Fermented Honey Garlic
I love fermented foods and consume something fermented every day- but lately I’ve been taking my obsession to a new level and actually making my own stuff. I’ve actually created a new “ferments” tab under recipes dedicated solely to fermented foods! I recently ordered a bunch of goodies to really up my home-fermentation game, and cannot wait to share new recipes with you all!
Fermented honey garlic is possibly the easiest fermented recipe of all time. I thought beetroot kvass was easy (see recipe HERE), but this 2 ingredient combo takes easy to a whole new level. You can use this delicious sticky goodness for so many things: from marinating chicken (or brushing it on chicken wings), tossing it with grilled veggies, drizzling it on a savoury toast- but my favourite way it just chomping on the garlic at the first sign of any illness. Garlic is a powerful natural anti-biotic, so incorporating into your flu-season preventative health protocol is a tasty way to keep viruses at bay. The fermentation process cuts much of the bite that raw garlic has, but you could also add in a spoonful of the delicious honey-garlic mixture (and a whole clove!) into some homemade broth.
Make sure you’re opting for really high quality, organic products. Garlic has been notoriously damaging because dodgy bulbs coming from places like China are actually being bleached (among other things). Grab some organic, local garlic at your farmer’s markets and make sure your honey is organic and raw (preferably local as well!). When honey is local you are actually ingesting micro-doses of pollen, which over time will actually decrease seasonal allergies! Nature is magic! It is necessary that the honey is raw, as it will contain the bacteria and wild yeast necessary to actually ferment your garlic.
Fermented Honey Garlic
organic garlic (I used 7 whole bulbs)
raw organic honey - enough to fully cover your garlic (I used 500 grams)
optional: 1 tsp organic cayenne pepper
Peal your garlic by gently pressing on each clove with the side of a chef’s knife (slightly crushing the garlic) and then chopping off the very bottom of the clove (when it attaches to the base of the bulb). This is the easiest way to peel garlic and also “activates” the garlic, which increases its medicinal properties.
Place your garlic in a sterilized mason jar, and submerge all the cloves in your raw honey. (If you opt to include cayenne, sprinkle it on the garlic before putting in the honey).
NOTE: You want to make sure to leave enough space at the top of your mason jar for expansion- this is very important as the ferment can expand and you don’t want an explosion on your hands.
Ensure all the garlic is well coated and submerged in honey by putting the lid on and flipping the jar a few times to make sure the honey gets in there real good.
You will need to “burp” your honey-garlic daily which allows the carbon dioxide bubbles to escape. This is an active fermentation- and these bubbles (and pressure) are the sign your fermentation is alive! So burp it daily (just open the lid to release air, and then close it again) to prevent the jar from exploding. You will continue to do this daily until the bubbling stops and the garlic naturally falls to the bottom of the jar (the honey will thin out at the fermentation process goes along).
Ideally you want to let it ferment for at least a month, but it can really be consumed at any time. The flavour will develop more as time passes (3+ months is when the stuff starts to get real good).
The flavour will continue to develop over time and your jar can be kept at room temperature (in a dark place) for years. If you want to halt the fermentation process you can also keep it in the fridge.
Make sure your mason jar is high grade glass; the fermentation process puts pressure on the glass and if it’s poor quality (many are) your jar may be a ticking time bomb (seriously).
Make sure you sterilize your jar before using it; do this by pouring boiling water on it (and the lid). This is important whenever you’re fermenting something because you don’t want bad bacteria to proliferate.. only the good stuff!
Make sure all your garlic is covered in honey. Garlic exposed to air will mould and ruin your ferment.
Some people worry about botulism, which is an unfriendly bacteria that can occur when the pH of a ferment is over 4.6. I am not personally even remotely worried about this with fermented honey garlic- but if you are, you can squash any fears by adding a tiny slash of apple cider vinegar (which will drop the pH real quick).
You can top-up the recipe by adding in honey as you consume it to continue the fermenting process.