Elderberries have powerful immune supporting properties, are high in vitamins A and C, and are wonderful anti-oxidants. Studies show they are effective in preventing and treating colds and flus. I've also added cinnamon for it's warming flavor as well as it's antimicrobial properties. Ginger is a key ingredient because of it's anti-inflammatory properties and it's ability to ease digestive distress. Echinacea's chemical constituents are strong immune system stimulants as well. If you choose to add echinacea, try to find one with both plant and root parts in it because they both have different healing properties.
Raw honey is rich in enzymes and has many anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties. Be sure to allow the herbal decoction to cool to 115 degrees or less before stirring in the honey to protect those valuable properties. I've given the option to make the recipe low in sugar for those who do not tolerate sugars well.
¾ c dry or 1 ½ cups fresh elderberries
3 cups water
1 cinnamon stick or 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2-4 teaspoons Echinacea (optional)
1 teaspoon whole or ground clove
¾ cup raw honey, maple syrup OR ½ cup birchbark xylitol or monkfruit sweetener plus 30 drops unrefined stevia
Add all ingredients except sweetener to a small saucepan, cover with lid, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 2 hours with lid slightly askew. After two hours, remove from the heat and strain into a glass liquid measuring cup. Stir in stevia and xylitol. If using raw honey, allow mixture to cool to at least 115 degrees before stirring it in. Store in a pint jar or small glass bottle in the refrigerator for 1-2 months. Serve 1/2 - 1 teaspoons for children and 2 teaspoons for adults up to twice a day for preventative care. If sickness occurs, serve up to 4 times daily. Also note, if using this recipe for a child under one, make sure the honey is thoroughly heated to avoid botulism poisoning.
To give your elderberry syrup an additional health benefit, add gelatin to make the syrup into gummies. Gelatin is a wonderful source of amino acids, which support your mood and mental health, helps sleep quality, strengthens bones, joints and ligaments, aids in heart health, and improves gut health and digestion.
1 batch of elderberry syrup
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons grassfed gelatin
3 tablespoons clean, filtered water
Prepare syrup as stated above. Add water to a shallow bowl and sprinkle gelatin over the top. Let stand for about 10 minutes to allow the gelatin to bloom. This will ensure a smooth texture in your final product. While syrup is still warm, whisk the bloomed gelatin into the syrup until well incorporated. Stir in lemon juice. Pour into a parchment lined loaf pan and refrigerate for about an hour or until the gelatin sets. Cut into bite-sized pieces or use small cookie cutters for fun shapes that children will adore.