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Elderberry Info page, some general info and recipes
Pick fresh heads of elderflower on dry sunny days, shake off to remove any insects and other debris. Don’t wash. Remove any larger stalks, place in a teapot and cover with boiled water. Allow to stand for 10 mins. Drink 3 cups daily.
Elderflower flowering tops are great for coughs, colds and flus. The infusion(tea) helps to open up and relax the bodies tissues and helps to encourage sweating, which helps reduce fever. The flowers are also great during the summer to help manage allergy symptoms, allergic rhinitis, hayfever etc. It helps to do this by toning the mucous membranes in the upper respiratory tract and helping to reduce inflammation. This can also help reduce summer colds and any chronic catarrh states. The tops can also be used for arthritis and candidiasis.
The Berries, picked around October are high in Vit C and are prized for there anti-viral properties, thus helping in winter with colds and flu. The berries are also generally immune stimulating, increasing antibody and white blood cell levels.
Help reduce your chances and severity of winter infections by making the recipes below.
When making this Elderberry Balsamic recipe you dont have to worry about the sugar content being the main preservative therefore you can reduce to taste, I use less than half the sugar from the original recipes.
Spiced Elderberry Syrup
Fresh elderberries (as many as you can pick – I filled one carrier bag)
Brown sugar (muscovado or demerara)
Sterilised glass bottles and tops.
-Give your berries a good wash Make sure ALL stalks, even small ones are removed!!.
-Next place your berries in a stainless steel pan with half of their volume of water, and simmer for 20 minutes. Don’t allow to boil or you’ll remove some of the goodness from the berries. While they are simmering it’s good to give them a mash with a stainless steel potato masher or the back of a metal spoon to help release the berry juices. Don’t use wooden utensils unless you want them to be stained purple forever more!
-Pass the mixture through a fine stainless steel sieve into a bowl, and allow to sit for 15 minutes or so to allow all of the liquid to drip out. Use a metal spoon to push down on the berries to ensure as much water and juice is pressed out of the berries:
-Measure your elderberry liquid – for every 500ml of liquid you have add 250g of sugar, a few slices of lemon, a few slices of orange, a few cloves and one cinnamon stick to a stainless steel pan, and then add your liquid.
-Stir and then let simmer for 20 minutes, and then pass it through the sieve to remove the fruit, cinnamon and cloves.
-Place in a sterilised glass bottle (I filled a 500ml bottle) and enjoy whenever you feel a cold coming on or just when you fancy it. I would serve diluted with hot water as a tasty winter warmer. It has a lovely earthy flavour, and the spice and citrus give it that extra sweet edge. 
If picking in smll batches, take the berries off the tiny stalks before freezing as it is much harder afterwards.
Leave time for picking the berries off the stalks as soon after picking as possible while the berries are still firm
You can use a fork to get the berries off the stalks but it does leave behind some very small stalks so you still have to go back for them.