Certain dishes require that you use whole cloves while you may be unable to use whole cloves in instances like baking, especially, say, you want to bake a pie.
So, can you grind whole cloves to make ground cloves? Yes, you can. It is best that you use either a spice grinder or a granite mortar and pestle to turn whole cloves into ground cloves. When using a spice grinder, make sure it is an all metal grinder to avoid the oil from the clove clogging the grinder.
Spice users decide to use or grind cloves based on different reasons. Some quarters say grinding cloves allow for the easy distribution of the flavor and aroma across board, unlike in whole cloves where flavor and aroma are not as universal as you want it to be.
This is to tell you that whole cloves and the grind one has its uses and this, in most cases are not interchangeable. So, you cannot out-rightly say that using whole cloves is better and vice versa. Ground or unground, you should first know that cloves can be used in whatever form.
Preferences abound in the use of cloves; whether whole or ground and where this is prevalent is based on what the clove is intended to be used for.
Why do people like ground cloves
Usually, a lot of cooks or chefs, or even producers in the perfumery industry prefer to use ground cloves not just because it is an essential spice that is very usable when ground, but also due to the fact that this beautiful and aromatic spice brings forth a greater aroma when ground properly and also helps to flavor whatever meal you add it to.
Someone preparing a spicy Bengali dish like Kichuri may prefer whole cloves to someone making a Barbecue Sauce who may want an evenly spread taste and aroma across board. You see where the preference is now?
Grounding cloves does not also end at surface area and evenly spread aroma, but also the clove oil that is a resulting effect of the grinding. Imagine the various benefits of having a highly medicinal clove oil at your disposal.
How to Grind Whole Cloves to Make Ground Cloves?
Sun-Dry Your Cloves
Now, the first step is to sun dry the cloves. It is worth noting that when you buy cloves, you get it dried because it is harvested in that manner but you can decide to sun dry it again based on how dried you want it before grinding.
Clean Your Spice Grinder to remove existing dirt or debris
After the sun drying process, you clean your grinder before use. To do this, grind salt in it and run a damp cloth around to remove any particle in the grinder.
Turn in your cloves into your spice and grind
Next, turn the cloves into the grinder. While it is grinding, you can switch on and off the blender intermittently to check the progress of the grinding. Grind until it turns into a powdery form.
Remember to clean your ground cloves into a plate and clean your grinder
After grinding, pour out the clove in a clean dry plate and clean the grinder. To clean it, grind salt in it and run a damp cloth around to remove any particle like you did earlier before grinding. Now you have your ground clove, you can use it for your desired purpose.
You can also decide to use a mortar and pestle to turn whole cloves to ground cloves. To do this, you need to make sure you get the right mortar and pestle to ensure you get a flavorful and pungent ground clove. What is a mortar and pestle?
A mortar is a small carved-out bowl and the pestle is a heavy broad stick with a circular tip. Just picture the mortar and pestle your mum uses to pound yam. You can use the mortar and pestle to grind anything from herbs, spices to pepper.
The substance to be ground which may be wet or dry, but in this case, the whole cloves are dried. After sun drying the cloves, wash the mortar and pestle and use a dry kitchen towel to any water that may be left.
Make sure the mortar and pestle are completely dried before grinding to achieve the powdery form. Next, you turn the cloves into the mortar and pound with the pestle until it turns into a powdery form.
While grinding, scrap off cloves that get stuck to the pestle due to the pressure applied on the pestle. After grinding, pour out the clove in a clean dry plate and clean the mortar and pestle.
Mortar and pestle are in three forms – stone, wood or ceramic. The ceramic ones are more fragile but they work perfectly in grinding spices.
The wooden ones can get easily stained so you need to clean them properly after every use to avoid it tainting the flavor of whatever you grind next.
A stone mortar and pestle should be avoided because particles from the stone can get ground together with your spices or herbs. Personally, I use the wooden one to grind cloves because of how strong and durable it is and easy to maintain.
