If you mix raw honey and garlic together and leave it at room temp for a bit, it’ll ferment, turning it into and absolutely brilliant source of vitamins and good bacteria. This makes both the honey AND the garlic excellent foods to eat in Autumn & Winter to help boost your gut health and immune system.
Here’s some info on the health benefits of honey, and here are some details on how garlic can help boost health and immunity. It’s easy to see how potent fermented garlic honey can be when you combine the health benefits of each!
Raw honey is honey that hasn’t been heat treated. Most commercial honey is pasteurized by heating to 70 degrees Celsius to make it “safe” for general consumption, however this heating process lessens the beneficial elements of the honey, and unless you’re under the age of 1, the process is unnecessary.
You can find raw honey in many more places these days, so keep an eye out for it in health food stores, farmer’s markets, and from local beekeepers.
Fermented Garlic Honey
- Trim the woody ends off individual garlic cloves and put them in a clean jar to ¾ fill it. Peel them, or don’t. It’s up to you.*
- If peeling, lightly bruising with the back of a spoon is a quick way to loosen the skin.
- Cover with raw honey
- Mix thoroughly to remove air pockets.
- Leave uncovered on the bench for a few days. Mix it up daily.
- When the garlic cloves stop rising above the surface every day**, seal it and pop in a cool dark place.
This will keep for months and months if sealed properly.
* If using homegrown or farmgate garlic, just make sure to remove any skin that had contact with soil. You don’t want soil bacteria growing in this mix. Peeling makes it easier to use the garlic once it’s fermented.
** During fermentation, the thick honey turns very runny, as it’s drawing the liquid out of the garlic. This is normal.
But how do you use it?
The easiest method of getting all the good bacteria and vitamins into your system is to simply eat a teaspoon every day. It tastes far less garlicky than you might think, so don’t be put off.
Use it raw
Given you’ve spent time boosting the growth of beneficial bacteria in this mixture, it’s silly to kill them all off by heating it, so if you’re after the health benefits, use it raw.
- You can eat the garlic cloves whole. Over time they become almost caramelized and are sticky, sweet and delicious.
- Add a teaspoon of the honey to apple cider vinegar and some oil for a salad dressing.
- Make a finishing sauce to pour over honey-soy chicken, tofu or mushrooms. Mix with soy sauce, sesame oil, some sesame seeds and a bit of crushed ginger. You can also chop up a few of the garlic cloves to mix through it.
- Add to dumpling dipping sauces.
Use it hot
If you’re not fussed about the health benefits, or if you’ve made a mega batch of fermented garlic honey and you have plenty to spare, adding it to cooked/hot meals is great too, as the flavor is incredible.
- Add the fermented garlic honey to glazes, sauces and marinades (honey mustard, honey soy garlic, honey soy ginger, sweet plum marinade, teriyaki, sweet & sour etc)
- Chop the garlic cloves and add to stirfies
- Mix honey with oil, Chinese 5-spice, salt & pepper and toss chopped carrots, pumpkin or parsnips in it before roasting
- Add a teaspoon of honey to hot water, lemon & ginger for a soothing drink when you have a sore throat
With all these uses, you’ll probably be surprised by how quickly you’ll go through your first batch, so do yourself a favour and make more than you originally intended. You won’t be sorry you did!