Connecting with the Season: Fall & Elderberry Syrup
As we transition into Fall, the Elder Trees (Sambucus sp.) on the Central Coast begin to show clusters of their deep purple-blue berries. When you go to pick them, they easily fall from their deep crimson red stems. This is when you know they are ripe and ready to be harvested. These small, nutrient-dense elderberries are packed Vitamin C, A, potassium, calcium, flavonoids, beta carotene and iron. They have antiviral properties which help to strengthen the immune system. I like to make a batch of Elderberry Syrup at the start of Fall so that I am prepared for the cold/flu season. By taking a spoonful of the syrup each day, it helps strengthen the immune system so you can fight off any illnesses. You can also add some syrup to an ice cube tray and throw an Elderberry ice cube into your blender when making smoothies :) Delicious and packed with immune-boosting vitamins.
4 cups of fresh elderberries
4 cups of water
1 cup of raw honey (or more to taste)
1-2 inches of fresh ginger
2 Cinnamon sticks
Tad of Clove powder
1) Combine the berries and water in a large pot and bring to a slow boil. Reduce to low heat and add in ginger, cinnamon sticks and clove.
2) After about 45-60 minutes, strain through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Reserve the berries for composting or tea.
3) Pour the Elderberry juice back into the pot and stir in honey. Allow syrup to cool before jarring or bottling it. Refrigerate and take a spoonful a day to kick a cold/flu. This will last in the fridge up to 6 months!
Straining the Elderberries
Mashing up the berries through strainer
Poem from The Gift of Healing Herbs by Robin Rose Bennett