Fermented Garlic

I’m a few days late and I missed a few posts… but I was busy trying not to get sick and working long hours (never a good combo). Here’s what I managed to jot down in my free time. ๐Ÿ™‚

This stuff. This stuff right here is going to be our savior from the impending vampire apocalypse. Okay. Maybe not. But when my roommate’s fiance saw the massive crock of garlic fermenting on the kitchen counter, he did ask me if I was getting ready to ward off vampires. Without blinking an eye, I replied, “Of course I am.” haha! And if by “vampires”, he meant flu season, than I really wasn’t lying.

Fermented garlic is about the easiest thing possible. But it takes three months to make. That’s right. And you can’t touch it or open it. It’s brutal. The end result makes it all worthwhile – you have a product that tastes like garlic, but isn’t hot like usual raw garlic. In fact, garlic in and of itself is pretty amazing.

It’s a natural antimicrobial. Here’s the study from the National Institute of Health if you don’t believe me. The abstract:

Allicin, one of the active principles of freshly crushed garlic homogenates, has a variety of antimicrobial activities. Allicin in its pure form was found to exhibit i) antibacterial activity against a wide range of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, including multidrug-resistant enterotoxicogenic strains of Escherichia coli; ii) antifungal activity, particularly against Candida albicans; iii) antiparasitic activity, including some major human intestinal protozoan parasites such as Entamoeba histolytica and Giardia lamblia; and iv) antiviral activity. The main antimicrobial effect of allicin is due to its chemical reaction with thiol groups of various enzymes, e.g. alcohol dehydrogenase, thioredoxin reductase, and RNA polymerase, which can affect essential metabolism of cysteine proteinase activity involved in the virulence of E. histolytica.

In normal speak, there’s a compound called allicin which is contained in raw garlic. It has four main antimicrobial activities when used in its pure form, i.e. raw. First, it is effective in fighting e.coli. Second, it’s an anti-fungal and some people will put it on fungal infections on the skin or, ingested, it will help with a candida overgrowth. Third, it’s a natural anti-parasitic. And, finally, it’s an antiviral. That last point – I’m digging it. Next time the doctor says you have a virus and there’s nothing you can do, go home and eat some garlic. I don’t like the heat of raw garlic and cooking it makes you lose the qualities… so a few months ago, I started fermenting some.

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There’s more health benefits associated with garlic and I’ll post those later. I’m lazy. And on my lunch break. ๐Ÿ™‚

Fermented Garlic

  • lots of heads of garlic – enough to fit in the desired jar you’ll be using
  • A jar with a lid, make sure it’s clean – I wrote about which kinds of jars I like when I posted the South American Sauerkraut recipe
  • 33 grams Kosher sea salt (NO IODINE!)
  • a scale that will weigh the sea salt
  • 1 qt water, left on the counter for 30 minutes without a lid (so the chlorine evaporates off)
  1. Remove the garlic paper/peels, bruised spots, and any green shoots.
  2. Weigh out salt and add to water. Stir until dissolved.
  3. Place garlic in the jar, arraigning it so it’s packed in.
  4. Slowly pour the salt water over garlic and carefully work any remaining air bubbles.
  5. Place a dunker in the jar (a clean rock or glass plate), seal the lid and let sit. This stuff with foam and leak! Place it in a dish and “burp” it a few times a day at the onset.
  6. Let sit on the counter for about one month and then place in the fridge and let it sit for another month or two.

Feel free to sample a garlic clove to test for “doneness” – the clove should no longer be hot and you should be able to eat lots and lots without burning your mouth. If it is still hot, seal the jar back up and let it sit in the fridge for a bit longer. Also, if the brine starts to look cloudy with small white particulates, that’s alright – you’re doing it correctly. If it starts to grow mold, dump it out.