Everyone knows garlic as the ubiquitous kitchen seasoning that it is, but there are fewer people who realize that they can use this versatile bulb medicinally! One way to combine those two purposes is to make Garlic Infused Honey.
So, why in the world would you want to infuse honey with garlic? At first, the combination sounds odd when you contrast the pungent odor of garlic with the sweet, flowery flavors of honey. Trust me! The investment in a head of garlic, a cup or two of honey, and a little bit of time will be worth the end result.
Imagine a drizzle of this flavor explosion over a bit of fresh chèvre, or used as part of a marinade. Pair it with butter and whip it into a delightful accompaniment to just about anything: biscuits, savory crepes stuffed with fresh veggies, or corncobs fresh off of the grill.
Culinary pleasures aside, garlic-infused honey is a boon to have around in cough and cold seasons. The antibiotic and antiviral nature of garlic and the moisturizing honey makes this a delicious soothing syrup for coughs and sore throats.
This is a project that I have intended to do for years now, but it was the recent post from Colleen at “Grow, Forage, Cook, Ferment” that reminded me to give it a go! She’s always an inspiration when my own kitchen creativity wanes.
For more garlic-related food experiments, try my Lacto-Fermented Garlic Recipe.
Garlic Infused Honey Recipe
- Fill a clean jar most of the way full with peeled, whole garlic cloves (see my tips below on peeling garlic quickly) If you want a stronger garlic flavor, chop or smash the garlic cloves.
- Cover the garlic cloves with honey.
- Use a chopstick or butter knife to gently stir the garlic cloves, allowing air bubbles to escape. Add more honey if needed to cover the garlic.
- Put the lid on the jar but don’t close it too tightly. The fermentation process will create gas that needs to escape.
- Set the jar aside on a warm countertop or windowsill. You’ll see bubbles appearing after a few days! Open the lid every few days to let the gas out. Every now and then, close it tightly and turn it upside down to re-mix the honey and garlic.
- Let the honey infuse in the window for a month or so. During this time, the moisture from the garlic is seeping into the honey. You’ll end up with rather runny honey. Taste it with a clean spoon every now and then and proceed to eat it when you like it!
- Enjoy! For long term use, you can either store the honey with the cloves or strain the cloves out. Store the finished honey in the fridge and make sure it is clearly labeled!
Using Garlic Honey:
After a few weeks of soaking up the sun in my kitchen window, I opened the garlic honey and gave it a taste. Delicious!
If you feel a cold or flu coming on, try eating a honey-soaked clove of garlic or a spoonful of garlic-infused honey.
If you decide to strain the cloves out before storing your honey, don’t throw them away! You can still use them in cooking, or you can dehydrate them to use as seasoning. Here’s a neat technique from Well Preserved.
I did something similar to their recipe, but I dried my cloves of garlic in my oven with some sticky rosemary sprigs from a batch of rosemary-infused honey. After about 8 hours or so the garlic and rosemary and honey were dry enough to grind into a powder with my Nutri-bullet along with some salt. Now I have a tongue-teasing condiment that ends up getting put on just about everything these days!
How to Peel Garlic Quickly:
If you don’t feel like chopping or peeling garlic with your usual method, try the jar technique!
Take the whole head of garlic and toss it in a mason jar. Screw the lid on tightly and shake the jar for a few minutes. Just imagine the things that make you angry are all in that jar…now take out your frustrations by shaking the bejeezus out of that garlic! After a bit of effort, the cloves will be separated and peeled. Just pick them out and toss the garlic skins in the compost or save them for making broth.