Updated: Oct 12, 2022
Elderberry Syrup is amazing stuff! The main ingredient are elderberries and raw honey.
I wanted to create a recipe that makes it as easy for us as possible to make and use elderberry syrup as both a preventative supplement (we take a spoonful/ day when we are around people who are sick ) and a way to get over colds faster (4 spoonfuls/day when someone in the family is sick). If you want more info on why Elderberry Syrup is so amazing follow us on instagram at @hawsbeeshoney to keep up with all our fun investigations into all things family health and wellness!
If your toddler won't take it- like is sometimes the case for Brighten when she's sick- I mix it in a stevia sweetened electrolyte mix and call it "Well Time Tea" she drinks it with ice and we talk it up as her special drink that is super yummy and she can only have when she's sick- so like two times in her life so far haha. It has natural favoring in it but it's worth the trade off for us when we need her to stay hydrated when sick!
Here are some things I did to keep this recipe as simple as possible for you:
I like to use dried elderberries, because although some people say fresh is better, the dried ones are easy to keep on hand and who wants to go out shopping for a random berry when you or someone in your house is sick- because of course this is when you realize you're out of Elderberry Syrup if you're anything like me.
For the Cinnamon and Ginger I usually have powdered Cinnamon but not cinnamon sticks but either is fine. I happen to usually have fresh Ginger Root on hand because we juice it a lot but a lot of people don't, so Ginger powder ,if you have that on hand, can be used.
My goal with this is that you have all of this stuff around the kitchen already after you make it the first time so you can make it a few more times without having to run to the store.
For the honey I love our Prime Blend in this because it can also be used to sooth allergies and the Prime Blend has the spring mix of pollen when most people around here get allergies. You don't need to use our honey but it must be Raw honey. If it's store bought it's likely heated, filtered and processed to SOME degree and not really raw (even though it says so on the jar) your best bet is buying at a farmers market from someone you KNOW keeps the bees themselves. (Yes, there are people who buy honey in bulk and re-sell at farmers market for a premium price- I know, those little stinkers). If you're here locally or want to pay for shipping you can buy from us but the very very best is to find someone who keeps bees right around you locally- people often ask me "How local is local?" And I say if the beekeepers bees are pollenating the same type of landscape that you are living in you're good! If not then as local as possible!
Lastly, I adapted the recipe to be super simple to follow and remember. All you have to remember is 1x4 and 4x1; there is one thing with 4 units measured and 4 things with one unit measured.
Let's get to the recipe and you'll see what I mean:
Elderberry Syrup RECIPE:
-4 cups of Filtered Water
-1 cup of Organic Dried Elderberries (we buy in the bulk section at Natural Grocers they can also be found at Sprouts)
-1 cup of Local and Raw Honey (Must be Raw and if you want it for allergies it must be local to you HERE IS THE ONE WE USE)
-1 Tablespoon Cinnamon (or 1 Cinnamon Stick)
-1 inch of Ginger Peeled (or 1 Teaspoon of dried Ginger)
If you want to be fancy or are use to making elderberry syrup with clove you can add some clove too.
Boil all ingredients EXCEPT THE HONEY then reduce to low and let it simmer for about 1 hour (I know that's a while but that part is essential).
If this is your first time and you're smelling those elderberries then - yup, that's what they smell like haha. It gets better when you add the honey.
Once it’s been an hour take it off the heat and let it cool until it's not hot but still warm or around 110* (if you have a food thermometer), this ensures you don't cook the pre- and probiotics in the raw honey :)... or your hands for this next step...
Strain it into a colander lined with a nut milk bag, cheese cloth (here is the organic unbleached cheese cloth I use) or just an old thin kitchen towel is totally fine! (Keep in mind it will get stained).
Squeeze the excess juice from the berries.
Add the raw honey and stir it in! (If it's raw it's likely crystalized and will take a bit of stirring to dissolve).
Transfer into 2-3 pint jars and give one to a neighbor or friend.
Because of the high sugar content (due to the honey) the syrup lasts up to 6 months in the fridge which is super handy!
NOTE OCTOBER 2022: Lately I have been doing this recipe in the electric pressure cooker because last year I was outside playing with the girls and let the elderberries boil dry and fill the whole house with smoke and smoke damaging everything we own. I did not change the recipe at all even though it might be good to reduce the water a little, if you prefer a thicker syrup, since virtually none of it boils off -being contained in the pressure cooker.
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