Elderberry syrup is a delicious and, well, almost free food! All you need to have is sugar or honey (I’ll make a sugar-free version soon!).
If you’re looking for how to find and forage elderberries, here is a good article I found. I can’t give advice as I’m not professionally trained and don’t want the liability in case someone forages something different.
Really pretty much the first step is to steep the elderberries in cold water to clean them. You should also destem them as well! The stems contain cyanide which WILL seep into the syrup if you haven’t removed all of the stems! This includes loose stems, so make sure everything is just berries! Leaves also contain cyanide, so please make sure to dispose of those as well!
It may seem like hard work, but it really is worth it!
Elderberry Syrup Recipe
Once you’ve destemmed everything, we’ll go on the cooking! So I usually add a cup of water to the pan and the elderberries. You can choose whether you want to have them more watery or syrupy. You should then add the honey or sugar to the pot and leave it to boil. Important: if you’re not going to use it up quickly, make sure to add some lemon juice. This allows it to help preserve if you add it to a mason jar. The acidity prevents botulism from developing, and elderberries are not naturally acidic when cooked.
We don’t want to lose too much of the good vitamins in the elderberries, so make sure to set it to simmer once it hits boiling. Make sure to cover the pan afterwards; leave it for 10 to 20 minutes once you’ve done this.
You’ll want to strain out the elderberry bits (you cannot eat the seeds; they contain cyanide!). Grab a sieve or anything to strain it, then strain the hot liquid into a heat-safe jug or jar (or any heat-safe container).
Once you’ve removed the bits from the liquid, you can store it in a jar or use it instantly! Alternatively, you can thicken the syrup to give it more viscosity.
If you want more natural and healthy foods, we have our homemade tree nut butter!
- 250 grams elderberries
- 250 grams honey
- 1 cup water (optional)
- 1 tsp lemon juice optional
- Add the (destemmed and no leaves) elderberries and the honey to the pot
- (add water optionally) Heat til boil, then leave for 20 minutes to 30 minutes covered on simmer
- Add lemon juice to the syrup and mix it into it.
- Strain the syrup into a jar or heat-proof container then dispose of the berry bits and seeds (the seeds are poisonous! so make sure they're removed fully!)