Having honey-fermented garlic on hand is a useful example of using food as medicine. Garlic is known for its immune-boosting properties, and honey is a soothing sweetener that makes it more palatable.
While eating a whole clove of garlic is an effective way to consume the health benefits of garlic, I found eating raw garlic too strong in taste and odor. That is where the idea of fermented garlic honey came to my attention.
I am pretty new to fermentation, but every attempt was successful, and I found it a great way to preserve the harvest and make it tastier and healthier.
Honey-fermented cranberries became a sensation in our family, and we kept making it every season, so why not try fermented garlic in honey?
Why ferment garlic in honey?
Fermenting garlic in honey is an excellent way to enjoy garlic’s health benefits while adding sweetness. The fermentation process breaks down the allicin in garlic, which is quite strong and pungent, making it more palatable and mellow. Additionally, the honey acts as a preservative, keeping the garlic fresh for longer. It’s also a great way to combine two traditional medicines and create a new form of food as medicine. The result is a versatile condiment used in marinades, dressings, or as a spread.
Health benefits of fermented fresh garlic and honey
Garlic is known for its antimicrobial properties and can help boost the immune system and prevent illnesses such as flu or cold. These garlic shots are an excellent way to keep a cold at bay.
I may also improve bone health and help you to live longer.
Fermenting garlic may also increase its beneficial compounds, such as allicin.
Honey is a natural antioxidant and has antibacterial properties. When fermented with garlic, the combination may have additional benefits, such as aiding in digestion and reducing inflammation.
The fermentation also increases the nutritional value of the garlic by creating new beneficial compounds and enzymes.
I suggest using raw, unpasteurized honey containing wild yeasts and beneficial bacteria that can assist fermentation.
Other types of honey will also ferment, but the process may take longer or be less successful with some types of honey. This is because some types of honey, like pasteurized honey, have removed all the natural yeasts. I use local honey from a beekeeper next-door.
You can use any garlic for fermentation. Just select fresh garlic bulbs with firm cloves and no signs of sprouting or mold.
It’s also a good idea to use organic garlic, as this will ensure that the garlic is not treated with any chemicals that could affect the fermentation process. Here are tips on how to grow garlic.
See recipe card for quantities.
How do you make fermented garlic honey?
This recipe is straightforward; all you need is just garlic and raw honey.
First step – prepare the garlic.
First, peel off the paper-like skin that covers each clove. You can do this by hand or use a special garlic peeler, which makes the process much quicker. You can also use a knife on top of each clove and press firmly enough to bruise it, enabling easier peeling and releasing a bit of juice from the garlic.
Second step – fill the jar.
Fill your sterilized mason jar with the peeled garlic, so it is 3/4 full. Pour over enough honey, so the garlic is submerged under the honey entirely. Even though the garlic tends to float, it is OK if you coat the garlic cloves with honey.
Third step – allow the fermentation process to begin.
A tiny amount of garlic juice is enough to start the fermentation process. Cover with a lid and place in a cool dark spot at room temperature.
You will need to burp daily during the first two weeks of fermentation. Place the lid on the jar loosely so the gases can escape. Turn the jar upside down every other day to keep all garlic coated with the honey. Before doing so, screw the lid firmly. Once you return it, loosen the lid again so gasses can escape during fermentation. Within a week, you will see bubbles forming on the surface of the honey. The burping will slow down over time. I used a plate underneath my jar of garlic to catch any drip-outs.
Fermentation is an ongoing process that lasts about a month. You can eat the fermented garlic during the fermentation, as the taste will develop over time.
Fourth step – Store the fermented garlic.
Once the honey has reached the desired level of fermentation, keep the honey in an airtight container sealed properly, as oxygen could spoil the garlic. Then, find a dark and cool place out of direct sunshine where you can keep your honey garlic for several months or even years.
Over time the fermentation process makes the honey runnier and darker, and the garlic cloves can shrank a bit. Still, if stored correctly, fermented garlic retains its pungent, delicious flavor and health benefits.
What Are the Fermented Garlic Honey Uses?
Use it anywhere you use honey and garlic together, such as condiment, marinade, honey mustard dressing, or glaze for meats, vegetables, and seafood. Alternatively, use it as a spread on sandwiches or a topping for crackers or toast. The infused honey can also be used in savory dishes. I love to drizzle garlic flavor over goat cheese or pizza.
Fermented garlic honey has been used traditionally as a natural remedy for colds, flu, and sore throat. It may also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help improve overall health and well-being. When I feel cold, and the flu is coming, I like to eat a spoonful of garlic-infused honey or use it to make these honey cough drops or sore throat sprays.
Is Honey Fermented Garlic Safe?
It is important to note that honey-fermented garlic is generally considered safe to consume when made and stored correctly. However, it’s important to note that consuming raw honey may pose a risk of food poisoning, particularly for infants, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems. Additionally, fermented garlic may contain high levels of histamine, which can trigger allergic reactions in some people.
I’m frequently asked whether fermented honey garlic poses a risk of botulism. The quick reply is no, it’s very unlikely that this ferment will cause botulism. While botulism can occur in garlic and oil mixtures that lack acidity, raw honey is acidic, and such an environment doesn’t support the reproduction of botulism spores. If you have concerns, use a ph test to see if the acidity of your ferment is below 4.6, then spores cannot reproduce. You can also use a splash of apple cider vinegar to keep the environment acidic, and it may also speed up the fermenting process.
Fermented honey garlic has a unique and complex flavor. The garlic retains its characteristic pungency but becomes slightly sweeter and more mellow. As a result, the honey also takes on a tangy, fermented taste. The result is a balance of sweet, tangy, and garlicky flavors.
The fermented garlic honey recipe can last several months or even years if stored properly.
To properly store the honey in an airtight container in a cool and dark place like a pantry or a refrigerator
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