Pop in to any holistic parenting group on Facebook, and you’ll see dozens of parents discussing the benefits of Elderberry syrup during cold and flu season. With the heightened awareness of flu like symptoms in our world today, any added steps we can take to increase our body’s chances of fighting off these illnesses are worth doing!
All About Black Elderberry Syrup
Here are some facts… Boring But Important.
Black elderberry is the fruit from an elderberry shrub native to Central Europe (Sambucus nigra). Its subspecies Sambucus canadensis, is native to North America. Black elderberries are one of the easiest and most versatile shrubs to grow. You can find them growing wild along roadsides, backwoods edges, and abandoned fields. The shrub has fragrant, creamy white, edible flowers, as well as delicious dark purple to black fruits which hang in drooping clusters.
Benefits and Cautions
When harvesting black elderberries, harvest the bark, berries, and flowers only, as the stems and leaves can be dangerous. Ingesting an excessive amount of black elderberries can become problematic; nevertheless, you can eat raw black elderberries.
Elderberries and elderflowers are jam-packed with nutritional benefits. They’re high in vitamin C and dietary fiber, as well as an excellent source of antioxidants, which boost the immune system and keep it strong. Elderberries are also a low-calorie food.
Other health benefits of elderberries include:
- Shortens cold and flu symptoms
- Cancer-inhibiting properties
- Inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria
- Elderberries are an excellent diuretic
- May have antidepressant properties
In case you’re feeling audacious, you can concoct your own elderberry syrup. The benefit of making your own is the customization of the elderberry syrup recipe, allowing you to have confidence in what you are ingesting by knowing every ingredient used.
Purchase elderberries and other ingredients online, at a local health food store, or harvest your own. You can find recipes online for elderberry syrup such as Wellness Mama’s Potent Cold + Flu Remedy or a recipe on AllRecipes.com
13 Ways to Use Elderberry Syrup
Elderberry syrup is a staple in a lot of kitchen medicine cabinets for more than just nutritional value, it has an amazing flavor even your pickiest of eaters should enjoy. Here are a few ways for you to enjoy this medicinal goodness in your everyday meals.
- Drizzle on top of pancakes and waffles either in place of or along with traditional syrup.
- Swirl a teaspoon full into plain, unsweetened yogurt (dairy or non-dairy), or layer in a parfait with granola, berries, and yogurt. Alternatively, you can mix elderberry syrup into a flavored yogurt such as blueberries to add extra yumminess.
- Add it as a topping to my Broiled Angel Food Cake.
- Use on top of your favorite warm breakfast; oatmeal, grits, and quinoa each provide a blank canvas for the sweet and tangy flavor of Black Elderberries.
- Mix with water, freeze, then add to unsweetened iced tea, lemonade or sparkling water. Toss an ice cube or two into your hot beverage for a sweet way to cool it down.
- The sweet taste of elderberry syrup can tone down the heat in spicy barbecue sauce, and it adds a layer of flavor to ketchup. Kids will love the purple color, too!
- Stir into a steaming mug of your favorite herbal or black tea.
- Mix some elderberry syrup, frozen or fresh fruit and toss in some kale or spinach with a little water for a green smoothie.
- Mix elderberry syrup in your superfood breakfast or simply swirl it on top to jazz it up a bit.
- Create a “Purple Sunrise” by swirling some syrup in a glass before pouring your morning orange juice.
- Drizzle onto a scoop of your favorite ice cream to make a sundae. Garnish with mint if you’re feeling fancy. (Try this Banana Cream Frozen Yogurt Recipe!)
- Mix with Sriracha or another hot sauce and rub on chicken or tofu for a quick dinner.
- Elderberry syrup makes a good substitute in place of sugar in freezer jams and similar items.
- Drizzle over tangy and tart fruit such as kiwi, pineapple, and apples for a tantalizing contrast.
Now that you know all about black elderberry syrup you can begin taking your health into your own hands. Who knew taking a cold and flu remedy or an immune booster could be so sweet and good for you? Plus as an added bonus, none of the side effects which can arise with traditional over the counter medications!
Local To Sarasota/Venice?
You can find local handmade elderberry syrup for sale at Papa’s Meat Market on Venice Island.
In Bradenton, Palmetto or Ellenton?
Check out Jason’s Elderberry Syrup for another locally made elderberry syrup.
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About The Author:
Krissie McCoy is a stay at home mom to two beautiful little ones working her way through life one baby step at a time.