What can you use ground cloves for?
The Cloves can be dated back to the early 1700s where it was used as a breath freshener by the Chinese emperors of the Han Dynasty who required anyone who addressed them to chew it.
In our present time, the oil found in cloves is used in toothpastes, soaps, detergents, creams, perfumes and mouthwash. It is also a popular ingredient in alcoholic beverages and sodas.
Clove oil is commonly used in aromatherapy and for flavoring food and some medicines. The main produces of clove oil are Madagascar and Indonesia but this doesn’t stop lovers of DIY to extract it themselves because it is an easy process.
How is it done?
Get your clove and grind it into a powdery form using a mortar and pestle with a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the rest of the olive oil and pour it with the ground clove into a small jar.
Leave it for a week after which you drain out the solid and pour the oil into a clean bottle. This oil can last up to four months if it is stored in a dark jar or in a cupboard where there is no light.
Cloves can be used as a natural cleaner due to the antibacterial properties. When you get the clove oil, add some into water along with some other good smelling products for fragrance and use it to disinfect the surfaces in your homes.
This is a good natural way to clean your home and surroundings. It is effective in stopping the growth of some types of bacteria and fungi.
What are the health benefits of cloves?
Cloves have a spread of health benefits which includes:
Cloves promote better liver function
The compound eugenol found in cloves is very beneficial for the liver. It can help reduce signs of fatty liver diseases.
According to research, the antiseptic properties offer digestive health benefits for diabetes. Nigericin, another compound found in cloves help regulate blood sugar and keep it under control and promotes insulin production which further controls diabetes.
It aids in good digestion
The oil in cloves makes the gastric mucus thicker which helps to protect the stomach lining from developing ulcer.
Cloves help in treating cold, cough and bronchitis
Its oil will help soothe your respiratory tract. All you need to do is apply some clove oil on your chest and near your nose. You can also chew a small piece of clove as a relief from sore throat.
Cloves help to improve hangover symptoms in some people
This happens by taking an extract from clove which can either be taking the oil, chewing it raw or putting a bit into your water.
Clove helps in relieving of stress
To do this, gently massage your body with clove oil until you feel better.
Cloves help to fight the risk of cancer
Studies have shown that clove extract could prevent tumor growth and help cancer cell death which is attributed to the eugenol found in it.
Cloves help in fighting headache
Clove oil is used in aromatherapy to cure headaches. Aromatherapy is the usage of aromatic materials which includes essential oils and other aroma compounds like spices and herbs to improve psychological or physical wellbeing. This is attributed to the eugenol present in clove.
To achieve this, grind a few cloves using the process I explained above and put them in a clean handkerchief and inhale it. Also, you can mix the clove oil with coconut oil as a remedy for headache.
You can add two drops of clove oil to a tablespoon of coconut oil and massage over your forehead. You can add some clove oil to the ground clove and apply it to your forehead.
Cloves are highly nutritional and rich in vitamins, electrolytes, minerals and fiber. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, one teaspoon serving of cloves contains:
- 75 calories of energy
- 125 grammes of protein
- 712 grammes of fiber
- 38 grammes of carbohydrate
- 273 grammes of fat
- 207 grammes of water
- 05 grammes of sugar
- 024 grammes of glucose
Cloves are also filled with vitamins A, E, C, B, D, and K. It contains manganese that helps boost memory function, vitamin C and K boosts immunity and prevents you from blood clots.
Just as there are benefits of everything in life, there are also disadvantages. When clove is employed as a medicinal product, it is bound to produce desired and unwanted effects on the body.
Excessive intake of clove can be very dangerous. It can lead to bleeding, allergies in some people and lowering of blood sugar levels.
These side effects doesn’t cancel out the benefits of taking cloves rather it shows a need for you to be weary in the amount of clove consumed per time and also to contact your doctor before taking any drugs that has a presence of clove.