I love using food as medicine, and garlic offers simple, yet powerful benefits. Making fermented garlic is really simple and here are five easy and delicious recipes for using your homemade probiotic-rich garlic.
Garlic – Delicious Medicine
Health benefits of garlic:
- Stimulates the immune system
- Thins mucous
- Lowers cholesterol
- Strong Antibacterial and Antiviral properties
- Garlic has powerful anticancer properties
Fermented Foods – Health Benefits Go Beyond the Gut
What is fermentation? Fermented foods are foods that have been through a process where natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid (lactofermentation). This process preserves the food, and creates beneficial enzymes, as well as adding probiotics.
Historically, diets worldwide were rich in fermented foods – a process that occurred naturally and was used as a method of preservation. Today, our foods are produced and shipped long distances, and sterilization methods are used to keep foods safe. Unfortunately, we now consume sterile foods and we are suffering the consequences of eliminating natural sources of probiotics from our diets.
Health Benefits of Fermented Foods:
- improved digestion and nutrient absorption
- nutrient synthesis (like vitamin K)
- improving symptoms of depression
- reducing inflammation
- influences on our immune system
- preventing pathogens from colonizing the digestive tract
- a role in metabolic diseases, including diabetes and obesity
Directions – Easy to Make Fermented Garlic
Peel your garlic cloves and place in a glass jar
Mix 1 Tablespoon sea salt to 1 cup of water. This forms the brine.
Make enough brine to cover the garlic. Use the plastic bag filled with the sea salt brine to weigh down the garlic so it remains beneath the brine.
Ferment 1-4 weeks then cap and refrigerate. It will continue to ferment in the refrigerator, but slowly. Can be used as food and medicine.
What are some ways to use this wonderful fermented garlic?
Using fermented garlic in recipes that don’t require heat which destroys the probiotics is the best way to take advantage of your fermented garlic.
Here are my favorites fermented garlic recipes:
- 1/2 c. butter, softened
- 2 – 3 cloves of fermented garlic, pressed
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
Combine ingredients and enjoy!
Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella Salad with Fermented Garlic
Combine quartered tomatoes, basil leaves, chunks of mozzarella, olive oil, and garlic cloves. Great served on bread or whole grain crackers.
Garlic Salad Dressing
- 2 T. fresh squeezed lemon juice, or a good quality vinegar
- 1/3 c. olive oil
- 1/2 t. sea salt
- 1/2 t. oregano
- 1/2 t. basil
- 2 cloves fermented garlic, pressed
Combine and enjoy!
Homemade hummus is so easy and so versatile. Here is a basic recipe, but you can get endlessly creative.
- 2 garlic cloves, mashed and roughly chopped
- 2 15-oz cans of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
- 2/3 cup of tahini
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
Combine in a food processor and enjoy!
Easy Pumpkin Seed Cilantro Pesto
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
2 cups cilantro leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 clove minced fermented garlic
Infuse the cumin and coriander in the olive oil on low/medium heat for about 1 minute. Turn off the heat and allow to cool, then add your minced garlic.
Add pumpkin seeds and cilantro leaves to blender or food processor and pulse a few times.
While blending the cilantro and pumpkin seeds, slowly add your olive oil, pausing to scrape down the sides.
Serve on bread, pita chips, as a dip for vegetables, on grilled fish, on pasta, and mixed with cooked vegetables.
Fermented Garlic As Medicine
I sometimes take a clove of fermented garlic when I feel the first symptoms of a cold coming on. Combined with raw honey, fermented garlic is excellent at stopping or shortening the common cold. You can read more about the health benefits of garlic in Simple Foods for Cold and Flu.