Honey fermented garlic is so easy to make, it’s perfect for first-time fermenters. The hardest part is peeling a jarful of garlic!
Why make honey fermented garlic?
Not convinced that you want to make honey fermented garlic? Here are a few reasons to try this simple and delicious concoction:
- Immune Boosting: Lots of people eat raw garlic to boost their immune system. Fermented garlic adds a dose of probiotics. However, the garlic only mellows slightly with fermenting, so if raw garlic isn’t your thing, then take a spoonful of the garlic infused honey instead. It’s not nearly as sweet as you would expect!
- Food Preservation: Fermenting garlic in honey is a great way to preserve your harvest. Honey prevents the garlic from getting moldy or drying out. And the garlic can be fished out of the honey whenever you want to cook with it.
- Milder Raw Garlic: Fermented garlic is perfect for any dish where you want to add raw garlic, but don’t want the intense bite of raw garlic. It is perfect for hummus, fresh salsa, and other dips and dressings.
- Garlic infused honey: I LOVE garlic infused honey. It is amazingly delicious. Mildly-sweet and filled with the flavour of garlic, it is perfect for salads, sauces and drizzling on cheese. Try adding a few teaspoons to a halloumi salad. Or try my rainbow honey garlic coleslaw. It is oh so yummy.
Concerned about eating fermented garlic and honey?
No one wants to eat something that could potentially make them sick. However, provided you don’t see visible signs of mold or discolored garlic, honey fermented garlic is safe and healthy to eat.
Here are the two main concerns that readers have about fermented honey garlic.
Botulism is a toxin caused by certain, unwanted strains of bacteria. It is frequently linked to improperly canned or fermented garlic. However, it is not an issue with this recipe.
On average honey has a pH of around 3.9, so it is far too acidic for botulism to be an issue. However, it is important to use pure raw honey in this recipe. A lot of commercial honey is fake or adulterated, which wouldn’t have the right pH, nor the natural microorganisms required for fermentation.
How do you know that your honey will work for fermenting? Look for the words raw or unpasteurized on the label.
Cloudy or Crystallized Honey
Pure, raw honey will naturally crystalize over time. Cooling honey makes this crystallization happen quicker. So honey fermented garlic that has been stored in the fridge for more than a few weeks, will become thick and cloudy from the crystallization of the sugars.
This is natural and should be expected. However, I recommend using up your honey fermented garlic within two months for the best flavor and consistency.Print
Honey fermented Garlic
Fermenting garlic in honey is perfect for beginners because it is so easy! The raw honey naturally provides the right conditions for a delicious and probiotic ferment. See the section above for how to use honey fermented garlic, as an immune booster and a culinary delight.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 1 jar 1x
- Category: Condiment
- Method: Fermentation
- Cuisine: Probiotic
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 3 to 5 heads of fresh garlic (see notes)
- 4 to 6 Tbsp raw honey
- Sanitize an air-tight glass jar (1 cup / 250 mL).
- Fill the jar with peeled garlic leaving a 1/2-inch of headroom. I like to bruise the garlic a bit to help with the fermentation. I do this by pressing down on the garlic slightly with my kitchen knife until it cracks.
- Pour raw honey over the garlic until it is completely covered. The garlic will naturally float above the honey, and that’s fine.
- Cap with an air-tight lid and place the jar somewhere dark to ferment, like a closet. Open the jar every day for the first week to release the build-up of pressure (from the fermentation) then reseal the jar and turn it over. Rotating the jar will help keep the garlic submerged under the honey.
- After the first week, start checking the garlic every 3 days instead.
- See the notes below for a different jar option that will allow you to skip turning the jar and releasing the gas.
- The honey garlic needs to ferment for at least 1 week, and up to 3 months.
- Once you start to use the garlic, store the jar in the fridge to prevent potential contamination.
- If you don’t want to have to keep checking and turning over your jar of garlic, then you need to use a jar that will release CO2 will preventing contamination. For example, you could use a fido jar with a well-fitting weight to keep the garlic below the honey.
- Never use garlic that has any signs of mold, sprouting, or brown spots. You don’t want to contaminate your ferment!
- Because of the health risks associated with the consumption of raw honey, this ferment is not recommended for pregnant women, children under the age of 1 year, or anyone who may be immunocompromised.
