This recipe for Elderberry Syrup is one of the most important recipes in my book– I give a healthy spoonful daily to my kids for boosting their immune systems. Elderberries are packed with antioxidants like phenolic acids, quercetin flavonols and anthocyanins compounds. The nutritional benefits include high levels of vitamin C and good dietary fiber. Normally, I would give both kids a dose before heading to the school bus-- instead we are home, diving deeper into ‘distance learning’ until early May... Breath deeply...Whenever possible I use organic and fair trade ingredients in these recipes. If you don’t have the inclination to make Elderberry Syrup yourself, try ordering a bottle online from a neighborhood health food grocery. Dried Elderberries can be ordered from purveyors of high quality herbs like: Star West Botanicals, Mountain Rose Herbs and OakTown Spice Shop. Diaspora Co. sells a wonderful Single Origin Pragtai Turmeric.Ingredients⅔ cup dried elderberries3 - 3 ½ cups water 2 tablespoons fresh or dried ginger root (use fresh if you can)1 teaspoon cinnamon powder or 1 cinnamon stick½ teaspoon cloves¼ teaspoon turmeric¾ - 1 cup raw honey
How to Make Homemade Elderberry Syrup
There are two cooking methods. I use a slow cooker (also called mini-crock pot) that I purchased at my local Walgreens, called a Sylvania Slow Cooker. Target carries an alternate brand called Elite Gourmet Stainless Steel Slow Cooker. Both are 1.5 qt.
If using the stovetop method pour 3 ½ cups water into a medium saucepan. Add all ingredients, but DO NOT ADD HONEY. If honey is heated to high temperatures, especially over a long period of time, the quality diminishes and many of its nutrients and enzymes are lost.
Bring to a boil, cover the pot and reduce to a simmer until the elderberry mixture is reduced by half. This can take between 45 minutes to one hour.
If using the slow cooker method, add 3 cups of water and turn the knob to the highest setting. Add all ingredients, and as mentioned earlier, DO NOT ADD HONEY. Cover and let it until the elderberry mixture is reduced by half.
Remove from heat and strain into a large heat resistant bowl. Press out all liquid from berries with a clean spatula. Let cool until lukewarm and add honey. Start with ¾ cup honey and add more until you reach your desired sweetness. It tends to sit on the bottom of the bowl so be sure to mix well. The key is having the mixture warm enough to melt honey and absorb into the liquid. (Next time the recipe is made, I’ll use a thermometer to provide a more accurate temperature.)
When honey is well combined with elderberry mixture, pour into a glass jar. I like to repurpose 16 oz glass kombucha jars for their easy-to-pour spots. A mason jar also works well.Standard dosage is ½ teaspoon for the kids and a tablespoon for adults but my kids like it so much they ask for the adult amount. If you or a family member comes down with a major cold or flu, feel free to increase dosage to every 2 or 3 hours until symptoms subside.
Be well, stay healthy.
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