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When I cook, I love to play with contrasting flavours.  Sometimes the most unlikely pairing results in something truly tasty . Honey + garlic is one of those surprising combinations, and has been used endlessly to add incredible flavour to meat dishes, marinades and dressings.  For a more intense and robust flavour, I make fermented honey garlic.  I always have a jar in my pantry as a cooking staple, and to drizzle on dishes at the last minute for a punch of extra flavour. 


Fermented honey garlic after 4 days

It might sound counterintuitive to use honey as a fermentation medium due to its antimicrobial properties.  Honey’s low pH (acidity) and extremely low water content help to kill off any invading microbes.   However, by simply increasing the water content obtained by the juices released by the garlic, honey’s smothering antibacterial defence is weakened.  Beneficial bacteria are allowed entry and the wild yeasts that were dormant in raw honey are stimulated.  These yeasts kickstart the fermentation process by consuming the glucose and fructose found in the honey (and fructose from garlic), producing alcohol, carbon dioxide and acetic acid.  These fermentation byproducts, along with keeping the ferment in an anaerobic (no oxygen) environment, preserve the food and create amazing flavour.


Studies have shown that both garlic and honey can be beneficial to preventing sickness.  Ongoing research has linked garlic as preventative to heart disease, lowering cholesterol and helping to prevent the common cold. 

Organic garlic

Honey has been used for its antibacterial properties for centuries as an healing aid for wounds and as a soother for sore throats!  There are many who swear by consuming fermented honey garlic cloves daily to ward off any cold or flu bugs.

Not only is this a super healthy duo, fermented honey garlic honey is also delicious!  It makes an excellent glaze on meat, fish and grilled tofu.  I like to add it to vinaigrettes and brush it on pizza crust just before the pizza is ready to be taken out of the oven.


Fermentation Time: 1-12 months*

Raw, unpasteurized honey and organic garlic

*Fermented honey garlic can be ready in a month, but is best left for longer as it improves with age. If you are concerned about botulism, which is a very rare occurrence in a honey ferment, test with a pH strip or monitor.  A reading under 4.6 is considered safe since the botulism spores cannot survive in an acidic environment.

Cover garlic with honey
2-month-old fermented honey garlic


Recipe by Jody GowansCourse: Fermentation, Recipes


  • 1 cup peeled organic garlic cloves**

  • 1 cup raw, unpasteurized honey

  • Glass jar with lid


  • Slightly crush peeled garlic cloves.  Add to jar.
  • Cover garlic cloves completely with honey, leaving a 1/2 space from the top of the jar.
  • Close jar and place on a plate (to catch any overflow) at room temperature out of direct sunlight.
  • The garlic cloves will naturally float for a period of time (for at least a month) Shake or invert the jar daily to keep the garlic covered in honey.
  • The honey might start to foam during the fermentation process and will become more watery. The garlic cloves will darken in colour.
  • Store at room temperature in a sealed container.


  • ** the ratio is approximately 1 cup of cloves to 1 cup of honey

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