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What's fermented honey? Get prepared for fall with these house recipes.

written by

Aaron Miller

posted on

August 25, 2023

I hope you've been enjoying the last of summer. And now, kinda similar to what farmers do, it's time to prepare for the fall and winter!

Since colds and flus are more common as the weather gets cooler and drier and we spend more time indoors, I start stocking my arsenal of natural remedies right now. You know, making elderberry syrup, harvesting and drying echinacea and boneset, making and stocking my freezer with bone broth, etc.

This year, I came across a new remedy to add to my arsenal -- fermented honey!

Fermented honey is exactly what it sounds like. It's raw honey that has undergone a fermentation process, kickstarted by the naturally occurring wild yeast, enzymes, and bacteria in truly raw honey. Under the right conditions, the living microbiology breaks down the sugars into alcohol and then into acetic acid. It produces carbon dioxide, too.

In addition to being uniquely delicious (think umami honey), there are numerous benefits to consuming raw fermented honey. It's a natural antioxidant, it can provide probiotics and better gut health, and it aids in absorption of minerals like calcium and magnesium. It contributes to general wellbeing. 

But today, let's pay special attention to fermented honey's ability to prevent and treat colds and flus. 

Raw honey on its own contains compounds with potential immune-boosting and antimicrobial properties. When you ferment honey, you are enhancing these properties by adding acetic acid, which is also shown to be an antimicrobial. And, you are increasing the level of probiotics consumed, which is an overall benefit to your body's functions.

So, if you regularly consume fermented honey, you can prevent illness from occurring. Or, if you consume fermented honey after getting sick, you can shorten your time needed to heal. Oh, and I should mention again that it's really tasty, too. So it's a great vehicle for getting in those not-so-tasty healing foods and herbs like garlic, echinacea, boneset, ginger, and cayenne.

All raw honey will eventually ferment. We talked about this recently in our blog post about how all raw honey will turn solid and crystallize. But, you can also make it ferment on purpose. It's really easy to do.

Basically, you need to create a certain level of moisture. Then let it sit at room temperature for a couple weeks. 

Fermented honey typically has a tangy or sour flavor due to the presence of acetic acid and other fermentation byproducts. It can have a frothy or bubbly texture and might even produce a small amount of carbonation. The flavor profile and characteristics of fermented honey can vary depending on the type of honey used, the specific strains of microorganisms present, and the duration of fermentation.

It's important to note that the quality of the honey matters A LOT, especially when it comes to using it for healing and wellness.

Not all honey labeled as "organic" or "natural" or "raw" is created equal. How far and what the bees forage for, what's used for mite treatment, whether extra ingredients are added, and whether it's strained or heated at all matters a lot. And now, there's that new mRNA vaccine for bees that we need to worry about, too.

This is why we work exclusively with Welsh Mountain Apiaries. We offer both their honeys as well as our own house honey, made by all-natural bees that live on our biodiverse pastures! Right now, we have 8 raw honey options to choose from.

Today, I'm happy to gift you 3 amazing recipes:

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Fermented Honey Recipes

fermented-honey.jpg

Plain Fermented Honey

Ingredients

  • (1 Part) Water
  • (8 Parts) Honey

Directions

  1. Pour the honey into a clean and sterile mason jar. Stir the water into the honey.
  2. Put the lid on the jar loosely, and place it in a cool dark spot.
  3. Every day: tighten the lid on the jar and flip it upside down. Loosen the lid when you return it to the upright position.
  4. The honey should start to bubble/foam after two weeks and have a sour smell. The honey will be sweet and tangy, and will likely have a whipped texture.

*Recipe adapted from: www.myfermentation.com

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fermented-garlic-honey.png

Fermented Garlic Honey

Ingredients

  • (1 cup) Whole garlic cloves, slightly crushed
  • (1 cup) Honey, or more to cover garlic cloves

Directions

  1. Add the slightly crushed garlic cloves to a sterilized wide-mouth mason jar. Add the honey, and completely cover the garlic cloves. Make sure they are completely covered and coated in honey.
  2. Put the lid on the jar loosely, and place it in a cool dark spot.
  3. Every day: tighten the lid on the jar and flip it upside down to coat the garlic cloves with honey. Loosen the lid when you return it to the upright position.
  4. Within a few days to a week, you should see small bubbles start to form on the surface of the honey.
  5. The honey garlic will ferment for about a month, but you can eat it at any time. The flavor will continue to develop over time, the garlic will mellow, and the honey will have a thinner consistency.
  6. Store in a cool place for many months or even a year, if not longer.

Notes: Once the garlic is fully coated, you no longer need to turn the jar over every day. You can do this from time to time.

Some say honey garlic must be fermented for at least one year to develop the real deal umami flavor. We say it’s ready when your taste buds say it is!

*Recipe courtesy of: www.growforagecookferment.com

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fermented-peach-honey.jpg

Fermented Peach Honey

Ingredients

  • (1 cup) Peeled and sliced firm peaches
  • (1 cup) Honey, or more to cover the peaches
  • (1 inch) Peeled ginger, slightly crushed, optional

Directions

  1. Add the peach (and ginger if using it) to the mason jar. Add the honey, and completely cover the peach (and ginger). Make sure they are completely covered and coated in honey.
  2. Put the lid on the jar loosely, and place it in a cool dark spot.
  3. Every day: tighten the lid on the jar and flip it upside down to coat the peaches with honey. Loosen the lid when you return it to the upright position.
  4. Within a few days to a week, you should see small bubbles start to form on the surface of the honey.
  5. The honey peach will ferment for about a month, but you can eat it at any time.
  6. Store in a cool place or in the fridge once you reach a flavor you enjoy.

Note: Fermented fruit honey, such as peach, can be eaten in a day or a few weeks. You should sample it from time to time to see how the flavors develop and change. If, after two weeks, you no longer want your honey to ferment, you can place it in the fridge to stop the fermentation process.

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Have you fermented honey before, either by accident or on purpose? What do you do to treat cold and flus at home?

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