Thursday, October 14, 2010

Elderberry and Honey

Elderberry syrup is something I meant to rave on and on about last year in this blog space. My friends have all heard an earful about it. We are an elderberry consuming family when cold and flu season comes around. The problem is that I was purchasing each bottle and it was running us broke.

The merits of elderberry and honey can be looked up all over the Internet now. I have no regrets about our consumption, even with the expense of purchased syrup. We are an inordinately healthy family and that is priceless. I'm secretly convinced it's because of a daily consumption of our own honey. Toss in the elderberry syrup during the dreaded cold and flu season, and we've avoided much of what we've been exposed to in the last couple of years.

What finally prompted me to make my own was when I felt the budget was too tight to splurge on the store bought syrup. (The bottle pictured above is what I would recommend if you're not going to make your own.) We quickly succumbed to whatever virus was making its germy way into our household. That's it. Elderberry and honey may not be the answer, but it seems to be a magic wand of sorts. I purchased dried elderberry and here's the recipe we used:

1/2 cup dried elderberries
3 cups water
1 cup honey
I boiled the water and elderberries and then turned down the heat to a simmer for an hour or so. I pureed with my trusty handheld Cuisinart. (I'm in love with this little gem and you can see it in the background of the above pic.) Some may chose to strain seeds with cheesecloth after this, but we skipped it. They are about like raspberry seeds, and pleasantly crunchy. Then we added our honey, using the Cuisinart to stir well. Let it cool and put in a lidded mason jar in the fridge. It will keep for months, but must be refrigerated. (I'm not a health professional, but the doses we use are 1 tsp for our 4 yr old, 2 tsp for 7 yr old, and 4 tsp for adults.)
This is the label for our honey, created by our talented graphic designer friend. It's for sale at tail gate markets around town or you can contact me. What do you think of that design? I gave her the name and she came up with it because she knows us well.

So... after not too much effort and $4.75 worth of berries, we had a huge batch. Easy peasy. I wish I had made my own about a year ago, but such is life. I'm always reminding myself that it's hard to do it all.


liz at olliekate said...

Look at you crafty mama! I missed your return to blogging, glad I popped over. I miss you and hope things are well. Sewing lots? Me too! Talk to you soon!

Melissa said...

We tried a lot of (VERY) expensive homeopatic stuff last year-- and my kids are NOT inordinately healthy. They are sick almost all winter. This we must give a try-- and can your honey be shipped? Even though it's not local to me, I still want some!

Not your normal Engineer said...

I can vouch for the Elderberry syrup. This crafty sister of mine turned me on to it while we were visiting, and my husband and I started chugging it before we got out of the car. We made it through the Christmas with the fam in NC last year, which was pretty amazing given the amount of junk that was going around! Of course, I stopped pumping it through my veins after my return and came down with a horrid respiratory infection 2 weeks later. Classic - some of us never learn.

Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of Osha too. I worked many years for an Ethnobotanist in Flagstaff messing around with herbs and Elderberry is at the to of the list for kids.

Thanks for the warm thoughts on my FIL. I hope you are fully on the up!

patty a. said...

I am so glad I checked your blog today! The honey looks so yummy and now I want to make some of the elderberry syrup. Where did you get the dried elderberries? I checked a local place that usually has all kinds of healthy items, but they did not have any elderberries.

Anonymous said...

Good Morning!!Sweet friend! That pot of Elderberry Syrup looks so beautiful and inviting. Glad your back. And I forgot to ask how the leg is doing these days? Hope it's all healed and your feeling back to your good healthy self. Much Love!! Noreen