While perusing a couple of articles about staying healthy this winter, recipes for elderberry syrup as a flu prevention/remedy kept showing up over and over. Since I did not get the flu shot this year, I took it as a DIY Sign and went to get the full story at Lori’s Natural Foods in Henrietta. Helpful staff directed me to the ready-made syrup for $25 for a 30 serving bottle which in turn propelled me to revisit the opportunity to make my own…I ended up purchasing a small bag of dried elderberries…more on that in a bit.
Elderberries (Sambucus ebulus) have flavonoids with anti-oxidant properties (for healthy cells) and provide Vitamins A, B and a lot of C. They may have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-cancer properties – yay! Daily use can provide flu prevention and taken more often can speed up flu recovery. Elderberries grow as a shrub – actually a small tree – in Zone 3-4 in Northern NY, NH, VT, ME, MN, WI, ND, MT and parts of WY (in case you ever get this as a Jeopardy question.) DISCLAIMER! Berries SHOULD NOT be eaten raw – only cooked. Green, unripe, or bright red elderberries are bitter and possibly toxic, even when cooked. Be forewarned and cook ’em up!
I used a recipe from a favorite blogger – Wellness Mama – with simple ingredients…dried elderberries, honey, whole cloves, cinnamon, fresh ginger and water. My resulting syrup yielded 3C (48T) – more than the recipe because I doubled the honey by mistake – oops and yum. Pretty easy to make – a tad messy and maybe it took me an hour start to finish. It tastes good and has a distinct, earthy, fruity flavor.
An adult serving is 1/2 T to 1 T a day – I am doing this now instead of honey, which I had been taking daily. Shelf life is 1-6 mo depending on the honey – it is best to use raw honey! It will keep in the freezer for longer too – so I put my second jar up there.
My cost was $5 for the honey (16 oz) $3.50 for berries plus the spices I had on hand – approximately $.19 per serving vs $.83 per serving for store bought…more yay!
Complete recipe here and helpful comments from her followers http://wellnessmama.com/1888/elderberry-syrup/
And…more than you need to know about elderberries!
Stay healthy this winter – enjoy the subtle beauty of bright birds and our rare sunny days…
Have a Nothing New Day! ~Kristin