This time of year I like to add herbs and natural supplements into my family’s diet to keep them healthy and happy. One of the things I’ve been using this season is elderberry syrup.
Elderberries have been used in traditional folk medicine for generations. Elderberries are high in antioxidants which help stimulate the immune system. A compound in elderberry, anthocyanins have been found to have an anti-inflammatory effect making it an effective medicine for aches and pains. Some studies have found that elderberry can also help ease flu symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat and body aches.
How To Add Elderberry To Your Diet
I happen to enjoy the taste of elderberry syrup. I take it right off the spoon and add it to my smoothies. My kids on the other hand don’t like the taste of it very much. So I’ve been adding it to their daily smoothie and to my homemade fruit snacks. These are the two most successful ways to add it to their diet!
Below are two recipes, homemade elderberry syrup and immune boosting elderberry gummy snacks. The elderberry syrup recipe is quite easy to make and will last you all winter.
Immune Boosting Elderberry Gummy Snacks
- In a small bowl mix 1/4 cup of elderberry syrup with gelatin.
- Let the gelatin sit in the water for a minute or until it gels up.
- Heat 1/4 cup of water in a saucepan on low heat. You want the water to be hot but not boiling.
- Pour the hot water over the gelatin mixture.
- Use a whisk and mix the ingredients together.
- Add the honey and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Pour mixture into molds.
- Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until set.
- Store fruit snacks in a closed container in the refrigerator.
If you’d rather purchase elderberry syrup you can find good quality syrup at your local health food store or online. I’ve used Gaia Black Elderberry Syrup. It’s highly concentrated so you only need to use 1/2 teaspoon – 1 teaspoon a day
Homemade Elderberry Syrup
- 1 Cup Fresh Elderberries or 1/2 Cup Dried Elderberries
- 3 Cups Water
- 1 Cup Honey
- Place the berries in a saucepan and cover with water.
- Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer over low heat for 30-45 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat.
- Smash the elderberries well (I used a potato masher).
- Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer.
- Stir in 1 cup of honey (or more or less to your taste).
- Bottle the syrup and store in the refrigerator.
- Keeps for 3 months.
When making elderberry syrup it’s important to use only blue elderberries. Red elderberries are potentially toxic if eaten in large quantities. Never eat raw elderberries.