I’ve jokingly been called “Mama Apothecary” for my love of concocting simple, natural mixtures to strengthen the immune system. Even though our ancestors had to learn about each natural remedy, many have been made since ancient times as mankind discovered what warded off infections and disease.
As simple as it is, this fermented garlic recipe combines raw honey and garlic for double the antimicrobial effect.
Individually they are Powerful
Garlic is one of the most potent and reliable herbal healers known. It is a powerful broad spectrum antibiotic. It is also antiviral, antifungal, antiparasitic and has proven itself through time. Garlic was found in the Egyptian pyramids.
Studies state that regularly eating garlic helps lower blood pressure, controls blood sugar, possibly blood cholesterol, and boosts the immune system. It has also been found to reduce the risk of esophageal, stomach, pancreatic, and colon cancer. Garlic increases the number, lifespan and strength of natural killer cells. It’s an expectorant, decreasing bronchial secretions, thus a natural asthma treatment.
Allicin – the health-giving sulfur compound – is formed when a garlic clove is chopped, crushed or chewed, but it’s only briefly present in fresh garlic after it’s been cut or crushed.
Raw Honey – is antibiotic, antiseptic, antitoxic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal. It’s rich in vitamins, minerals and enzymes to boost our immunity which is especially important when fighting an illness. It’s even used in some hospitals as a treatment for wounds. These health benefits are only specific to raw, or unpasteurized, honey.
As the garlic ferments, nutrients and beneficial compounds are released, becoming more bioavailable and potent, making fermented garlic a great home remedy for cold and flu season. There’s also added probiotics which increase vitamins and improve digestion.
It stores so well, you can make it anytime of the year to have ready for the cold and flu season.
Super Simple Fermented Garlic Honey Recipe
This process is pretty straightforward:
- Find a pint sized glass jar (you will need a tight fitting lid)
- Fill it half way with peeled garlic cloves, just slightly bruised – cover with honey and remove air spaces with spoon
- Repeat adding cloves and cover over with more honey, leaving that 1 1/2 – 2″ air space at top
- For a pint, you will need ~4-5 full, large bulbs; for a quart, ~8-9 bulbs
Fermented Garlic Tips
1. Leave a couple of inches of headspace at the top of the jar.
2. Seal the jar but not so tightly that pressure cannot escape.
3. Place the jar on a saucer because it’s going to leak honey as it ferments and bubbles – a positive sign of fermentation!
4. At first, the garlic cloves will float up to the top of the jar.
5. Give it a stir (or tighten cap and shake) every few days to coat all the cloves.
6. The honey will liquify as it starts to ferment. Eventually all the garlic sinks to bottom.
7. The actual fermentation will slow down after the first couple of weeks.
8. I recommend changing to a plastic lid at this point, because this ferment seems to commonly form rust on the lid.
Use & Storage of Fermented Garlic
At 4-6 weeks you can start taking it, 1 clove a day as a preventative or 2-3 cloves when fighting something.
Your jar will store very well for (at least) over a year out of the refrigerator. I’ve never experienced any mold forming.
When it comes to taste, fermented garlic doesn’t have the distinctive sharp flavor of raw garlic – it tastes sweeter. And it smells more like roasted garlic. We love it – even my husband, which is saying a lot!
This 6 month old batch is pretty mellow, getting more pleasant as it ages.
The syrup is wonderful in sauces, recipes and marinades, or just take a little straight from a spoon. When cooked, it loses some of its properties, but I’m not deterred! And there are other times I can add it at the end after I have turned off the heat.
The gifts given by God are the best natural medicine, and I want you to know about it if there comes a day we need to make our own. You’ll be thankful you did.