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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Elderberry Syrup Recipe Ideas

A few years ago I posted about making elderberry syrup and elderberry tea in an attempt to stave off winter colds. This year, after having a cold last week and a new cold this week, I’m back in elderberry mode. Elderberry has been used for centuries to help fight viruses. Elderberry contains vitamin C and flavonoids, which have immune-boosting properties. If you get the flu, taking elderberry syrup can shorten the duration of the illness to just three or four days.

Here's the really cool part: elderberry increases the body's production of cytokines, proteins that help regulate the immune system by communicating when it needs to attack and when it needs to chill out. Even if you're not sick, taking elderberry syrup can strengthen your immune system so it's ready to respond if you're subjected to a rogue germ or virus.

Elderberry syrup can be purchased at the drug store, grocery store, or health food store, but it’s cheaper to make your own, and it’s simple to make.

½ cup dried elderberries (I get mine at Mountain Rose Herbs)
4 cups water

Start by putting ½ cup of dried elderberries with 2 cups of water in a pot on the stove. Bring to a boil, then continue to simmer at medium heat for about 20-30 minutes. Keep an eye on it and stir it every once in a while. You don’t want the water to completely boil out, causing the elderberries to burn. The water will reduce a lot. Strain it out into a jar, pressing on the elderberries with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Put the elderberries back into the pot, add 2 more cups of water, and boil for another 20 minutes or so. Add that syrup to the syrup already in the jar by straining it out and pressing on the berries.

When the elderberry liquid in the jar cools to lukewarm, add ½ cup of honey and stir well. Store covered in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.

You can take the syrup a tablespoon at a time to boost your immune system during the winter months (I take up to 4 tablespoons a day if I feel an illness coming on.) The best way to take it is to use it in a recipe.

Below are my favorite ways to eat elderberry syrup.
Drizzled on pancakes
In a parfait with homemade yogurt and granola

Swirled with yogurt for Baby T

Mixed with club soda for a natural, sweet drink

Drizzled over vanilla ice cream and club soda: an elderberry float!

*I'm not a doctor. This is not medical advice, it's just what I do in the winter to try to stay healthy.

For more delicious recipes, check out:
Mandy’s Recipe BoxTasty TuesdaysDelicious Dishes Blog PartyNap-Time Creations


All Natural Katie said... Best Blogger Tips

I bought dried elderberries at Whole Foods and made tea with them (then ate the berries, hehe). Loved the tea!

Tmuffin said... Best Blogger Tips

You ate the berries? How did they taste? I didn't think to eat them after boiling them!

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