Cloves are low in calories but a rich source of manganese. They’re otherwise an insignificant source of nutrients.
Cloves are high in antioxidants, including eugenol, which can help reduce oxidative stress.
Test-tube studies show that the compounds in cloves may reduce cancer cell growth and promote cancer cell death. More research is needed to confirm these effects in humans.
Studies show that cloves may promote oral health, thanks to their antimicrobial properties, which may help kill harmful bacteria.
Some studies show that cloves and the compounds they contain may help reduce oxidative stress and protect the liver.
Test-tube and animal studies have shown that the compounds in cloves may help promote insulin production and lower blood sugar.
Animal studies show that clove extract and manganese may help increase bone mineral density. More research is needed to confirm these effects.
Some animal studies show that clove extract and clove oil may increase the production of gastric mucus and help protect against stomach ulcers. More research in humans is needed.
How to grow this plant at home?
The clove tree is most often grown from seed. Plant clove seeds in well drained and fertile loam and water, then feed them regularly. The soil you should use for planting clove should be similar to what you would use for orchids. Take care to place your seedlings in an area where they will be shaded by larger plants for the first couple of years of their tender young lives.
Purchase clove seeds from a reputable source, and wet the soil before planting. Make sure the seeds you purchase are pollinated (which is why simply planting a few buds from the bottle in your spice rack won’t do). Keep the soil where clove is growing wet but not waterlogged.
Place clove seeds directly on the surface of the ground. The seeds do not need to be buried under the soil to put down roots and start adjusting to their new homes. After just a bit of time has passed, you’ll see the clove tree seedlings start sprouting up like crazy. Transfer your clove seedlings into a larger pot when they have reached one inch in height.
Make sure to water your clove plants regularly, especially during periods of drought or excessive heat for your region. Clove trees prefer to grow in a rich soil that has good drainage, is loamy, and is chock-full of organic matter.
More than anything, gardeners who are considering adding clove to their gardens should be aware that clove tree cultivation is a long term project that involves its share of long term work—but it also comes along with long term rewards. Do not expect to get any usable buds from your clove tree until the branches have started producing a full array of flower clusters, which will take at least six years before the first possible harvest, starting from the time you planted the seeds.
A delicate balance must be achieved when it comes to watering your clove trees. Light watering and frequent misting are recommended treatment options to replicate the humidity of the clove plant’s native tropical conditions if your environment doesn’t quite match up.
- Cinnamon-Clove Ice Cream
2 cups whole milk
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup sugar
6 whole cinnamon sticks
16 whole cloves, slightly crushed
8 large egg yolks
Combine milk, cream, 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon and cloves in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Cover; steep 1 hour.
Whisk yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in bowl until well blended. Bring milk mixture to simmer. Gradually whisk hot milk mixture into yolk mixture; return to same pan. Stir over medium-low heat until custard thickens and leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across (do not boil). Strain into another medium bowl; chill uncovered until cold, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours.
Process chilled custard in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer ice cream to container; cover and freeze. (Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Keep frozen.)
- Clove Snaps
6-3/4 oz. (1-1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. table salt
4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, completely softened at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. packed finely grated orange zest
In a bowl, sift together the flour, cloves, cinnamon, pepper, and salt. In an electric mixer, cream the butter (use the paddle attachment) at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and blend just until combined, scraping the bowl well. Add the egg and orange zest and mix until well blended, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the sifted dry ingredients all at once and mix on low speed just until the flour is absorbed and the dough starts to come together, about 30 seconds. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead just until the dough forms a smooth mass. Flatten into a disk that’s about 1/2 inch thick. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
Heat the oven to 375ºF. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough 1/8 inch thick, making sure that it isn’t sticking to the surface and that it rolls out evenly, lightly sprinkling flour under the dough if needed. With a 2-inch round (or similar size) cookie cutter, stamp out shapes. Reroll the scraps and stamp out more. Set the cookies 1/2 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are golden around the edges and on the bottoms, about 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheets as needed for even baking. Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheets on racks. Store in airtight containers.
- Apple Pie with Cloves
14 oz All-Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
7oz (1 3/4 stick) Unsalted Butter, cold
14 Teaspoons Ice Cold Water
2 lb Cooking Apples (I prefer Granny Smith/ Bramley Apples)
2 Teaspoons lemon juice
75 Grams (scant 1/2 cup) Brown Sugar
75 Grams (scant 1/2 cup) Granulated Sugar
2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
1/2Teaspoon Ground Cloves
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
1 Large Egg
Splash of milk
- Sift flour and salt together. Add cubed cold butter. Use a pastry blender, your hands or two knives to cut the butter into the flour. This will take some time.
- Once the mixture resembles crumbs add your COLD water. I add it in a little bit at a time. Mix with a round edge knife until the mixture begins to clump together then form into a ball. Wrap lightly in parchment paper and set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. (If chilling overnight let dough sit at room temp for 30 minutes before rolling out)
- Cut 2/3 of the dough off the ball and roll out on a floured surface. Use a floured rolling pin and roll the dough evenly to about a 1/8 of an inch. Place in pie dish.
- Preheat oven to 425F
- Peel and cut your apples into medium-sized slices, just under a 1/2 inch thick. Splash some lemon juice on top of the apples to prevent them from turning brown.
- In a medium-sized bowl combine sugar, flour, cloves, nutmeg, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Set aside.
- Place half of your apples inside the pie and sprinkle half of the sugar mixture on top. Place remaining apples on top and the rest of the sugar mixture.
- Roll out remaining 1/3 of dough for the top of the pie. Make sure to cut some sort of design or just a hole in the dough so the pie has room to breathe.
- Seal the top and bottom pie crust with whatever design you like.
- In a cup mix together an egg, splash or two of milk and a tablespoon of sugar. Using a pastry brush cover the pie crust with it.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the pie is golden brown and the apple filling is bubbling. You can use an instant-read thermometer to check that the juices have cooked properly, the pie filling should be 175F internally.