Preserving Garlic Scapes

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Garlic Scapes

I started growing Garlic several years ago, but never really knew what to do with the Scapes, to be totally honest I didn’t even know I was supposed to cut them off the Garlic Plant……that might have had something to do with the poor crops I was producing.

So I learned….cut the scapes and grew amazing garlic, but I didn’t do anything with the scapes other than throw them into the compost pile.


Garlic Scapes you say? What are they?

Well that was me in the beginning…so I’m going to assume the newby reading this doesn’t know what a garlic scape is either.

The scapes are the flower bud of the garlic plant.

A garlic scape comes up in the middle of the plant sometime in late spring or early summer. It is not hard to miss as it comes up and then curls around.

When the scape curls its time to harvest it, this is usually in later June. I harvested mine June 26th this year. Once the scape is removed from the plant all the wonderful plant nutrients go to the bulb encouraging it to thicken up.


The garlic scapes are delicious, they can but cut up and added to soups or stews and taste like garlic. I know some people that use them as an addition to a flower arrangement. Me well I cut them up and put them in the freezer to be added to winter stews and soups.

This year I have tried something new.

Pickled Garlic Scapes.

Recipe for Pickled Garlic Scapes

  • 3 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3 cups Water
  • 4 TBSP Course Salt
  • 4 TBSP Sugar (Organic)

Spices to add to each jar (measurements are per pint)

  • 1/2 tsp peppercorn
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seed
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp coriander seeds (optional)

Fill hot sterilized jars with the scapes, being that they are curled I laid the curled scapes flat and stacked them to the top of the jar. I then took any of the longer pieces I cut off and poked them down the middle. The left overs I chopped and put in freezer bags.

Add the spices to each jar (measurements are per pint)

Boil the water, vinegar, salt and sugar and carefully pour this mixture into your jars, leaving a 1/2″ head space.

Make sure the scapes are staying under the liquid in the jars and put the lids on.

Let the jars cool and then put into the fridge. They will be ready to test in 6 weeks and will keep in your fridge for up to 8 months.

We have tested the scapes and they turned out really good.  They taste great just the way they are and we have also found adding them to a caesar drink is very good.


Herbalists and healers have used garlic for thousands of years for treatments. The Greeks are known to have used it as a laxative whereas Egyptian healers gave it to the workers building pyramids to help build physical strength, and in the Middle Ages garlic was used to ward off the plague.

Louis Pasteur a 19th century French Chemist determined the effectiveness of garlic’s antiseptic properties with information that was recorded during the 1st and 2nd World Wars by the British, German and Russian Armies.

Since then studies have shown that garlic is effective in the fight against bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi.

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12 thoughts on “Preserving Garlic Scapes”

  1. Hi,

    thanks for sharing what to do with garlic scapes.  I am an organic gardener an love to plant all kinds of things and then of course prepare lots of delicious food to enjoy.

    I have not worked with garlic so far.  I guess I don’t use garlic enough in the kitchen to start planting it, although I have considered it.  I would like to get some advice from you as where to start and what to do

    I like the recipe of pickled garlic scapes that you shared.  Just wonder with what you accompany those in a meal.  Cannot get the picture of how you would use them.

    Thanks for sharing,


  2. Honestly, since I am not a native speaker I thought that this is another new phrase that I haven’t really heard, but whrn you wrote that probably most of us haven’t and even you hadn’t heard it before, I got a bit relaxed and more and more interested 🙂 

    Do I understand it correctly that you don’t hear up these garlic scapes just the liquid that you pour on them? So you simply wash it in cold water and put in the jar? 

    I am so curious how it tastes and looks, I will definitely plant some garlic in my new home next year.

    Thanks a lot for this unique idea 🙂

    • Yes that’s correct you cut and wash the scapes and put them into a jar and then pour the liquid over top of them.  They really are a nice treat.

  3. Well!  I just started growing my own garlic this year, and little did I know I threw away all the scapes around the 1st of July! 

    I wish I had read this article before.  Next year, I will definitely try the pickled recipe!  I just love anything pickled and I can just imagine the garlic taste mixed with it.  It must be delicious with anything.  I love garlic so much, I add it to a lot of my meals!!!  

    So from what you are saying these scapes tastes the same as garlic! I wish I had at least tasted one.  I tossed it like weed! Does the one that you freeze without pickling keep their flavour too?

    • Oh Denis that’s to bad, but I hear you.  I threw the scapes away for years before discovering just how great they are.  This year was the first time I tried pickling them and they turned out amazing.  Usually I would just chop the scapes up, put them in vacuum packed bags and into the freezer for use later.  Or when picking of course tasting the odd one and cooking them up fresh.  They keep their flavour very well in the freezer. 

  4. I was wondering, with regards to the storage of those Scapes, what if you just vacuum sealed them freshly harvested instead? Would they also last that long? Like 8 months?

    Scapes is my favorite spices in stews because of the sweet spicy smell, and I always make sure I don’t overcook it. I would love to hear your feedback on what I suggested. I’ve bookmarked this article for followup.

    Thanks for these great preservation tips.

    • Hi when I freeze the garlic scapes I do vacuum seal the packages and they keep well in the freezer for up to 8 months maybe even a little longer.  They don’t seem to keep in our freezer much more than that though because we use them up before hand.

  5. Thank you for the interesting recipes for cooking Garlic Green Scapes. 

    Your recipes are accurate and mouthwatering.I liked that the topic of the article was supplemented with brief medical information. 

    Indeed, garlic is very good for health. I have experience cooking paste from these Garlic Green Scapes . This paste is good to smear on bread, served as a snack to meat dishes.

    But that was a long time ago in Russia. 

    Successful article

    • Thanks for commenting Mark now I’ve got to try making a paste.  That would be great for making garlic toast.  thanks for sharing.

  6. Garlic is on my list for spring. I am so glad I found this article. It should save me lots of problems. I will definitely be checking back in for other tidbits.


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