Garlic powder is dried garlic that has been finely diced. It should not be confused with garlic salt, which is a combination of garlic powder and table salt. Shoppers can find this product in the spice section, and some cooks advocate using it in place of fresh garlic. Other cooks like the taste, but find that it is different than fresh garlic, not as sharp and somewhat sweeter. Cooks who are out of fresh garlic can substitute the powdered form, although the taste may be slightly different.
Shoppers may find additional ingredients in powdered garlic, especially in those manufactured by larger spice companies and those that are sold in generic form. Sometimes, companies add preservatives to keep the powder looking fresh, and buyers should examine these closely since it means the dried garlic may have been of inferior quality. People who are concerned about additives may want to look for organic products at local natural foods stores, and simply read the label on the back to find out what the powder contains. Some forms contain a humectant like calcium silicate to keep the powder from clumping.
Some people enjoy using garlic powder because of its garlicky taste. Those on a low sodium diet may benefit from this seasoning, and since it contains only a trace amount of natural sodium, it can be used liberally without adding extra salt. The powder doesn’t always blend well to create a smooth mix of ingredients, however, and cooks might try garlic juice instead to avoid tiny flakes of garlic in a dish.
In addition to finding garlic powder on its own, shoppers may find it in no-salt spice mixes or in grill seasonings. People who are trying to cut down on extra sodium should be sure to check that the mix contains powder and not garlic salt. The powder can be used with ground meats to make spicy hamburger patties, added it to scrambled eggs or omelets, sprinkled in chili, and used to top popcorn. Cooks may be surprised at the vigorous taste imparted by simple garlic, even without added salt.