What’s Cooking — Elderberries, Nature’s Flu Medicine

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What's Cooking — Elderberries, Nature's Flu Medicine

Photo: Flickr.com/photos/cobaltfish

This time of year is a celebration of family and friends with holiday parties and extravagant dinners, but you could be missing out on all of the cheer if you have the flu. Elderberries are full of antioxidants that improve immune systems, battling the flu virus as well as coughs, colds, and bacterial and viral infections. Bioflavonoids found in the elderberry juice destroy the ability of cold and flu viruses to infect a cell. This go-to folk remedy has been shown to help people sick with the flu to feel less severe symptoms and heal faster. Whether you find fresh or dry elderberries, these recipes are ideal for consuming the therapeutic berries during these colder months.

Elderberry Shrub

What's Cooking — Elderberries, Nature's Flu Medicine

Photo: Thekitchn.com

Shrub syrups, made with a vinegar-base, are all the rage. It only makes sense to have an elderberry version to build flu resistance while drinking cocktails. This shrub recipe found on The Kitchn can be mixed with spirits or seltzer water for a spritzer.

  • 1 Cup of Elderberries
  • 1 Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Sugar
  • Crush elderberries with a fork in a jar. Add vinegar, and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, occasionally shaking the jar. Discard the solids, and measure the liquid. For every cup of liquid, use 1 cup of sugar. Combine liquid and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for five minutes. remove from heat and let cool. Pour into a clean jar.

    Medicinal Elderberry Syrup

    What's Cooking — Elderberries, Nature's Flu Medicine

    Photo: Homespunseasonalliving.com

    This medicinal syrup by Homespun Seasonal Living really has everything to make you feel better when you’re under the weather. With honey, cinnamon, fresh ginger and lemon, your ailments will soon be a thing of the past.

    Start by placing elderberries in a pot with half their volume of water. Bring to a low boil, and simmer for about 2 hours or until the mixture reduces by half. Strain the berries, squeezing out the juice using cheesecloth. You want to squeeze the berries to get out as much of the juice as possible. Check out Homespun Seasonal Living to get the complete recipe.

    Elderberry Gummies

    What's Cooking — Elderberries, Nature's Flu Medicine

    Photo: Craftaholicsanonymous.net

    Getting your daily elderberry intake is easy with flavorable and fun gummies. Craftaholics Anonymous shares their immunity-boosting recipe.

    Start by infusing water with your dry or fresh elderberries. Over low heat, whisk together a cup of elderberry-infused water, 3 tablespoons of gelatin, a tablespoon of lemon juice, and a sweetener of your choice. Mix until liquid thickens to a syrup state, then pour into silicone molds. Allow to cool and solidify completely before popping them out.

    Elderberry Wine

    What's Cooking — Elderberries, Nature's Flu Medicine

    Photo: Andhereweare.net

    Looking for a more involved project? The blog And Here We Are took on the task of making elderberry wine. Start by cooking down the elderberries with water and sugar. Once cool, put the elderberries and liquid into a food-grade plastic bucket. Add additional water, a gallon of water per every three pounds of berries. Stir in a packet of red wine yeast, nutriment and lemon juice. Cover and ferment for four to five days. To get the complete recipe, head over to the And Here We Are.

    Elderberry Jam

    What's Cooking — Elderberries, Nature's Flu Medicine

    Photo: Palachinkablog.com

    This delightful jam is perfect spreading on toast and biscuits. Serve it with your favorite pancake recipe for a tasty and therapeutic addition to your breakfast. Blogger Palachinka has all the details.

  • 2 1/2 cups of Elderberries
  • 1 Cup of sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of Lemon Juice
  • 2 Teaspoons of Vanilla Sugar
  • Place all ingredients in a large pot, stirring so the sugar can coat the berries. Cook until it boils and then continue to cook for another hour. Stir often. Remove from heat, and let cool. Once cool, blend with a hand blender gently to crush the berries. Return to the heat, and continue to cook until it thickens (but it won’t thick as much as a regular jam would). Let cool completely, and pour the mixture into clean jars.