Fermented garlic honey is a wonderful concoction that combines the medicinal properties of garlic and raw honey. Garlic honey is an immune-boosting powerhouse that you will definitely want to have on hand during cold and flu season! In this post, I’ll tell you all about fermented garlic honey, including the ingredients, the fermentation process, health benefits, and a simple recipe for you to try at home.
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Benefits of Raw Honey
Raw honey is honey that has not been heat treated or pasteurized. This process can destroy the natural enzymes, vitamins and minerals in honey. Filtering and processing raw honey may also eliminate many of the beneficial phytonutrients, including pollen and enzyme-rich propolis.
Raw honey by itself is a wonderful real food that everyone should consider adding to their diet. Here are just a few of the benefits of raw honey:
- Nutrient-Rich: Raw honey contains a variety of essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- Natural Sweetener: It’s a healthier alternative to refined sugar and can be used as a natural sweetener in various recipes and beverages. We use raw honey daily!
- Antioxidant Properties: Raw honey is rich in antioxidants that help combat free radicals and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
- Wound Healing: It has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties, making it effective for wound healing and skin care.
- Cough and Sore Throat Relief: Consuming raw honey can help soothe coughs and alleviate sore throats due to its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. Raw honey is a natural and effective cough suppressant, especially when mixed with other ingredients like lemon or ginger.
- Skin Health: When used in skincare products or applied topically, raw honey can promote healthy and radiant skin.
Health Benefits of Garlic
I love adding garlic to my recipes. I’m notorious for adding a lot more garlic than the recipe calls for because.. you can never have too much garlic right!? Besides being great to cook with, garlic is an incredible tool for our health. In fact, one study showed that eating garlic regularly has been linked with reducing or even helping to prevent four of the major causes of death worldwide, including heart disease, stroke, cancer and infections (source). I’m sold.
Here are just a few of the health benefits of raw garlic:
- Immune System Support: Raw garlic is known for its immune-boosting properties, thanks to its high levels of allicin, a compound with antibacterial and antiviral effects.
- Heart Health: Garlic may help lower high blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease by improving cholesterol levels and reducing plaque buildup in the arteries.
- Antioxidant Properties: Garlic is rich in antioxidants that help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
- Anti-Inflammatory: It has natural anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation in the body and alleviate symptoms of various conditions.
- Cancer Prevention: Some studies suggest that regular consumption of garlic may lower the risk of certain types of cancer, particularly in the digestive system.
- Antibacterial and Antifungal: Garlic is a natural antibacterial and antifungal agent, which can be beneficial for skin and wound care.
- Improved Digestion: It can promote healthy digestion and may help alleviate gastrointestinal issues, such as bloating and gas.
- Detoxification: Garlic supports the body’s natural detoxification processes, helping to eliminate harmful toxins and heavy metals. Sulfur compounds in garlic may enhance liver function and support the body’s detoxification mechanisms.
The Fermentation Process
Fermented garlic honey is a result of the fermentation process where natural yeasts present on the surface of the garlic and in the honey interact to create a flavorful, immune-boosting mixture. The fermenting process is relatively simple and involves exposing garlic to the enzymes in honey, which produces tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide. The fermentation process makes this mixture so good for you because of the probiotic encironment. This environment makes the nutritional and medicinal benefits even more potent and helps your body to absorb them easier.
Is Fermented Garlic Good for You?
YES! It’s wonderful as food or as medicine. You could add it to recipes, or take a spoonful when you feel a cold coming on.
Ingredients for Fermented Garlic Honey
To create fermented garlic honey, you’ll need a few simple ingredients. The proportions don’t really matter as long as you have enough honey to cover the garlic.
- Fresh whole garlic cloves – choose organic for the best quality.
- Pure raw honey – The honey needs to be raw and unpasteurized honey to preserve its natural properties. The bacteria and wild yeast found in raw honey is an important part of the fermentation process. If you can find it, raw local honey is the best.