Keywords: probiotic, immune boosting, healthy, gluten-free, paleo, summer, fall, winter
Have you ever honey fermented red chili?
I am about to prepare a jar, but cannot find if there are health benefits to this.
Raw honey has natural probiotics. If you use local honey, it also is great for helping with seasonal allergies. I personally haven’t honey fermented chili, but it sounds delicious!
I just put this into my stirfry and it kicked it up to a new level! Thank you!
I don’t have liquid honey but I have raw honey that is solid. Can I melt it without high heat and use, will it work.
Yes, as long as it stays below 40 C / 104 F then you won’t accidentally kill the probiotics. Enjoy!
I made this in February. I have not used it often in recent months and found the contents to be cloudy after 6 months in the refrigerator. Is this normal? Can it be stored outside the fridge or should it remain chilled?
It sounds like the honey has crystalized. It should be perfectly fine, and return to normal at room temperature, or if heated slightly. I don’t usually store my honey garlic in the fridge, but I doubt it’s an issue. However, at this point, I wouldn’t start to store it at room temperature. Just keep it in the fridge until it’s finished. Enjoy!
Now I am confused. The recipe says to store the honey in the fridge once you start to use the garlic. However, your answer states that you do not store the honey in the fridge. In addition, after sitting at room temp, the honey remains cloudy, crystalized and separated. I have chosen to dump the honey garlic as I don’t want health issues from it.
You’re right. If you’d already started to eat it, it should be in the fridge. It still might be crystallization. We usually finish our honey garlic within a month or so, but colder temperatures do cause honey to crystalize. And 6 months is quite a long time to be in the fridge. However, it’s always best to be safe. Sorry you had to throw it out!
Hi, I only have creamed unpasteurized honey. Is this OK to use? I also wanted to add ginger.
I’ve used creamed honey before, and it worked out great! It’s also fine to add ginger or whatever other flavors you want. Enjoy!
Can I add extra garlic after the ferment is a week in?
I haven’t tried it. However, it’s probably fine as long as the garlic is mold and blemish-free! If the honey is fermenting nicely adding more garlic shouldn’t be an issue. Good luck!
Thanks so much for taking time to respond! Great article.
Can you use the same honey over and over after you finish the first batch of garlic and honey can you reuse the honey that you made the first batch in
I haven’t tried that because I LOVE garlic-infused honey. It’s really not at all sweet… because the fermentation uses up most of the sugars so I recommend trying it before using it to ferment again. It should probably be able to ferment several times as it’s teaming with bacteria and yeast that can feed on the sugar in the garlic. However, subsequent batches will probably lack any of the honey sweetness. Cheers! Emillie
any tips on how you stop the jas from leaking when turning upside down?
If you don’t have a good seal on your jar, just give it a shake instead. The goal is to mix the garlic into the honey. As it starts fermenting it will become quite liquidy so that should be easy to do! Enjoy!
My jar leaked honey as I left it upside down overnight (1/4 cup or so). Can I add more honey to the jar? It has been fermenting about 3 days, has lot of bubbles. I would like to clean the lid and add more honey if possible without distributing the fermentation process, or is it better just to leave it?
Oh no! That must be messy. It’s fine to add more honey. If you can’t turn it upside down, then just give it a shake instead. The goal is to keep the garlic and honey mixing.
At first, the honey is very thick, but it will get thinner and more liquidy as it ferments. Enjoy!
I understand the mold or blemish issue but why can’t the garlic be slightly sprouted? How would that contaminate the ferment?
If the garlic is absolutely perfect in every way (firm, no blemishes on the whole head, not dried out), then sprouted garlic is fine to use in this ferment. It does have a slightly different flavor and less sugar. But that won’t impact the outcome. However, my concern is that sprouted garlic is usually quite old and is more likely to have mold or bacteria contamination. A little bit of unseen contamination is fine if you’re cooking the garlic. But much more of a concern if you’re leaving it to ferment. Cheers!
It is definitely older. We grew it and just let it go too long hanging out so it started to sprout. I got it peeled at a local sauerkraut place using a garlic machine. We have been sorting it and making sure it doesn’t have blemishes. We would track the PH for sure as well.
That sounds like a good plan! Maybe make a few smaller jars rather than one big jar? That way if something happens to one jar, it won’t necessarily contaminate the whole batch. Cheers!