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Healthy Eats and Repeat

Game for Garlic Scapes?

Garlic scape on gray background

Last summer, our office bought a share of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Each week of the season, we got a box of local fruits, veggies, and herbs. Garlic scapes were a unique addition one week.

In his article, fellow UI Extension educator, Grant McCarty, shares that "garlic scapes are the immature, flowering stems of hardneck garlic." Scapes have a milder flavor than cloves of garlic, and can be used in place of garlic.


USDA has no reference for nutritional values of garlic scapes. Like herbs, spices, and other seasonings, garlic scapes are used to add flavor to recipes, and many recipes will use a small amount of scapes.  So, garlic scapes, when used in typical amounts in recipes, should not add much of any calories, carbohydrates, or other nutrients.

  • Buy: If your local farmer offers garlic scapes, look for those that are firm without damage to the plant, such as broken stems, pest damage, or discolored stems.
  • Price: I have yet to find garlic scapes in a local store, so let me know if your stores carry them sometimes. Otherwise, price will vary by the farmer you buy them from.
  • Store: The University of Kentucky recommends storing scapes in the refrigerator for up to a month. From there, scapes can be frozen, either raw or blanched before freezing.
  • Prepare: Wash the scape. Cut off the "flower" end and discard. (And pull apart to see the seeds inside.) Cut the stem into desired sized pieces for your recipe. Depending on your recipe's texture, know that scapes are very firm and crunchy raw.
  • Eat: Use garlic scapes in place of garlic in your favorite recipes. Pesto and hummus are popular recipes to make using scapes. Try the salad recipe below using scapes in the dressing.

Broccoli-Kohlrabi Salad (Serves 4)

Salad in green bowl

1 medium head broccoli, florets cut into bite-sized pieces
1 small kohlrabi, peeled and diced
1 small red apple, diced

1/2 cup lite mayonnaise
2 garlic scapes, minced (or 2 cloves of garlic, minced)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

1. Add cut broccoli to a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes. Carefully move broccoli to ice for 5 minutes to cool. Drain water and ice from broccoli.
2. In a large bowl, combine broccoli, kohlrabi, and apple.
3. In a small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients. Pour over broccoli mixture and stir to coat. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 120 calories, 7g fat, 410mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 2g protein



Healthy Eats and Repeat
How much difference is there between canned and frozen foods? How should you cook venison? When is the best time to buy avocados? Get answers to these questions as well as other tips, tutorials and recipes for common kitchen foods and items with University of Illinois Extension Nutrition & Wellness Educator Caitlin Mellendorf’s blog Healthy Eats and Repeat. Build your best life. Trust Extension to help.

Caitlin Mellendorf is an Illinois Extension Nutrition and Wellness Educator serving DeWitt, Macon and Piatt Counties in Central Illinois. She is a Registered Dietitian and her work focuses on helping community members gain the knowledge, skills and tools to live healthier, more nutritious lifestyles. This includes providing programs and answering questions about heart health, diabetes, food safety, food preservation, grocery shopping and cooking. You can reach Caitlin by email at or call 217.877.6042. Check out her nutrition blog Healthy Eats and Repeats for seasonal recipes and of an exploration of common kitchen foods.