- A splash of raw apple cider vinegar.
- A dash of lemon juice.
- A hint of chili pepper (optional for some spice)
Other Supplies You Will Need
This is such a simple recipe, you need hardly anything!
- Glass mason jar (size depends on how much you want to make). I usually make mine in a pint jar.
How to Make Fermented Garlic Honey: A Simple Recipe
Here’s a step-by-step guide to making your own batch of fermented garlic honey to have on hand for cold and flu season:
1.Peel your garlic cloves. You will want to slightly “bruise” the cloves to better activate the allicin and release some of the garlic “juice” for fermentation. Cut any cloves that are exceptionally large if you want.
2. Place the garlic cloves in the clean glass jar.
3. Pour honey over the garlic until it’s completely covered, leaving some space at the top of the jar. Some of the garlic may float to the top, and that’s okay.
4. Place a lid on the jar, and flip it upside a few times to and make sure the honey has completely covered all the garlic cloves.
5. Loosen the lid, and store it in a cool, dark place at room temperature. You want to keep the lid loose so that air can escape during the fermentation process.
6. Flip the jar upside down once a day (tighten the lid first!) to make sure the garlic is submerged and encourage the fermentation process.
7. Allow the honey garlic to ferment about 4-6 weeks for optimal medicinal properties. You can eat the garlic honey at any point during this time though!
Note: If any of the garlic turns a blue/green color don’t fret. It’s a result of the fermentation and it’s still safe to eat.
Fermented Garlic Honey
- 1 Glass mason jar Any size will work, I use a pint jar
- 1 knife
- 1 Cutting board optional
- 3 Bulbs Garlic
- 1 1/2 Cup Raw Honey More or less, depending on how much garlic you use. You will need enough to cover the garlic.
- Peel your garlic cloves. You will want to slightly "bruise" the cloves to better activate the allicin and release some of the garlic "juice" for fermentation. Cut any cloves that are exceptionally large if you want.
- Place the garlic cloves in a clean glass jar.
- Pour honey over the garlic until it's completely covered, leaving some space at the top of the jar. Some of the garlic may float to the top, and that's okay.
- Place a lid on the jar, and flip it upside down a couple of times to make sure that the honey has completely covered the garlic cloves.
- Loosen the lid, and store it in a cool, dark place at room temperature. You want to keep the lid loose so that air can escape during the fermentation process.
- Flip the jar upside down once a day (tighten the lid first!) to make sure the garlic is submerged and encourage the fermentation process.
- Allow the honey garlic to ferment about 4-6 weeks for optimal medicinal properties. You can eat the garlic honey at any point during this time though!
How Long Does Fermented Honey Garlic Last?
When stored correctly, fermented honey garlic will last a really long time. I’ve read of people who have 2 year old honey garlic on their shelf that is still good! The longer it ferments, the more potent it will be. Typically, your honey garlic should last a year or more when stored in a cool, dark place.
What about botulism?
Botulism is a rare but serious illness caused by a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Botulism spores are sometimes found in honey and garlic. Before you freak out though, you don’t need to be concerned about botulism in your fermented garlic honey! The environment is too acidic due to the fermentation process, and risk of botulism is incredibly low. If you are still nervous about your fermented garlic honey, you can use pH strips a pH strip to test the environment. Botulism cannot grow and thrive in an environment with a pH level of 4.6 or lower. If the pH is too high for your comfort level, you can add a dash of apple cider vinegar to create an even more uninviting environment for toxins.
Other Ways to Use Honey Garlic
This mixture has such a good flavor, it would be delicious to use in a variety of ways in the kitchen! Try it in your next salad dressing or marinade. It adds a unique depth of flavor to dishes like spicy fried chicken and can even be drizzled over roasted vegetables.
Have you tried fermented garlic honey? What is your favorite way to use it? I’d love to hear in the comments.