Well hello, again!
As you know, fall and winter are quickly approaching which means it's the season for cozy sweaters, warming recipes, holiday DIY ideas... and the flu!
If you've been here around SBA for any time at all, you know we prefer to do things as natural as possible, including what we put on our bodies and how we feed our bodies which includes how we treat/prevent those pesky seasonal flu's and cold's.
So, our main gal, Chelsea, has put together one of her favorite all-natural ways to stay on top of your fall and winter season immunity!
Raw fermented garlic honey is a super easy and almost effortless way to give your immune system that needed boost. You just make a big batch of it once and enjoy it all winter long!
You may be wondering why the combo of raw garlic and honey work well at combating seasonal sickness. Well, let's learn a little bit why this is by highlighting three main reasons this combo is so helpful.
-For one, garlic is packed with a natural compound called "allicin" which has antibacterial and antiviral properties. Garlic is cool like that - it can be used as a natural antibiotic of sorts (look more into this... very interesting!) Raw honey also has antibacterial compounds and natural probiotics that help fortify your gut, not to mention it's very soothing when you have a sore throat! Put these two together and you have two powerful natural forces that work together to help prevent and treat seasonal sickness.
-Second, this concoction is full of helpful probiotics due to it being fermented. Your gut is connected to your immune system, so the healthier the gut, the stronger your immune system! The honey being raw and full of natural probiotics helps the fermentation process, so be sure to use raw honey... local is best!
-Third, garlic actually has natural properties that can help loosen up congestion and mucus... how neat is that?
The best part about this recipe is how easy and versatile it is! If you're not the biggest fan of taking this raw garlic and honey concoction by the spoonful, you can add it to different recipes and still receive the benefits.
One of my favorite ways to use this combo is by making a sweet, tangy salad dressing with it. Should I drop my special salad dressing recipe? It's addicting!
Anyways, you can also drizzle this combo over roasted veggies, onto some yummy sourdough pizza, in your warm tea, or on some avocado toast with a little bit of chile flakes... hey, don't knock it till you've tried it! Creamy, sweet, salty, spicy, crunchy... YUM!
However, avoid putting this combo on anything very hot... high temperatures can kill off the delicate and important probiotics that the honey, garlic, and fermentation provide. We want to keep those good gut bugs intact!
Alright, let's get into the recipe and process!
Ingredients and supplies:
-Unbruised and fresh *organic* garlic gloves
-Glass jar for keeping
-Fill up the glass container/jar halfway with garlic
-Pour raw honey over the garlic and fill to the top of the jar. Again, we suggest using local raw honey!
-Place the lid on your jar and store it in a cool, dark space. Remember to "burp" (open the lid) every other day to let air escape. Flip the jar every so often for good measure, too! Just to make sure the garlic is getting its full bath in that amazing raw honey!
-Wait about a month and then move your jar full of garlic and honey into the fridge.
Pro Tips & Reminders:
1. If you don't want to have to remember to burp your mixture every other day, just use some sauerkraut weights or fermentation lid (you can find on Amazon) to let the oxygen release from the mixture.
2. If you like to eat this by the spoonful (like me, hehe), then remember to use wooden or plastic spoons. Metal does not fair well with the delicate balance of this immune-boosting concoction! I would also avoid using any metal lids on the jar you're using to store this recipe.
3. Again, burp the jar every day to every other day! After fermenting is done and you refrigerate, no need to continue burping. But don't forget to burp when in the fermenting process!
4. Make sure to avoid heating up this concoction. For example, don't drizzle over piping hot food, and let your tea cool down to drinking temp before adding.
We know this recipe is super easy, but it's also a little more technical because of the fermentation process involved. I am more of a hands-on, visual learner personally, so I know it can really help to see how this recipe is made! Below is a video of Chelsea walking us through the process so you can see how easy this process is!
Questions answered by Chelsea:
Q. How long does this recipe last?
A. Up to a year or longer if left in fridge and stored properly + no bacteria is introduced from utensils.
Q. I've seen people poke holes and make slits in the garlic. Is this necessary?
A. Cutting the garlic may cause some extra fermentation to happen, and I have read that it's not advised that it's cut but I've seen people do it and they don't seem to have any issues. Whether or not those people have tested the pH after cutting it, I have no idea!
Q. Should I use PH strips for this recipe/
A. You can buy PH strips, but some of the better quality ones can be a bit expensive! They aren't the most accurate, but if your PH is way off they will show that or should. There are also PH meters but those get a little bit more complicated.
Q. Is there a way of knowing if my batch has gone bad or the PH is off?
A. If it smells or tastes off or sour. Some say they try it and end up vomiting if the ph is too high.
Q. How much should I take?
A. You can take 1 tsp. every hour or so when you feel symptoms coming on. It depends on who you ask but I think 1 -3 tsp depending on how you're feeling is sufficient.
Q. I don't have raw honey. Will this recipe still work?
A. Raw is best. Especially for fermentation. But it will still work if the honey hasn't been overly processed and is a good source. The fermentation process just may take longer. If using ultra-processed honey, you may run into issues.
Brier C. & Chelsea Henderson (Founder + Herbalist)