Elderberry Recipes for a Healthy Winter Gloucestershire

Here are some great elderberry recipes which can help you take full advantage of this wonderful plant, winter and summer!

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Elderberry Recipes for a Healthy Winter

Elderberry recipes to see you through a healthy winter

Elderberry recipes: Stripped elderberries - the birds had first picks!

Picture: Stripped elderberries: the birds got there first!

Here are some great elderberry recipes which can help you take full advantage of this wonderful plant, winter and summer!

There's also a recipe for elderflower champagne for early summer.

Elderberry recipes - free health food from the countryside!

Elderberries are the fruits of the black elder (Sambucus nigra).

There are different relations of this very useful plant in practically every country, world-wide. Here in Britain elderberry trees are regarded as a bit of a weed. A bit of a shame as elderberry fruit is one of the easiest free harvests around!

You should check the properties of your local variety as to how edible the berries are.

The berries of the European black elder are edible cooked but are not really trustworthy raw. However, once they are cooked they are a good source of vitamin C and iron.

They are highly regarded by herbalists for their ability to ward off and treat colds and 'flu. They have anti-catarrhal and anti-inflammatory properties.

Elderberries have as much as 5 times the amount of anthocyanins as blueberries! They even score better than cranberries for antioxidants. This has to give them the status of a superfood, in my book.

So help yourself to some winter health by taking advantage of some elderberry recipes! First here's a classic recipe for elderberry cordial.

If it looks just too much like hard work, or like me, you manage to miss the berries, there are and elderberry supplements such as "Sambucol" available in good health food shops and at Amazon.

Elderberries are noted for their medicinal properties. They also contain some indigestible elements so it's best not to eat them raw.

Pick elderberries when they are fully ripe in early autumn. The bunches should be starting to droop downwards with the weight of the fruit. Use a fork or your fingers to gently prise the fruit away from the stalks. This can be a bit fiddly but you don't have to be too perfect with it - a few bits of stalk will not matter.

Wash the fruit in running water and put it into a large saucepan. Add a little water. Cook them gently until the juice runs out. Now use a jelly bag or other way of straining them, such as a piece of muslin placed over a sieve. Strain off all the juice. You can leave the fruit in the bag or sieve for a while to drip so that you extract most of the goodness. You can also press them with the back of a spoon.

Now measure the juice and add a pound of sugar for every pint of juice.

Boil this mixture, stirring carefully to avoid burning the sugar. When it is the consistency of a thick syrup (usually about ten minutes), pour it into small sterile bottles and seal with a close-fitting cap. You can add a few cloves to help preserve the mixture but it's not strictly necessary.

Other elderberry recipes:

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