Garlic – the smelly, vampire repelling spice – has been used over 5,000 years to treat a wide range of ailments. However, garlic, when eaten raw, can be a bit spicy for the taste and cause a pungent breath odor. That’s where fermented garlic comes into play. It has a milder taste and adds friendly gut bacteria, too.
It’s super easy and cheap to make. The only thing you are going to need is apple cider vinegar, another wonderful cure-for-all, garlic and lots of patience. But first, let’s take a look at the benefits you’ll have from adding (fermented/pickled) garlic to your diet.
Benefits of garlic in a nutshell
- Fight common cold: a study published in the journal Advances In Therapy found that garlic reduces colds by 63 percent, and for 70 percent of the people who got sick the time was reduced from an average of 5 days to 1.5 days.
- Lower blood pressure: according to a 2013 study published in the Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, aged garlic is as effective as Atenolol. A drug often prescribed to treat a high blood pressure.
- Heart friendly: garlic has shown to lower cholesterol levels and dissolve blood clots to decrease the risk of clogged arteries and heart attack.
- Improve bone health: according to a study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research, garlic contains zinc, manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and enzymes which improve the formation of bones and connective tissues, bone metabolism, and calcium absorption.
On top of that, if fermenting garlic, it will add tons of health promoting gut bacteria to keep your gut clean and prevent digestive issues. These benefits of garlic are only a tip of the iceberg. It can actually do so much more for your health and happiness.
Recipe: Fermented Garlic
There are 2 methods, you can ferment the garlic in water and salt (brine) or use apple cider vinegar instead. Apple cider vinegar adds a prebiotic effect to make sure those friendly gut bacteria thrive.
- 5-6 heads of garlic
- Brine (1-pint water + 1 tablespoon sea salt) or apple cider vinegar
- Your favorite herbs, fresh or dried (optional, to add more flavor)
- Peel garlic, make sure the cloves stay intact. Do not crush or cut as it will release allicin, or garlic’s main health promoting compound.
- Add garlic cloves to a clean canning jar. Add dried/fresh herbs, if you like. Pour water and salt or apple cider vinegar over the garlic until just covered.
- Close and let sit at room temperature for at least 2-3 weeks. The longer the better and more potent it gets. Some people leave it for years. Make sure to open the lids a few times over the first few days to release the pressure in the jars.
- When ready, simply put in a cold place, like the cellar or fridge, to stop the fermentation process.
FYI: the length of the fermentation process depends on the climate and season. The warmer it is the faster it will go.
Fermented garlic can be added to many of your dishes. Delicious in salad dressings, soups, stir-fries, or can be eaten raw, too.