This is one of my favorite recipes for immune support! I always have some on hand and take it daily to keep myself from catching bugs as they move through our home and community. With this, your food is your medicine. Delicious drizzled over salads, chopped and added to sauces, soups and stir-frys.
Recently, my husband had a horrid stomach bug that had him spend an entire day in bed, something I've rarely seen him do. When he first came down with it I immediately started eating a clove of this garlic with each meal and I never got sick!
The finished product is oddly delicious! It is essentially a candied garlic, sweet and savory. I often have mine as an after dinner sweet treat that also serves as my daily immune boosting tonic. You have to be okay with a little garlic breath but the fermentation process mellows the heat of the garlic making it more gentle on your stomach and in your mouth.
What you'll need:
- Fresh Garlic Cloves (organic is always best where possible)
- Raw Unfiltered Clover Honey (I'll talk about which honeys I recommend bellow)
- A glass jar and lid (whatever size fits the batch you wish to make)
1. Peel the garlic cloves removing the paper covering. I like to do this all at once before I move on to the next step
2. Slice or leave whole? This is up to you. I have done it both ways. Here are some notes from my experience with both methods.
Whole Cloves: I always cut the flat end (where the roots grow) of the garlic to open the clove a bit for the honey to work more of it magic. Fermenting the whole cloves take longer, sometimes a 2-3 weeks for the clove to ferment to the core. You need to be more patient with this method but when it's done you have delicious chunks of honey'd garlic to pop into your mouth or add to a meal.
Sliced Cloves: Thinly sliced or thick slices, whatever you like. The thicker the slices, the longer it takes for the garlic to ferment and the pieces to loose their intense garlic heat. Overall, thinly sliced is my preferred method mainly because I'm impatient to start eating the honey'd garlic. If you plan ahead and start your batches well in advance it doesn't matter if they are whole, they will be ready when you need them. Thinly sliced can take 7-10 days.
3. Fill your jar with garlic, sliced or whole, to the top (or near the top). The garlic will float to the top of your jar but that's okay, you'll be giving it a shake every day covering it with honey again and mixing the ingredients.
4. Fill your jar with honey, covering the garlic. My favorite honey to use for this is our Virgin Clover Honey because it is the most intact honey! Never heated above 95 degrees and never filtered, this honey maintains all the beneficial bacteria, enzymes, pollen, propolis and minerals of in-tact honey. Our liquified Raw Unfiltered Clover Honey is also a great option. If you want to add a little more flavor or beneficial ingredients, I have also used our Ginger Infused Raw Honey and our Turmeric Ginger Infused Raw Honey, both of which I liked the flavor of.
If I'm using a firm honey, I add it in stages, putting a mound on top and giving it 5 or 10 minutes as it runs down to the bottom of the jar. This will happen quickly as the honey immediately begins pulling the moisture from the garlic making it more liquid.
Note: Leave at least a half inch of space at the top of the jar for the fermentation bubbles.
5. Put a lid on it and set it on the counter at room temperature to be watched and "burped" daily. The magical fermentation process will begin right away! You either leave the lid cracked so the fermentation gasses can escape on their own, which means you may smell the garlic in your house, or, screw the lid all the way on and remember to burp it each day. Don't forget to do this or your jar could eventually burst under the pressure.
It will actually bubble! When you open the jar you will see many bubbles, like champaign, rising to the top. This is great! It means the beneficial bacteria are doing their thing, working their magic, and creating your health tonic.
6. Shake it up daily! Just as you want to burp it once a day (if you have tightened the lid) you also want to shake it at least once a day. Not vigorously, but turn it upside down and right side up a few times at least once per day. You will notice the honey becomes very liquid, this is because honey is Hygroscopic with means it pulls moisture from its surrounding and that is what fosters the beneficial bacterias fermentation process. In this case, the honey is pulling the juices out of the garlic which makes it more watery. Also, if you've used one of our creamy honeys, some crystals will settle at the bottom until it is all mixed in well, so shaking it each day mixes the garlic and honey about and helps the process happen.
7. When the bubbles stop. After a week or so the bubbles will subside when you burp it. This means the fermentation process is less active but still happening so keep it on the counter.
8. How do you know when it's ready? Taste it along the way to see how the flavors change and deepen. Sip on the honey, take a piece of the garlic and give it a taste. When it is done is really up to your taste buds. I like to keep it on the counter (so the fermentation can continue) until the garlic is a soft, golden brown all the way through. This is when the garlic has mellowed, it won't burn in my stomach when I eat a chunk and its fully "candied" so to speak.
9. Refrigerate or Not? When I'm satisfied with the level fermentation and flavor it can go into the fridge. Refrigeration stops or greatly slows the fermentation process. I tend to leave it on my counter for weeks after the time that it is soft and golden brown all the way through. The honey is still pretty stable, even with the garlic juices, and Im not very worried about it going bad. It also doesn't last long in my house before I start a new batch so the timing usually works out fine. However, if you aren't really confident with fermentation or don't expect to use it quickly and check on it regularly, go ahead and pop it in the fridge. It will last for months in the refrigerator.
Favorite Ways to Enjoy this Dish:
Food is the best medicine!
- As a preventative. I like to eat some garlic pieces and/or take a spoonful of the honey daily as a preventative for getting sick. I'll also eat more of it when people around me are sick to help my body fight off any bugs looking to nest in my system.
- As a sweet and savory treat. I like the taste I'll just munch on it and it satisfies my sweet cravings... I may be unusual in this way, let me know if you experience the same sweet craving satisfaction from these.
- Drizzle the honey over salad as a dressing.
- Add the garlic pieces and honey to dipping sauces, soups, stir fry's, some mixed drinks even, maybe a bloody mary if that's you jam.
- The kitchen is your playground to tailor to your pallet!
If you like this recipe I also recommend you checkout our recipe for Honey Fermented Lemon, Ginger & Turmeric Elixir.
Enjoy and tell us what you think. I love to hear peoples experiences with these recipes and when using our products. Tag us on social media with your creations and I'll send you a 10% off coupon code to say thank you!