Dehydrating garlic scapes is an easy way to preserve this delicious, early summer vegetable. Make garlic scape powder too. So versatile.
Garlic is easy plant to grow in temperate regions. It prefers sandy, well drained soils, frequent fertilization with a fertilizer high in phosphorus and potassium. A 5-10-10 formulation is great. They also like even watering.
What are garlic scapes?
Garlic scapes are the flower bud of hard neck garlic plants. and the stems of the flower (botanically the peduncle) of the garlic plant. They are curly, green and originate directly from the bulb.
If the garlic “scapes” are not removed from the bulb, the flower will take nutrients from the bulb, so that garlic heads will be smaller. Therefore, it is important to break or cut the garlic scapes off, before they flower.
In upstate NY they emerge from the beginning of June to the beginning of July. Harvest them as soon as you see them curl for best results. Continue to check for them for at least a few weeks, in case you missed any, or new ones emerge.
The flavor of the garlic scapes is like a mild garlic flavor.
Where to locate garlic scapes?
If you don’t grow your own garlic, scapes are becoming easier to find in the last few years. Find them at your local farmers market, at roadside farm stands or find a friend or neighbor who grows garlic. They will have lots to share.
Try to source organic garlic scapes from heirloom varieties for the healthiest option.
What you need
You only need garlic scapes to make them
How to dehydrate garlic scapes
The best way to make dried garlic scapes is with a food dehydrator. You can adjust the temperature and the oven and air fryer get a bit too hot so you risk burning them. The dehydrator also gives you the best air circulation.
They are getting more reasonable cost-wise, easy to clean, light and easy to store and totally hands off. Just pop the food in, set the temperature and timer and walk away.
Our favorite food dehydrator is the Vevor Food Dehydrator (affiliate link)
Step One– Use fresh garlic scapes, if possible for the best flavor. Wash the scapes in cold water and dry them well.
Use a sharp knife or kitchen scissors. Remove the bud end. You will see where it starts to change color. Chop just below that. Chop each scape into 2-3 inch pieces.
We used about 3 cups of raw scapes.
Add pieces to food processor.
Pulse until garlic is fairly fine but not enough to turn it into a paste.
Place the pieces on parchment lined dehydrator trays. Spread out evenly, in a single layer.
Place the trays in the dehydrator.
Set heat to 85-90°F / 30°C, if your dehydrator has a temperature control.
Dry for 6-8 hours until they are dry enough to snap between you fingers. The most important thing is get all of the moisture out so that they don’t mold.
To dry in the oven
Perform steps one through five above.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the scapes evenly, in a single layer.
Set oven to it’s lowest setting (usually 150 or 170°F / . Place baking sheets in the oven and dry for 3-5 hours or so until they are very dry.
How to dry in your air fryer
To dry them in your air fryer, perform steps one through five above. Lay the scapes on a piece of parchment paper on your air frying rack. Set your temperature to the lowest it will one possible. Mine has a warm setting which is about 200°F.
Air fry them for 30 minute intervals, checking them in between cycles. Let the air fryer cool down for 10 minutes in between cycles. It took 2½ hours to dry mine fully.
For long term storage, store in glass jars or glass bottles with the lids secured or store in plastic bags with as much air removed as your can. Store in a cool, dark, dry area of your home. A root cellar is great for this but an unfinished area of your basement will work fine.
Why should you dehydrate scapes?
- They take much less of your precious storage space. Up to one third less space than fresh or frozen.
- They have shelf life of many years. (They have the best flavor for about a year)
- Very versatile. Use them as they are or make garlic scape powder. (See instructions below)
- Make garlic scape salt.
- They are low in calories and rich in vitamins and minerals, notably Vitamins C and K.
- Drying your own herbs, fruits and vegetables can really save you a ton of money at the grocery store. With spices costing 5-7 dollars for a couple ounces, the savings can add up quickly.
- Where as garlic and onions are a high fodmap food, garlic scapes are perfect for a low fodmap diet, in small quantities, gluten free, dairy free, nut free.
How to make garlic scape powder
Garlic scape powder is a delicious alternative to commercially purchased garlic powder.
Once the garlic scapes have completely dried, place some in your spice grinder, mini food chopper or even your coffee grinder.
Grind them into a fine powder. This can take a couple minutes to obtain a uniform product.
Store it in a spice jar in a cool, dry, dark place. Store small quantities in a shaker in the kitchen for everyday use.
Four tablespoons of dehydrated scapes makes 2½ tablespoons of powder.
How to use garlic scape powder?
Garlic scape powder can be substituted for plain garlic powder in all of your favorite recipes. Use it in soups, stews, chili, sauces and dips or sprinkle on meat, poultry, fish and vegetables.
More recipes for garlic scapes
- compound butter
- how to store garlic scapes fresh, freeze
- vinaigrette / garlic scape salad dressing
- air fried
If you plan on doing a lot of vegetable and herb-drying, you should really invest in a
food dehydrator. We love our Vevor Food Dehydrator. They are well worth the cost.
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I hope you enjoyed the recipe today!
Enjoy. And have fun cooking!
Dehydrating Garlic Scapes | Garlic Scape Powder
- 3 cups garlic scapes
- Wash and dry well.3 cups garlic scapes
- Use a sharp knife or kitchen scissors. Remove the bud end. You will see where it starts to change color. Chop just below that. Chop each scape into 2-3 inch pieces.
- Add pieces to food processor.
- Pulse until garlic is fairly fine but not enough to turn it into a paste.
- Lay processed scapes on parchment lined dehydrator trays in a single layer. Place the trays in the dehydrator.
- Set heat to 85-90°F / 30°C, if your dehydrator has a temperature control.
- Dry for 5-7 hours until they are dry enough to snap between you fingers. The most important thing is get all of the moisture out so that they don’t mold.
Originally published June 22, 2022.
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Is there a reason that you chip them prior to drying? When I dried leek tops, I just did them whole and powdered them after they were dry. Just wondering if I can skip the chopping step and avoid cleaning my food processor 😬
Yes. You certainly can but the will take a lot longer to dry. I’m not sure how much longer because I haven’t tested it.
I love making my own seasonings, so I can’t wait to try this! It looks so easy!
It’s incredibly easy. Thanks for checking out the article Tayler.
I never knew much about this garlic scape. What an informative post., Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Kushigalu. I’m glad it was helpful.
I have so many garlic scapes in my yard! So happy to be able to put them to use now! Thank you!
That’s great Amy. I’m glad the article helped!
My garden is full of garlic scapes, and I wanted to figure out how to preserve them. Great tips! Thanks for the help!
I’m so glad this was helpful for you Alison. Let me know how it goes.
I grow garlic in my garden but had no idea you could use the scapes. Thank you for the informative post! I will definitely be giving this a try.
They are great to use in so many ways! I’m glad the post was helpful Janessa!