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Double the Antioxidant Content of Garlic in Your Kitchen: Black Garlic

  • Published on: 27 March, 2015
  • Last update: 09 January, 2016

black garlic

Double the antioxidants, you say… out of thin air? Is it magic? Pretty much.

Did I mention you also get double the benefits of garlic, without the bad breath? Yup. Even more magic.

What is it?

Black garlic was first developed in Japan and Korea. It’s simply garlic that has been aged and fermented. The black color occurs naturally as the sugars are drawn out of the garlic cloves during the fermentation process. Although garlic is the sole ingredient and no other sweetners or additives are involved, this stuff is nowhere near the flavor burst you’re used to receiving from the pungent, raw form. Black garlic is incredibly sweet and has a rich molasses flavor with balsamic, caramel, and licorice notes.

Benefits of Garlic

In Taoism mythology, black garlic was rumored to grant immortality. I can’t exactly confirm this theory, but a girl can dream, right? Obviously garlic is phenomenal for overall health in its natural state, with its anti-cancer benefits and anti-bacterial activity. Let’s review some of the properties of garlic…

– The smooth muscle relaxant Adenosine is found in garlic, and this seems to help lower blood pressure.

– It helps reduce atherosclerotic buildup (plaque) within the arteries.

– Garlic helps to prevent cancer, especially of the digestive system, prevents certain tumors from growing larger and reduces the size of certain tumors (onion is even more effective at this!)

– The organosulfur compounds in garlic activate the activity of several metabolizing enzymes, such as glutathione, that detoxify carcinogens and inhibit the formation of DNA adducts. DNA adducts are a piece of DNA covalently bonded to a (cancer-causing) chemical.

– Allyl derivatives (also sulfur compounds) inhibit carcinogenesis in the stomach, esophagus, colon, mammary glands and lungs of experimental animals.

– Garlic can also help us remove heavy metals that poison our systems.

– Garlic is a potent natural antibiotic that works differently than modern antibiotics and kills some strains of bacteria, like staph, that have become immune or resistant to modern synthetic approaches.

Benefits of BLACK Garlic

What changes?


1) “During the fermentation process, the compound allicine (which gives raw garlic its distinctive odour) is turned into s-allcysteine,” explains nutritionist Robert Hobson. “This is water soluble, which means it is absorbed more quickly and easily by the body.

The natural compound s-allylcysteine (SAC) assists in absorption of (the fat soluble) allicin (one of those organosulfur compounds that prevent and reverse tumor growth). This is found in greater concentrations in black garlic than white, and gets into your system more easily in black garlic as well.

2) SAC, the compound mentioned above that is created when black garlic goes through fermentation, is incredibly effective at inhibiting cholesterol synthesis thus lowering blood cholesterol levels.

3) Once black garlic is fermented, it also contains higher levels of S-methyl-L-cysteine ​​sulfoxide, which works with SAC to prevent the destruction of insulin.

4) As the title of this article suggests, aged black garlic exerts stronger antioxidant activity than garlic in vitro and in vivo, and this study found it useful in preventing diabetic complications.

5) Garlic is already incredible effective at treating infections (even MRSA and antibiotic resistant cases). Because of the increased levels of SAC, black garlic is even better at fighting microbes. This also means it has higher anti-parasite activity!

6) Black garlic is a fermented food. Fermented foods repopulate the intestines with good bacteria and heal leaky gut.

How to Make Black Garlic

Choose fresh garlic – the entire head should be in tact. Don’t peel any skin off. You can use as many bulbs as you’d like at once; Lily usually uses 15 or more! Rinse and clean the heads thoroughly (we don’t want to ferment the bacteria in dirt residue), then place them in a cool dry place for a minimum of 6 hours so that they’re completely dry before going in the slow cooker. Don’t start fermenting them if the garlic is still wet or damp.

Simply put your heads of garlic in a slow cooker or rice cooker on ‘warming mode’ for 12-20 days. Do NOT open it until it’s done, as the garlic must be in a heat and moisture controlled environment to truly ferment.



