Elderberry Syrup - A Method and Discussion

From this beautiful bouquet of a flower comes the berry...

 Great as a healing treat or a culinary delicacy!

This medicinal syrup is often thought of as being invaluable to the onset of colds and flu, particularly with fever, as it cools and promotes sweating, opening the pores and releasing the"evils" (as would be said in TCM).  I use this syrup for this, but also for some lesser known therapeutics:  nerve damage and pain (acute or chronic), constipation, and food poisoning.  And it tastes great...one of the easier herbs with which to gain compliance.  :)

Return of the Jedi in my oven.  :)

There are different ways of making this syrup and lots of possibilities of herbs to add.  In this batch I added Pine needles  (Pinus virginiana) my apprentices and I wild-harvested and processed.  This time I did not have fresh berries (was traveling when they were ripe here in Virginia), I used organic sugar for the syrup (you can also use glycerin), and I strained it.  Sometimes I leave it chunky for all the added goodness of the skin and seeds, but felt with the Pine needles included, straining would be good.  Plus peeps seem to prefer the syrup smooth.  ;)  Mind you if you leave the seeds in, you must cook it thoroughly as they can be toxic if uncooked.

Here's how to do this yourself:

(or inquire if you want to purchase or barter from me)

You will need:
1 lb. dry Elderberries 
(see link for Mountain Rose to right side to order)
about 7 c. organic raw sugar
any other herbs you wish to infuse, 
I used about 1 c. of Pine needles
canning jars or other containers

Begin by reconstituting your berries:  bring 8 c. of water to a boil, pour over berries and other herbs, let them sit steeping with a lid for a half hour.  Next hand mash or use a stick blender to break up berries being careful not to break up seeds (they won't hurt you, just taste bitter)Then strain.  I used a cheese press for this, but you could use a mesh bag or the like.  Put this liquid in a large pot with the sugar. 

If you aren't making a divine mess in the kitchen, you aren't doing it right.  ;)

Boil, stirring regularly until it's frothy.  Have your canning jars ready (warmed so they don't break), lids off.  Once frothy, pour the syrup into the jars and put the lids on.  As they cool, they will pop.  You can store these jars unopened a year out of the fridge.  I like to keep it in the fridge once I open it.

Getting frothy.

The marc, or leftover herbs after pressing, can then be composted or used for something else.  As I said, I usually don't strain my syrup and this is why.  This seems like a waste of good nutrients and fiber.  Normally I would utilize this marc, at least as a filler, in muffins or bars.  Or use it externally as a poultice even.  But being swamped for time and, after an apprentice day of remedy prep, loaded up on various marcs that I want to get the last bit of magic out of, let's just say the raccoons will be pooping purple!

I think next time I want to add something like Pine needles, I will infuse them first, strain, and then use that infusion to reconstitute the berries.  Live and learn, always something new to learn, especially when you constantly experiment and rarely do the same thing twice.  :)

I doubled the recipe.  One recipe makes (12) 8 oz. jars. 

Inquire if you want to purchase or barter, $15 for an 8oz. jar.*
All Organic.  Shipping is expensive for liquids and this weight, 
so best if you know me and can get it in person, but I will ship, inquire...

Elderberry Abstract Art

*If you are buying several Ravenwind Botanica products at one time, whether the same item or not, you can save substantially on shipping as I will ship it all together, please inquire and we'll get the payment set up right for you.  :)  You can click on 'Ravenwind Botanica' in the list to the right to see all products available.  Thanks for supporting my work.

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