Garlic For Your Health
"Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food" - Hippocrates
Dating back thousands of years there is clear, written evidence of ancient civilizations using garlic to fight infection and ailments. It was with the appearance of modern antibiotics at the turn of the 20th century that garlic largely lost its foothold with doctors recommendations of treatment. With the over-prescription of modern antibiotics there has been a growing interest in garlic's natural antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. This makes garlic a very effective and safe preventative and cure.
Fresh garlic contains alliin. When garlic is crushed or cut an enzyme is released called alliinase, which converts alliin into allicin. Allicin is one the main components that gives garlic its deep taste and scent and produces many, many sulphur compounds. Allicin is also what gives garlic its 'anti' properties. Pure allicin only remains stable for a short time after it is freshly crushed or cut. It is said that letting crushed garlic sit for 5-10 minutes before consuming helps boost the allicin levels. It's beautiful plant science! Garlic is also chock-full of beneficial vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Some garlic varieties contain more allicin that others. Artichoke varieties tend to have the least amount of allicin and Porcelain varieties will have the highest, but not all Porcelains have equal allicin. For highest allicin content and a slam-dunk for your health look into our Romanian Red and Georgian Crystal garlic!
Important to note:
Anything more than light heat will destroy allicin. If you are using garlic for your health, it is best consumed raw. Raw garlic is great as a standalone. I (Shannon) have a very hard time eating a whole, plump clove of raw garlic on it's own. It burns all the way down the hatch! Scott, however, can eat clove after clove after clove and always reaching for more. Raw garlic is just as beneficial with honey, salsas, spreads and dressings. Allicin content is preserved in warm soups and sauces and quick, light sautees. Enjoy your garlic roasted solely for it's delicious taste!
December 2021 - Please enjoy this recipe we use for our Honey Fermented Garlic. It's liquid gold!
Choose any size jar with a lid. Prep all your garlic cloves: Peel all skins and slightly bruise the flesh with the flat side of knife or spoon to help release garlic juices
Put all your prepared cloves into your jar leaving about 1-1/2" headspace from the top. The honey bubbles up during fermentation and needs that extra room to not overflow. Fill your jar to cover the tops of your garlic cloves with local (if possible), raw honey. Leave that headspace! Raw honey is full of good bacteria and wild yeast that is required for fermentation. It's OK if your garlic cloves float.
Cover your jar loosely with its lid. Fermenting produces gasses that need to escape. Put your jar in a dark place to ferment. We put our jars in a glass dish while fermenting to keep the cabinet shelf clean. Even with adequate headspace a couple of jars will sometimes bubble up and over just a bit. Every day or two, tighten your jar lid and gently turn your jar over to mix up your cloves and honey to ensure an even coating. Remember to loosen your lid again after each turn to upright.
Within a week you should see small bubbles along the top of your honey and a thinner consistency. That's a good thing and should happen! We continue turning our jars for a few weeks until the small honey bubbles mellow out and then we call it good to go. Fermentation is complete in about a month. Enjoy!
We do not refrigerate our honey garlic. Honey garlic can be eaten any time during the fermentation period. The longer your garlic cloves rest in the honey the sweeter and milder in flavor it becomes. You can keep adding garlic cloves to your honey to replenish what's used. Feel free to eat just the honey alone if you wish! Honey garlic is delicious over toast, a wedge of brie or as a glaze over meats. We used our Spanish Roja variety in our last batch of jars. There was still a significant and hot bite in flavor after 3 months!
Important to note:
Botulism is always a concern in improperly canned food items. We use many different resources online and in our books to make a determination on food safety for ourselves before we consume. We highly recommend you do the same to keep yourself safe from food toxins. Don't just take our word for it! Because of its high acidity raw honey generally does not pose a threat for Botulism to reproduce and the reason why this recipe doesn't to be refrigerated, but you may do so if you wish! If you are worried about low acidity you can add a splash of raw apple cider vinegar to your jar or test with a pH strip. Do not allow babies to consume honey. Garlic in oil infusions must be refrigerated.
Fermented Honey Garlic (our organic Spanish Roja and Raw Oregon Honey) November 2021