Garlic and honey? it's what fermentation dreams are made of! Fermented Garlic Honey is one of my first honey ferment projects. It's three pantry ingredients that really I've never been a fan of the cold but this delicious garlic honey. I'm excited to share this recipe for honey fermented garlic and what you can do with it!
This is a great project to try if you want to get into fermenting that not only allows you to enjoy the benefits of garlic fermented in honey but to preserves garlic and keeps it from spoiling.
While this wasn't the first project around fermentation (hello, kombucha), it's the one that's stuck with me over the years. The result is delicious infused honey and garlic cloves that eventually lose the raw bite.
Fermented honey garlic is an excellent addition to anyone's pantry. it's a simple recipe that's easy to make and can be used as a spread, sweetener, a tasty glaze and so much more.
People were fermenting their foods for thousands of years. Celery and cabbage became sauerkraut and kimchi, and fish was fermented to make fish sauce. Fermenting is a great way to preserve extra food, keep them from spoiling, and extend the harvest. Fermenting garlic in honey is an ancient preservation method. It is also a way to make the garlic taste better.
Fermenting Garlic in Honey
This is a honey ferment that combines whole garlic cloves and raw local honey. Some call it "honey infused garlic" or "garlic-infused honey" This fermentation process is one of the oldest in the world.
During this process, many of the harmful properties of garlic are taken away from sugars and acids in honey while making it more beneficial as natural medicine. It's also great in marinades and salad dressings and topping drool-worthy pizza recipes.
- Glass jars: An ideal fermentation container is one that is lightweight and has a wide opening. Glass mason jars have been used for decades. As long as it does not have a narrow opening and a tight seal, any container and a lid will work.
- Screw Top Lid: It's important to get a screw or flip-top lid that fits your container. are good to use as they help keep the mixture submerged and are easy to get in most stores.
- Raw Garlic Cloves: Fresh garlic is a powerful, healthy ingredient that adds flavor and healing properties to many dishes. It's important that the cloves are removed from the head and peeled. If you are interested in learning how easy it is to plant garlic at home, check out this post.
- Raw Honey: I found mine in the bulk food area of my local grocery store. Using unpasteurized honey is important as it allows the fermenting process to take place. My favorite type of raw is dark forest fruits honey (check out how it's harvested!) but whatever you find should work. Check to see if you have a local beekeeper that is selling at a farmer's market.
- Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (optional): add a splash of vinegar to help balance the ph level helping tame the wild yeast. While the vinegar is not required, I add it to be on the safe side, plus I have a LOT of vinegar.
Why ferment your garlic in honey?
Fermented garlic changes in flavor thanks to the chemical called Allicin. Allicin is the stuff that makes raw garlic so potent as an antibiotic. Allicin is heat-sensitive, and you lose most of it if you cook your garlic.
There are lots of uses for both honey and fermented garlic. You can add garlic to salads, roast it alongside your meats, or even add it to your smoothies for an extra punch of flavor. Some folks (including myself) will eat a clove from the jar if their immune system needs a bit of support. I also top my pizza with it or mix it into a glaze. Food is medicine FTW!
- Take a spoonful of honey and garlic or a whole cloves
- Honey garlic would make a tasty glaze for meat and veggies.
- Immune booster or cold/flu coming on
Notes and Tips
- The honey becomes runny, similar to syrup
- Don't fret if your garlic changes color. blue or green garlic cloves are still safe to eat
- Allicin is an enzyme in garlic that gives the plant its pungent scent.
- When checking on the mixture, make sure to tighten the lid and turn the jar upside down to make sure that the honey covers all of the garlic cloves
How does this work?
The interaction between allicin and honey is especially interesting.
A member of the onion family, the active ingredient in garlic is a chemical called allicin which gives garlic its characteristic taste and smell. You can eat allicin by itself; it's not half bad, though strong enough to clear out a room.
It's also present in raw garlic, but the heat of cooking destroys it before your body can absorb it. The allicin breaks down during fermentation, but it still gives you a lot of health benefits. Fermented garlic also has less odor than raw garlic.
The first thing to understand about allicin is that it's not an ingredient like sugar in cake; it's a catalyst, like yeast. When you cut up an onion or crush some garlic, you're releasing enzymes that cause allicin to be transformed into allicin.
The allicin itself then starts transforming other things, breaking down fats and proteins into smaller components that interact with each other and with other flavors in ways we're just beginning to understand. (I think this helps explain why fermenting garlic in honey also changes its flavor.)
How to make fermented honey garlic
It's a good idea o clean your empty jars before you get started.
Place the peeled garlic cloves in a glass jar. Pour honey over the garlic to cover it completely.
Cover with lid and place in a cool dark spot at room temperature.
For the first week, check it daily, opening the top and "burp the jar" to release any gasses that may have built up. You're on the right track if you see tiny bubbles on the surface of the honey. Make sure to turn over the jar upside jar.
Add a small splash of raw to balance the ph mixture after your first week. I use it, but as long as it's raw ACV, you're good to go.
Let the mixture sit for about two weeks before consuming. The honey will take on a mild garlicky flavor. You may need to stir it at least once during this period.
Fermentation is the process whereby sugars are converted into lactic acid and other compounds. These have preservative properties, so fermented food can last longer than non-fermented food.
You don't need to worry about Botulism in the method of infusing honey that I describe below Fermentation results in lactic acid, which makes this fermentation safe. This mixture will continue to ferment for a long period but not forever.
The honey is sweet with a touch of garlic, while the bulbs lost their raw edge and mellows out. The texture is chewy.
Fermented garlic honey should last for several years if stored in a cool, dark place.
- 30 cloves of garlic
- 1 cup raw honey
Fermenting garlic in honey produces a delicious condiment that adds great flavor to salads, sandwiches, meat dishes, and more.
- Place the peeled garlic cloves in a glass jar.
- Pour enough honey over the garlic to cover it completely.
- Cover with lid and place in a cool dark spot; for the first week,
- Check it daily, opening the top and "burp the jar" to release any gasses that may have built up.
- Add a small splash of raw apple cider vinegar to balance the ph mixture.
- Let the mixture sit for about two weeks before consuming. The garlic cloves may still taste raw after two weeks. If so, let it go longer. Over time the raw garlic flavor mellows out and the honey takes on a savory but sweet garlic flavor
Raw honey has natural yeasts and does not spoil.
This mixture becomes runnier and looser as fermentation occurs
Don't fret if your garlic changes color. blue or green garlic cloves are still safe to eat
Allicin is an enzyme in garlic that gives the plant its pungent scent.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 75Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 12mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 17gProtein: 0g