Fermented Garlic Cloves


Note from Shannon: I am pleased to bring the voices of our lovely contributors to this space every Tuesday. Please welcome Jerri, Cultures for Health Customer Support Representative and Cultured Kitchen-Keeper.

Garlic, garlic, garlic! Marveled for its nutritional punch and medicinal properties, who doesn’t enjoy garlic? My garden boxes are full of the one crop I can successfully grow.

Now that I’ve won the battle against the squirrels and birds (thanks to laying chicken wire over the top of my beloved cloves) I am delightfully overrun with garlic. There’s nothing like planting them in the winter, watching them poke out of the ground when the weather warms up, and watching them take off like crazy in May!


Then I wait until July or August for harvesting and drying time. Jerrigarlic3

After a few weeks of drying, it’s time to clean them up. Oh so purdy!


But how many bulbs of garlic can one family use? What to do with it all? Spend some time peeling all those cloves, and then FERMENT it baby!

Here’s how:

* Create a brine of 1 cup pure water & 1 T. sea salt.

* Put all naked cloves into a mason jar or an airlock system like the Fermented Vegetable Master below. Screw the lid on.

* Ferment for 1 week on your counter, at room temperature.


Just a note, if you use a mason jar or other apparatus that doesn’t allow for the release of gas, take care to watch your ferment and “burp” the jar periodically. That simply means open the jar carefully to let the gas out, and then screw it back on.

Throw these little powerhouse wonders in your cold storage (a.k.a. the fridge in my house) and you’ve got a bit of probiotic paradise to press, chop, roast, stir fry, or eat as is all year long. Yum!



Jerri is a wife and mama. Her culturing adventures began several years ago with other moms who were seeking a healthy way of feeding our families. Together they dabbled in milk kefir, yogurt, sourdough, kombucha and sauerkraut. In the past year she's expanded from sauerkraut to other vegetables, and has grown a passion for water kefir!

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  1. Roger Sessions says

    I do this too but I add coriander seeds to the garlic and brine. There is something about garlic and coriander that goes great together. And the left over brine makes an excellent base for a marinade.

    • says

      Diana – It’s a good idea to check it every day. If it doesn’t appear to be creating a pressure build up in the lid, then you might be able to skip it. But burping a jar of fermented vegetables once per day is usually a good idea.

  2. Steve says

    Hi, I was just curious how the cloves ferment without cutting them open? What are the bacteria feeding on to break down into beneficial components? Dr. Mercola sells a fermented aged black garlic, which is supposed to be even more potent than regular garlic. Fermenting garlic sounds very interesting, like an age-defying wonder if consumed the rest of your life. I just don’t see how it’s improved by fermentation..?
    Thanks :)

    • says

      Steve – I find that more solid vegetables such as carrots and garlic tend to take a bit more time for full fermentation to take place. This probably has to do with the time it takes to break down the fibers and penetrate the vegetable to work on the sugars.

      Generally speaking, fermentation improves enzymes and adds probiotics to the picture so right off the bat there are those benefits. It also preserves the raw garlic in a way that doesn’t denigrate the naturally occurring benefits of the garlic clove.

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