Autumn is the perfect time to make a quick batch of elderberry syrup. The elderberries in the fields and hedges are all ripe and abundant and you will have the healthy syrup for the cold winter months ahead.
Elderberries have become known for it’s many health benefits, including boosting your immune system! I like to have this syrup on hand all through cold and flu season. An added benefit is that my kids love taking it! This elderberry syrup is so simple and easy to make. Join me as we make a batch together.
To start you need to get some elderberries. You can pruchase dried elderberries at the Bulk Herb Store or you can forage your own and use them fresh. If you are foraging your own be sure to identify them correctly. There are two native North American varieties; Sambucus canadensis and Sambucus cerulea. Where I live we have the Sambucus cerulea or blue Elderberry.
Elderberries usually grow multi stemmed large shrubs. The stems are woody and kind of brittle and older ones seem hollow inside.
Elderberry leaves are in a pattern called compound pinnate, which means rather than having individual leaves, elderberries have compound leaves made of multiple leaflets, usually 5-11 in number.
They are arranged opposite one another with one on the end, attached by little to no stem. They tend to be long and serrated.
The flowers bloom in June through July in our area. They grow in clusters of hundreds of tiny blossoms forming a flattened flowerhead. Once you have seen them they are pretty easy to recognize. Each blossom has 5 petals and 5 stamens.
The berries ripen in the fall and hang in large heavy clusters. Around here we have the blue elderbberries. They often have a whitish bloom on the skin as they ripen. Elderberries should be harvested when the berries are fully blue not green.
When you have harvested your Elderberries begin by picking all the berries off the stem and then proceed with the recipe as follows:
- 2 cups fresh elderberries or 1 cup dried elderberries
- 2 cups water
- 1 small peice of frech ginger
- 1 cinnamon stick or 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup raw honey
- 1. Add elderberies, spices, and water to a medium pot.
- 2. Simmer Gently for about 30 minutes.
- 3. Remove from heat and let steep for 1 hour
- 4. When cooled to room temperature
- 5. Strain out berries
- 6. Add the honey to the liquid and stir until combined
- 7. Store syrup in a bottle in the fridge, it will keep for several months.
This recipe can easily be double for a bigger batch. I always make a batch of this in the fall to get us through the coming cold and flu season. At thie first sign of illness or even if we have been around alot of people and likely exposed to something I give everybody a spoonful a few times a day.
Let me know in the comments if you give this recipe a try!