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Do you use a slow cooker with a vent (to allow moisture to escape) or without a vent? Does it matter? I could always plug the vents with aluminum foil. Thank you for the recipe.



My slow cooker does have a vent, yes.


Hi, I was wondering how you know when the garlic is done? 12-20 days is a great variation. Is there a way to know when to take it out? Thank you!



It depends on how sweet you want it. At 12 days it will be moderately sweet, and at 20 days it will be totally caramelized.


Hi, did anybody else actually do this? Because I did and it looks exactly like the pictures, except mine tasted like ashes:( not sweet at all and just burnt;_;

Rebecca Muniz

Hello Olivia! the garlic thing sounds good, am going to try it pretty soon. I wanted to ask you about some health recommendation. First I am Rh negative 0 blood type, iv tried being raw vegan and it didn’t work for me, I am week, lost to much weight im down to 128 lbs. I feel week all the time, and have dark circles under eyes. what’s been really scary is that I am getting unknown bruises on my legs and arm. I have a 11 month old baby and I have been breast feeding her since birth which I think made me more week and I haven’t had my period for 11 months. I am desperate, I need help, can you give me a recommendations. Im already trying some things you recommend on your website, like sweet yam for breakfast and ginger tea in the morning.



I would recommend immediately switching to a paleo/primal lifestyle. Check out Weston A. Price and look up primal recipes. Bone broth can be incredible for healing and warming the stomach after the cooling raw vegan diet. You have to eat enough calories to get your weight back on!! Lots of love.


Hi Olivia, Great post! I wanted to ask you… What exactly do -you- use to ferment these bad boys? I have a slow cooker but the low setting is a little too hot for “warm” so I’m a bit scared of burning them or leaving this thing on for 20 days straight…. >.< thanks for your time


I’m so very intrigued by this technique. How do you eat them? Use them? Do you replace them where ever normal garlic is used in recipes? Or are they that sweet, that you just pop them in your mouth? Ideas for use would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.



They are super sweet and tasty – I just pop them in my mouth as a snack! You can also blend them into hummus, or into grass-fed organic butter to make a sweet garlic butter spread.


Hi Olivia – love your posts on ig!! It seems there are a million and one things one should do to undo all the things we put the body and mind through. It’s a bit overwhelming. Do you have a top 10 musts for healthy body on the inside and healthy skin on the outside? What do you do on a daily basis to maintain good health? I forgot to check the ‘get notifications’ the first time!


I wonder how much energy the slow cooker will use during this 20 days? Of course if you have big family or you doing 20 kg of garlic at one go it reasonable, but other wise 🙁 ….. It is such a waist. I often wonder why many average people keep away form idea of being vegan or more healthy eating , if they do not have a knowledge about food and start to Google some healthy advises instead of simplifying our food and getting closer with nature we just make it more and more complicated.


Olivia can you make a post about type 1 diabetes or if you know anything that may help? It’s believed to be “incurable” but I absolutely refuse to believe that, Iv’e had the condition for 12 years(no complications) although I have protein in my urine, and I want to heal it SOO bad 🙁 any tips? I’m researching like crazy. What would you do if you were in my situation? I won’t tell my western doc since she’ll think I’m crazy….. Help me dear,


Hey Olivia! I wasn’t sure if this is where I sign up to find out about when the parasite kits get released, but I had a crazy vivid dream last night and woke up and was reminded of this! Lol I think it may be a sign, so I checked your etsy right away, but didn’t see any. Please let me know if you do have any so I can purchase it right away


Hi Olivia, quick question, once it is fully ready after 20 days how would I preserve them? Do I put them in the fridge? Thanks in advance for your help.



I keep them stored in a tight ziploc bag on the counter, because I eat them pretty quickly haha. But you can definitely put them in the fridge to make them last longer 🙂


How long does it keep for? If I’m going to spend 12-20 days ‘cooking’ something, I don’t want to let it go to waste by not using it before it goes off 😉



They would last 2 months or more in the fridge in a tight ziploc bag, since they’re aged/fermented (which keep very well).

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