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Homemade Elderberry Syrup & Gummies- From Fresh Elderberries (The Safe Way)
Do you want an immunity booster for this coming cold and flu season?
This little superfood may even help against the dreaded Covid-19 due to its antiviral properties!
What am I talking about you may ask?
Elderberries! They are a power-packed little superfood with the potential shorten your cold or flu and may even help boost your immune system enough to avoid getting sick all together!
In our neighborhood, we have some elderberry bushes that we walk by every day during our family walks. They start to ripen around August.
My girls love foraging for wild edibles. This wild edible you need to be careful though. The green parts of the plant as well as the seeds contain a cyanide-inducing glycoside.
Eating a sufficient quantity of these cyanide-inducing glycosides can cause a toxic buildup of cyanide in the body and make you quite ill.
In order to avoid this, you must heat them up to boil off the toxin and make them safe for human consumption.
When allowing my girls to help gather these little babies, they know not to just eat them like they can blueberries or blackberries.
Benefits of Elderberries
Native Americans used it to treat infections, while the ancient Egyptians used it to improve their complexions and heal burns.
- High in Nutrients
- High in vitamin C
- High in dietary fiber
- A good source of phenolic acids – Powerful Antioxidants
- A good source of flavonols – Antioxidants
- Rich in anthocyanins – Antioxidant with Anti-Inflammatory effects
- Maybe Good for Heart Health
So now do you know why it may be a great idea to add this little gem into your diet this cold and flu season?
I couldn’t resist! I posted some photos on my Instagram and Facebook and got a lot of interest so I decided to share our process and recipes.
First things first, we need to harvest the berries. How we did this you must make a positive identification of the plant. Grab yourself some field guides and make sure you’re 100% sure you have the correct plant. The last thing you want to do is misidentify the plant and use something inedible.
Next, we need to make the syrup/juice.
- 3c Fresh Elderberries
- 1c Water
- 2 tablespoon raw unfiltered honey
- 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Optional flavorings: ¼ tsp powdered ginger, ¼ tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract.
- Clean and remove all the green stems and berries from your ripe berries.
- In a medium saucepan, cover with one cup of water and place on low heat on the stove.
- For about 30 mins cover and simmer over low heat. Be careful not to overheat or cook too long as this will result in a bitter taste.
- Strain the berries and liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Using a spoon to mash the berries and push out the remaining juice.
- Add the honey, lemon juice and other flavorings before the syrup cools.
This yielded us about 1 1/2c of syrup/juice. It’s pretty watery but I don’t want to cook it down too long.
Now on to the gummy part. You need the solution to cool down to about 90 – 100 degrees F.
If you don’t want to make gummies then I suggest canning it so it can keep longer. In the fridge, without being canned it will only last about a week or so.
My kids never liked taking medicine and defiantly give me a difficult time taking any kind of syrups. Making gummies is a fun way to get them involved and will make them actually want to eat it and benefit from its immunity-boosting properties.
- 1 1/2c Elderberry syrup or juice
- Honey if you want a sweeter taste
- 4 packs of gelatin
- Add honey if desired.
- Sprinkle in gelatin and whisk together until fully dissolved for about 2 minutes.
- Spoon/pour in the mixture into silicone molds (or another container)
- Allow 20-30 mins to set.
- Remove and enjoy
These gummies will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks. It’s important to keep them refrigerated, there are no preservatives and they’ll quickly spoil at room temperature.
I hope you get a chance to try to make these with your kids. We had fun gathering the berries and making them. The best thing is, they love eating them!
Leave me a comment and let me know what you think and if you’ll give these a try!