It’s that time of year when we all enjoy the break from that Texas heat and blissfully glide into cooler temperatures. We do switch up our vitamin regiment during the fall and winter, and elderberry syrup is a staple for us. I bought it at the grocery store for years because it’s so great. But paying an obscene amount for little bottles was just...unnecessary. So I figured out how to make my own, relatively quickly... for a fraction of the price, and triple the product. And all you mamas on a budget looking for ways to protect your kids from bacterias and viruses...I’m about to hook you up!
This is easy to do, and doesn’t require you to babysit it. You can walk away and come back to it, no problem. I’m giving you two versions of this recipe to “set it and forget it”. Just because I’m that type of gal. Natural Grocers in Lubbock has all the ingredients that you need. So you have the convenience of a one stop shop. Side note: the ingredients are cheaper in the bag section of the spices.
If you have never heard about elderberry syrup, what it’s used for, what it tastes like (its delicious) ...I’ll give you some deets. But I’m also going to encourage you to read into it on your own.
It’s naturally high in vitamin C, vitamin A, bioflavonoids betacarotene, iron, and potassium, and quercitin.
This study is the MOST impressive one I’ve read. It’s a placebo-controlled, double blind study on elderberry vs. flu viruses, RSV, and adenoviruses. I’m going to drop it right here for you to read because it’s incredible.
So there is also research on its protective benefits against bacteria and viruses as a preventative. So I give it everyday during the winter months and give it more frequently during illnesses. Now. Let’s make it .
Quick(er) Elderberry syrup
Time : 30 minutes
1 - 4 oz package of dried organic elderberries
1 cinnamon stick
4 cups of filtered or distilled water
2 TBS of fresh grated ginger
1 tsp of cloves (sometimes I skip it if I don’t have it...still great)
1 cup of raw honey (can totally use Manuka honey if it’s in the budget!)
**use 100% pure maple syrup in place of honey if this is for a child under one.
Optional : 1 small bottle of mullein blend tincture (great for lungs—respiratory stuff is what our Wyatt boy is usually hit with)
I’ve seen recipes with rose hips and chamomile that are great also! Both of those add great benefits to the syrup!
Strainer or small colander
Electric pressure cooker
Put everything in the pressure cooker except the honey and mullein. You will add those when the syrup is cooled.
Set pressure on high for 9 minutes. Vent the pressure. I let it sit without heat for 10 minutes just to let it cool off.
Put the cheesecloth inside the strainer and a bowl underneath to catch your wonderful syrup. Scoop the contents into the strainer and I always press or mash the berries down and ring the cheesecloth because the berries and skins are really high in antioxidants and flavonoids. So I don’t want to miss any extra benefits by not squeezing any tiny morsels of extra liquid left in it.
When the syrup is close to room temperature, maybe slightly higher, you can add the raw honey and stir until combined. If the syrup is hot to touch then you will lose the beneficial enzymes from the raw honey. And when it’s completely cool, I add the entire bottle of mullein to the bowl. And pour into glass jars with lids. Store in the fridge for two weeks.
Slow(er) Elderberry Syrup
Time : 12-24 hours
Strainer or small colander
Follow the same instructions, just put the ingredients in a crockpot on low for 12-24 hours. Strain all the juice. Let cool. Add honey. Pour in jars. Store in fridge.
Kids 1 tsp. Adults 1 tbs. everyday. When we are sick we take it every 2-3 hours.