Back during the summer I wrote about elderberries. I made an elderberry tonic/cordial using vodka and elderberries that was very good. When using it we would make a syrup to cut down the alcohol. I also froze a large amount o the elderberries I picked. It was too hot to can them, and I didn’t have a lot of time, so I took the stems off and dumped them in zip-lock bags and put them in the freezer. Now I need my freezer space and the weather is colder and illness rampant in our home, as well as allergies. The elderberry tonic is gone, so I pulled out all 20 pounds of frozen elderberries and started cooking them into juice.
Elderberries are so very good for you! They help you fight illness, can ease allergies, and are even being investigated as a cure for AIDS and cancer. I decided to experiment a bit with the elderberry juice to make it taste less bitter and add a few flavors and illness-fighting components at the same time. There is a lot of information that says not to make your own recipes for canning, but I am comfortable in my understanding of ingredients and willing to do so. So far I have never gotten sick 🙂 *NOTE! This is an experiment, and not to be copied except at your own risk! I am only sharing what I am trying.
Here are a few links for you to check out if you are interested. I posted the video link in a past blog; it’s pretty good. Below the links I will share what I did this time around for my family.
Elderberry Health Juice
- Approximately 15-20 lbs. elderberries, fresh or frozen
- water to cover
- 5 Cinnamon sticks
- 2 Tablespoons Anise Seed
- Peel of 1 orange, fresh or dried (organic)
- 1 Tablespoon whole cloves
- 4 cups honey (I prefer raw because at least I know it’s really honey)
Combine elderberries and water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Mash gently and strain through a muslin or cotton cloth. Discard elderberry mash.
Put pot with juice back on the stove and add honey. In a muslin bag or cloth, put spices in and tie shut. Immerse in the elderberry juice and simmer for 1-3 hours. Remove spices and ladle juice into prepared jars, leaving 1/4 inch head-space. Process in a boiling water bath caner for about 5-15 minutes depending on altitude for quart jars. Remove to a double thickness towel in a draft-free place and allow to cool over night. Label and store in a dark cupboard for about 12 months.
I added a cinnamon stick in three jars to see how it goes. I may like it in time, I may not 🙂 This juice may be taken twice a day, morning and night, to help boost your immune system or fight allergies, about 1-4 teaspoons per dose. Or you could just drink a glass poured over ice once in a while because it tastes good. Or make a pancake syrup with it, flavor drinks, stuff like that. It goes good with homemade ginger ale.