With cold season upon us, make your own inexpensive elderberry syrup to help boost your immune system.
Elderberries are naturally high in immune boosting compounds that are specifically shown to help beat the cold and flu quickly. Elderberries contain vitamin A,B and C and stimulate the immune system using the complex sugars and there is evidence that they may have anti-viral properties.
Elder trees are common all over the country, in autumn they hang shiny black berries on red stalks. They are pretty easy to harvest as they come in big bunches.
Elderberry syrup can be taken everyday either by the spoonful or you can add it to smoothies or even porridge! It is available to buy in bottles but can be expensive, so why not make your own?
15 mins prep (removing elderberries)
1 hour cooking time
350g of fresh elderberries
1 litre water
2 tbsp fresh ginger cut in to chunks
1 tsp round cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves (whole or powder)
350g of honey/molasses/maple syrup
First you need to remove the berries from the branches. Do this carefully using your hands or a fork.
Add the berries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves to a pan, cover with he water and bring to boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to simmer and place a lid on the pan, let this simmer for 45 mins. The water should reduce by about half. (your house should now be smelling very festive!)
Mash the berries using a wooden spoon and then pour the mixture through a sieve into a bowl or jug, let the liquid cool to lukewarm temperature.
When it is no longer hot, add the honey (or molasses/maple syrup)
And then you can pour this into a sterilised bottle – i used a Kilner one with a plug topper so it keeps it fresher for longer.
This should last you and your family through cold season!
Store the bottle in the fridge.
Take a spoonful daily, some sources recommend only taking it 5 days a week and not on the weekend to help boost immunity. Half the amount for children.
Do not give to babies under the age of 1 if you used honey.
If you don’t find you are getting through it quick enough you can always add it to an ice cube tray and freeze it for later on.
*credit to WellnessMama for the recipe