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Riley and I have been doing everything that we can to focus on wellness, rather than chasing symptoms or waiting for bad health to change. This mindset has brought us down a path that has changed our lives in many positive ways.
So of course, after diving into the wellness world in our research, I had read a lot about elderberries. I’ve heard good things about elderberry syrup but have never tried it myself until this weekend. We created our own recipe, after reading a few different ways to make it. We each took our first spoonful yesterday, and approve :)
Elderberries have a long history of medicinal use. they are known for their antiviral properties, and have been used to combat allergies, sinus pressure, pain, and inflammation. Elderberries are immune boosters, so we are happily incorporating this into our daily routines during cold/flu season.
I purchased elderberries here and was excited to see that this bag will be enough for several batches of syrup.
We started the recipe by pouring 1 cup of the dried elderberries into the pot, and covered them with 4 cups of water.
We added 1 inch of fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped into about 10 pieces, and a tablespoon of cinnamon powder. You could add other spices (like clove) but we knew we were going to add a special ingredient at the end, so we skipped that step.
Bring mixture to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes. The liquid will reduce (by about half). Turn off the heat to let it cool down before handling it. Our home smelled amazing while we were making this!
Strain the contents into a glass bowl which will end up being the beautiful, dark thickened syrup. Use the back end of the spoon to press the berries, making sure you aren’t missing out on any of the liquid.
Most recipes called for a cup of honey. I wanted to try it with less this first time, so I added 1/4 cup of honey and mixed until it was well incorporated. Not bad! I thought it tasted great, but it may require a bit more honey for kids to agree with me ;)
Once the whole mixture was closer to room temperature, I added four drops of thieves oil to the bowl. My husband and I tried it and really loved the flavors that this added, as well as the immune supporting benefits of our favorite oil. At this point, the elderberry syrup reminded me of a mulled wine that I had on one rainy Fall day in Michigan. Absolutely delicious, the warm spices in the thieves oil were the perfect touch. This is exactly how I will be making our next batch in about two weeks.
Pour the contents into a glass jar for storage. This recipe yielded roughly 14 oz of elderberry syrup.
I mentioned above how our choices have brought us down a different path. This small decision to make something new is no exception. We will be taking this syrup to boost our immune systems this Fall and Winter and I am so grateful to be able to use these tools for our wellness. It takes baby steps, that’s for sure. If you showed me a recipe like this a few years ago I would have ignored it, or thought something like this wouldn’t help me. I also would have had thoughts like “well I can’t be healthy like them in this crazy, unhealthy world.” But I took that first step about a year and a half ago, and I have never looked back. Making these decisions for ourselves and our families is empowering. We can change anything we want to, if we just take those small steps in the right direction.
Elderberry syrup ingredients:
1 cup dried elderberries
4 cups filtered water
1/4 cup raw honey
1 tbst cinnamon
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled & chopped
4 drops thieves oil
Add elderberries, water, cinnamon, and ginger to a medium sized pot or saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and let sit for 45 min. The water will reduce by 1/2. Remove from heat, strain ingredients into a bowl. Add honey, and mix until well incorporated. Add more honey, if needed, for taste. Once mixture is about room temperature, add thieves oil and mix well. Pour into storage container and place in refrigerator. Take 1 tbsp daily for wellness or every four hours if you are experiencing cold/flu symptoms.
Try this out and let me know what you think. What is your favorite way to take your elderberry syrup?