Lacto-Fermented Garlic

Lacto-fermented Garlic

The Spruce / Amber Shehan

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Fermentation: 730 hrs
Total: 730 hrs 10 mins
Yield: 1 jar

Garlic is one of the most common flavorings used around the world, considered a dietary staple in many countries; it is also known as a potent herbal medicine. Garlic is a food that is mineral-rich. It is a good source of antioxidants, vitamin B-6, vitamin C, manganese, and selenium. It has well-documented antibacterial and antiviral properties and also helps to boost the immune system. But would you believe that garlic can get even more healthy? 

You can acquire garlic in many forms—fresh, dried, infused into oil, minced—but none of these quite have the same effect on the palate and the body as Lacto-fermented garlic cloves. Fermenting garlic makes all of those minerals even more accessible to the body during digestion, and it also adds phenomenal probiotics to your diet.

Fermenting garlic might seem like alchemy, but it is quite easy. This recipe will work for any size jar that you have on hand. 

Ingredients

  • Heads of garlic
  • Kosher salt, or ​another non-iodized salt
  • Filtered water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Peel as many garlic cloves as it takes to fill the jar you are working with.

  3. Create a salt brine by dissolving the salt in the water, making as much as is needed to cover the garlic cloves in the jar. Use 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt for each cup of non-chlorinated water.

  4. Add the brine to the jar.

  5. Put the lid loosely on the jar and set it on your kitchen counter.

  6. Open the jar once a day to release the pressure created by fermentation. When you do this, your kitchen will smell very strongly of garlic, especially once the fermentation really gets going.

  7. It might take a few days to a week for fermentation to begin; you will see tiny bubbles in the brine. After a bit, the brine will take on a lovely golden-brown color.

  8. Let the garlic continue to ferment for at least one month for best results, but some of the best, most mellowed flavors come from cloves that had fermented for at least two months.

  9. When you decide that it is done, screw the lid on firmly and place the jar in the fridge to store.

Tips

  • You can use fermented garlic anywhere you would use fresh garlic. After being fermented, one clove almost works as well as two raw cloves.
  • Don't fill the jar all the way to the top with brine. The brine should just cover the garlic.
  • Remember to open your jar each day to release the pressure.
  • If you are testing the pH of the fermentation, it should reach a level below 4.6 when ready. Keeping the fermentation below 4.6 guarantees botulism will not occur.
  • When you finish the garlic cloves, save the brine. Add a drop or two to savory cocktails like bloody marys, sprinkle in dressings or marinades, or blend with melted butter for quick and easy garlic butter.