Tuesday, December 04, 2012

A post a day--Dec. 4: Elderberry syrup recipe

OK, this was supposed to be scheduled to post at 9 am this morning, but apparently that didn't happen! Oh well, at least I caught it before the day was over, so I can still count it for today. :)

I can't remember if I ever posted about elderberry syrup before or not.  At any rate, since cold and flu season is upon us, this is a handy thing to know about! :)  You can buy elderberry syrup in the stores; one good brand is Sambucol, but it is pricey.  Last year a friend from church gave me some that she had made, and since then I have been making my own, too!  It's super easy, and this stuff is great for cold and flu symptoms.  Since we had run out recently, I just made a new batch on Sunday. Even using raw honey (which has the best health benefits), it is way cheaper to make your own than to buy it!

Here is how I make it:

  • 1 cup fresh or 1/2 cup dried elderberries
  • 3 cups water
  • 3/4 to 1 cup honey (preferably raw, local honey)
Combine elderberries and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, till liquid is somewhat reduced.  Remove from heat and mash berries to extract as much juice as possible.  (We mashed them in a strainer and then returned them to the pan.)  Strain juice into a bowl or pan (to remove seeds, stems, etc.--there are lots of seeds!) and allow to cool completely.  After it's cool, mix in honey.  Store in a jar in the fridge for 1-2 months.  Take a spoonful or two every day for preventative maintenance or for sickness.  

This summer we ordered a couple of elderberry bushes and planted them in our yard.  Then later in the summer, Jim discovered several more elderberry plants growing wild around our property!  Score!  So this time when I made the syrup, I was using free, homegrown elderberries that I had dried.  :)  Obviously this brought the cost of my syrup even lower.  I bought the honey from my friend down the road, so we have some great, truly local medicine here!  I think we will be taking a spoonful daily through the rest of the winter.  We have really gotten hit hard with sickness already, so hopefully this will help!

This recipe originally came from Deep Roots at Home, which has a wonderful long post about elderberries, as well as the syrup recipe and a tincture recipe!  She also has beautiful pictures of her elderberries from the summer, so if you're curious to know more, check out this great post. :)


1HappyWife said...

Thank you for the recipe!! I'll be copying it and printing. I never thought about being able to make it.
The first time I ever had it was when I was pregnant for Leah this past January and most of the house was sick, the midwives suggested me taking it to boost the immune system. It tastes sooooooo good!
Where do you buy elderberries?

Carrie said...

Joey, you could check a health food store for the dried elderberries, but otherwise I believe you can buy them at bulkherbstore.com (a Christian company) or possibly mountainroseherbs.com
I'm not sure where my friend bought hers originally, but I think it might have been Bulk Herb Store. Or if we have a bumper crop next summer I can dry some and send them to you. :) They are kind of expensive to buy, from what I hear, but probably still a lot cheaper to make your own than to buy the syrup. :)