Autumn appears to be upon on, but rather than mourn the shift to cooler days, we have been celebrating all that is on offer to us, often right under our noses. At this time of year the hedgerows are groaning with ripe fruit and we have enjoyed picking our bodyweight in plump & juicy blackberries, enjoying Blackberry & Apple Crumble as well as freezing several portions to enjoy in smoothies and other recipes throughout the winter. Why not try our Blackberry Clafoutis?
We have also discovered an abundance of elderberries (Sambucus), a wonderful immune boosting berry, packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants. Elderberries have long been used to support respiratory health, particularly over the winter months. We have combined the fantastic elderberry with a selection of therapeutic herbs and spices & raw honey, all highly revered for their immune boosting properties, to make our own delicious Cooking them Healthy Elderberry Syrup. It really is incredibly satisfying to make your own to help keep your family fighting fit. A bottle of delicious and nutritious Elderberry Syrup, tied with a pretty ribbon, would also make a wonderful gift.
Pleases always make absolutely sure it is definitely elderberries you are picking as cooking with the wrong berries could make you very unwell indeed!
- Rinse the berries well in a bowl of cold water to remove any dust, dirt etc. Drain.
- Add the berries to a large saucepan with the spices and water.
- Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid takes on a deep purple colour and is reduced by about two thirds.
- As the syrup cools, melt in the raw honey and stir well.
- Once the syrup has completely cooled, strain well using a sieve or muslin cloth over a bowl and then pour into sterilised kilner top bottles (one large or two medium) and keep in a cool place.
We would recommend taking a shotglass or eggcup sized dose (halve this for a child) of Elderberry Syrup every day over the colder months to help support immunity, increasing the dose to twice a day to help fight off any colds & coughs.
If you are unable to make your own Elderberry Syrup this year, you can buy a quality alternative. We like Pukka Elderberry Syrup, which is suitable for anyone over the age of 2 years.