light that the plant is receiving from the sun. 

This might be another viable reason behind the garlic to turn green inside. Moreover, the formation of chlorophyll inside the garlic might deteriorate its flavor and develop a bitter taste inside it.

If kept exposed to air: 

Garlic that has been chopped up and left exposed to the air for an extended period of time will gradually turn green in color. This happens due to the presence of sulfur and amino acid inside the garlic. 

The interior of your garlic cloves may turn green as a result of the reaction between these two elements. Usually, when garlic is exposed to air and heat, the reaction between sulfur and amino acids inside the bulb ramp up.

Development of new sprout:

Plants like garlic require warmth, moisture, and sunlight in order to sprout. 

If the garlic bulbs in your cabinet get these conditions, they are much more likely to start producing green stems in an attempt to grow into a new plant that will cause them to turn green inside as well.

It is turning green on the inside because it is beginning to grow, typically as a result of the clove aging and devoting its energy to producing a sprout and becoming a new plant. 

Is garlic bad when it’s green inside? 

When the inside of the garlic is green, it has not gone bad. Additionally, garlic is still completely safe to eat even if it becomes green inside. In addition, even after turning green inside, the flavor of the garlic remains the same if it is not that much old.

Besides, you can grind garlic with water and oil to form a paste that you can preserve for later use if you don’t want the interior portion of the garlic to become green.

Garlic also possesses some enzymes that are mostly found in all vegetables and organic ingredients produced in nature. When sulfur in the garlic reacts with the enzymes present in the garlic, it turns green or even a shade of blue. 

Most of the time, if the garlic is fresh, the change in color doesn’t affect the way the food tastes. But, if the garlic is old, the green hue could actually make the taste a little bit bitter. However, it does not imply that the garlic is bad. Thus, it is safe and you can still consume the garlic. 

Can you eat garlic green inside?

Yes, you can eat the garlic green inside. Consumption of green garlic is completely safe as they are the end product of some normal enzyme reactions. However, because they taste bitter rather than fresh, most people don’t like to consume the green portion inside of the garlic.

As previously mentioned before, the production of chlorophyll inside the garlic bulb can make it taste bitter. The more chlorophyll there is in garlic, the bitterer it will taste. 

If the garlic has turned very green, you should be aware that its flavor has probably changed. However, if the garlic has only turned into a light green hue, you probably won’t notice any major difference with the actual flavor and taste that the garlic possesses naturally. 

Should you remove the green germ from garlic? 

Yes, you may remove the green germ from the garlic. However, it is completely optional and depends on a person’s own preference whether or not they want to remove the green germ from the garlic.

The innermost part of the garlic is called the germ. When this germ tends to develop a small green stem, it means the garlic has started to grow a stem in order to grow as a new plant. 

As the garlic ages, the germ inside turns green. This germ inside the garlic makes it taste bitter. Therefore, it is recommended for you to cut off the green part of the garlic during cooking or eating if you don’t want any bitterness of the garlic green to affect the taste of your food. 

However, there are several dishes like stews, braises etc., where the use or removal of green germ and its slight bitterness won’t make much difference to the taste of the food. Thus, it is completely up to your choice whether or not you want to remove the germ from the garlic. 

What to do with garlic which is green inside? 

Though being green from inside is not unsafe to eat or anything bad for garlic, if it is not kept for too long in the storage. But you can do the following if your garlic has been green inside to stay on the safe side –

Remove the germ from the garlic:

When the garlic ages, the germ inside the garlic starts to grow bigger and harder making the garlic turn green inside. Therefore, if you notice such green color due to the germ, remove it from the garlic and use it as per your need. 

The dish you are using the garlic in won’t have any bitter flavor if the germ is removed from the garlic. 

Cut the green portion from the garlic:

Garlic’s interior can turn green for a variety of causes, as was already noted. Cut away the green bits of the garlic if you notice that it has turned green inside. 

Separate the cloves and check the inside of the garlic thoroughly. Look for the green bits and cut them using a knife. Use the garlic once the green portion has been removed for cooking or other purposes as required.

Make a paste with oil, salt and water:

If the garlic is kept in the storage for a long period of time, they might start to shrink and lose their freshness. But, it doesn’t imply that the garlic has gone bad. 

Therefore, collect all those garlic and separate the cloves one by one. Peel off the hard membrane from its body and put them in a mixture grinder.  

As the garlic has already turned green inside and you don’t want them to become greener, you can make a paste of it using oil, salt and water in a grinder or blender. 

You can also use a hand blender in order to do it if you don’t have a mixture grinder in your house. 

Use them into making broths:

Whenever the garlic turns green, it means that it might’ve developed a bit of a bitter taste inside it. However, this bitterness won’t be a problem for you if you use these green garlics in making broths. 

Apart from broths, you can use the green garlic for making any liquid sort of dishes such as soups, stews, bisques, puree, and chowder and so on. Besides, if you want to save them for future use, you can roast them in the oven. 

Final Thoughts 

Chlorophyll production, the growth of a new sprout, etc. can cause the interior of the garlic to turn green. The inside of the garlic may also turn green if it is stored in storage for an extended period of time. Therefore, the flavor may become slightly bitter if the garlic becomes green inside.

Sharing is caring!