Food is the original medicine, drugs are the new kids on the block!
Garlic is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world. Its usage predates written history! Sanskrit records document the use of garlic remedies approximately 5000 years ago, while the Chinese have been using it for at least 3000 years.
Hippocrates and Aristotle cited numerous therapeutic uses for garlic.
Its multifaceted in its healing power. It's antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal & anti parasitic. It can clear heavy metals from the colon, fights infection due to colds, flu, strep throat, pneumonia and viral related cancers. It can lower blood pressure, protect the heart and lower cholesterol. Not bad for a lowly garlic clove!!
Many of the therapeutic effects of garlic are thought to be due to the many sulphur containing compounds it contains. It is also an excellent source of Vit B6, manganese, selenium, phosphorous, calcium, potassium and iron.
There are 27 known active ingredients in garlic and dozens more that work in ways we haven't discovered yet! Many of these compounds work synergistically in the body to fight infection.
Many serious bugs, among them MRSA and staphylococcal strains of bacteria, have developed resistance to most antibiotic drugs, but not to the awesome power of garlic, due to the chemical complexity which these superbugs can't fight!
The other interesting thing about garlic is it only kills bad bacteria and leaves all the good guys unaffected, whereas antibiotics wipe out most of the good ones as well as the bad ones, leaving your immune system compromised and your gut microbes decimated!
Not good on any level for your health!
FERMENT GARLICS AND BOOST ITS POWER
Now bearing in mind all the benefits I have just told you about, you can take garlic and boost its power by a large degree by simply fermenting it in a salt brine for a few weeks and then keeping it in the fridge, to use whenever you like!
I add it to all my dips and dressings for a real flavour and health boost! It's definitely best used raw to preserve all the probiotic bacteria but you add it to any recipe requiring garlic at the end.
This simple process increases the vitamins, makes them more bioavailable and adds lots of beneficial lactic acid bacteria (the good guys!) So this is indeed a win-win situation!
Additionally the strong flavour mellows out during the fermentation process and magically doesn't linger on your breath!
The only drawback to making fermented garlic is the number of cloves you have to peel first! However, in my positive world, I see this as some time out, sitting comfortably, listening to some nice music and usually with a nice glass of wine or a lovely coffee, depending on the time of day!!
If you really don't have the time to sit and peel a massive pile of garlic, you can try putting your separated cloves into a big pot, putting the lid on and giving it a good shake! Apparently it works but I haven't tried it myself!
Also if possible, buy organic garlic! Best to start with the best quality ingredients you can find!
So all you need is a clean glass jar, enough garlic cloves to fill it, some salt water and a few black peppercorns (optional) and some patience! Bearing in mind it takes at least 2 weeks but preferably nearer 4 to ferment, then it's really worth making a lot. It will keep up to a year in the fridge!
STEP BY STEP
1- Find yourself a decent sized glass jar and give it a good wash in hot soapy water then rinse it well to remove any traces of soap.
2- Peel loads of garlic, enough to almost fill your jar.
3- Add the peeled garlic cloves to your jar, add some peppercorns if you like
4- Make up a 2% brine solution using a good quality sea salt without any additives or anti caking agents! This is simply 20g of sea salt dissolved in a litre of water. It depends on the size of your jar how much brine you will need. If you are using a smallish jar then just make up 500 mls brine with 10 g sea salt.
5- Pour the brine over the garlic cloves and make sure they are totally covered. Leave at least 2.5cm of headspace at the top of your jar. It's a good idea to add a weight of some sort to keep the garlic submerged. A small ziplock bag filled with extra brine works well or a large cabbage leaf or a small glass gu pot.
6- Put your jar out of direct sunlight but at room temperature for at least 2 weeks. I left mine for six weeks. You should see small bubbles of carbon dioxide which is a sign that the fermentation is proceeding normally and the brine will turn cloudy.
7- Once fermented you can store it in the fridge where it will keep happily for up to a year! Alternatively just leave it at room temperature to keep slowly fermenting. My latest batch has been fermenting for 6 months. Just make sure all the garlic cloves are submerged in the brine. You can top it up if it gets a bit low.
Occasionally some of the garlic cloves turn blue, which is just due to the sulphur compounds and nothing to worry about!!
1/24/2018 07:40:04 pm
Thank you Janice - that sounds like a useful way of storing garlic too (and avoiding waste).
1/25/2018 08:18:47 am
Hi Sue, yes downing a jar of #kimchi in a week could well be the reason for your upset tum! Various things to try! Fresh ginger tea, just a few slices of fresh ginger steeped in boiling water for 10 mins or cup of warm water with a tablespoon of organic Apple cider vinegar and a spoonful honey or chamomile tea is very soothing! Hope you feel better soon!
2/7/2018 06:14:26 pm
Thanks Janice! I have acquired a dehydrator and some kale 'chips' are on the go and I'm going to try my hand at beet too. Have a pile of garlic to peel and ferment - thank you for your terrific, inspiring blog!
2/9/2018 10:52:59 am
Hi Sue, I am having so much fun with my dehydrator! So pleased to hear you have one! I haven't tried kale crisps yet but I made the most delicious smoky spicy coconut chips! I have also been dehydrating lots of fruit, makes a fab snack!
1/24/2018 09:53:45 pm
How do you know when fermentation is complete & it's ready for the fridge.?
1/25/2018 08:11:54 am
Hi Laura, the longer you leave it the better it is but you will have a decent amount of #probiotics by the 2 week stage!
1/26/2018 01:03:17 pm
Thanks Janice. Going to try that, I love garlic
1/26/2018 07:21:32 pm
Shaking garlic in a metal pot and lid totally works!
2/9/2018 10:55:32 am
Hi Tracy, great to hear that! I'll definitely try it the next time I need to peel tons of garlic!!
2/9/2018 10:54:29 am
Hi Brenda, hope you got around to fermenting some garlic, its really handy to have in the fridge and the health benefits are enhanced too!
Mary Lou Stirling Knight
2/3/2018 03:29:45 pm
I’ve got my garlic all peeled and ready to go. 2 questions, do I boil the water to dissolve the salt then let it cool? While it’s in the fermentation stage does the jars have lids on them?
2/9/2018 10:58:22 am
Hi Mary Lou, so sorry I have just noticed this comment! You just need to dissolve the salt in some warm water first then top it up with cold water and you need to keep a lid on your fermenting garlic! It would smell really strongly if you didn't and you want to keep air out! Hope it works out well!
6/4/2020 11:06:16 pm
Hi! My garlic has been fermenting for 2 weeks and smells amazing! I want to keep it going for a few more weeks, but want to open it up to try a piece. Do you recommend that or not? Also, do you know why the brine turns cloudy? Thanks for your help! And your article is informative and beautifully written!
7/12/2020 04:01:42 pm
Firstly thank you again for your great website and insta posts. My go-too for fermenting.
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🍃 Health educator🍃