I can’t quite believe it’s September already and the hedgerows are brimming with foraging goodies, one of the early croppers is elderberry and for the first time ever I was determined to harvest some! For years I’ve been foraging elderflower (my favourite!) but for some reason I always forget or don’t have time to go and harvest the berries. This year was different however, I grabbed my bicycle and scooted down to the same bush I had previously picked the flowers from and to my surprise there were quite a few elderberries left. I had made sure to leave some flowers for this exact reason and even though there weren’t many of the berries left I couldn’t have been happier with my little harvest.
I had heard about how medicinal elderberries were and couldn’t wait to make some syrup for those cold winter months. The berries are brimming with vitamins that help boost the immune system, improve vision, lower cholesterol and they are the perfect remedy for colds and flu too.
I headed down to the little purple potting shed on plot 15c to make the syrup and I managed to film a recipe video whilst I was there. Even though I don’t want to get ill I just can’t wait to try the syrup, maybe it will act as a great deterrent to those winter colds!
Foraged Elderberry Syrup
Makes 2 500ml bottles
Cooking time: 45 minutes
- 300g elderberries (2 cups full)
- 4 cups of water
- 2 cups of sugar
Remove the berries from the branches making sure to remove as many as the stems as possible as these can be poisonous in large quantities. Clean the berries and then place in a pan with the water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 30 minutes and mash the berries up to remove the juice.
Put the juice through a strainer to remove the berry skins and any remaining stems. Clean the pan and then add the juice with 2 cups of sugar, simmer until the sugar is all dissolved.
Pour the mixture into the bottles using a funnel and label. It will keep for 3 months in the fridge.
As a preventative, a tablespoon a day can be given to adults or a teaspoon a day to children. At the first sign of illness, a tablespoon full every 2-3 hours for adults or a teaspoonful every 2-3 hours for children.