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Recipe: Lacto-Fermented Garlic Cloves

Garlic added to any dish adds a strong, pungent flavor, especially when raw. But sometimes that heat is a bit too much. Lacto-fermenting is one way to enjoy garlic with all the enzymes and nutrients intact (raw) but without all the heat. Lacto-fermenting garlic mellows it to a cross between raw and roasted garlic. And because it is simply brined whole cloves it is  easy to do. The most work you’ll be doing is peeling the garlic. To peel the garlic you have a few options:
  • Roast it in a low oven, around 200°F, until the skins loosen a bit.
  • Peel them with a small sharp knife to keep them 100% raw.
  • Put the whole head(s) of garlic, or the unpeeled cloves, into a small metal pot with a lid, then shake the covered pot vigorously for a few minutes. The paper on the garlic cloves will fall right off.
Once you’ve peeled the garlic it’s as simple as mixing all the ingredients and culturing.


  • 12-14 heads of garlic
  • Brine of 1 quart water + 2 Tbsp. sea salt
  • Herbs such as basil or oregano if desired


  1. Peel garlic as indicated above. Fill a quart jar within 1 inch of the top with the garlic cloves.
  2. Pour brine and herbs over garlic cloves.
  3. Allow to ferment for 3 to 4 weeks before moving to cold storage. The longer these sit in cold storage the more delicious they get!