Culinary Uses of Elderberries
Elderberry properties is something I discovered a while ago, but I really found out how important it has become during the pandemic in the late winter of 2020.
It is known for its reputation of potential immune health perks used to fight cold and flu symptoms naturally.
I knew there had to be some quality benefits behind this antioxidant berry, as when I tried to purchase a bottle of it in a syrup form during this time, I had to wait for a shipment to come in from my local Vitamin Shoppe because it was in high demand!
Raw elderberries are not to be eaten raw as they are poisonous, so you will often see it produced in different forms such as a syrup or in a powdered form.
In my personal experience with tasting elderberries in a syrup form, the taste is quite delicious. with it being slightly tart but with a flavorful "grapey" taste.
You can purchase elderberry syrup from most health websites including Amazon, but did you know it is quite easy to create your own for a third of the cost? A small bottle can go for $20 bucks or more so it makes sense to make your own if you want to consume this regularly.
I recently made a batch using dried elderberries which you can purchase locally or online.
The process is simple as cooking the dried berries in water for a short amount of time and then completing your syrup with honey which you can adjust with the amount. If you need a simple recipe to start off with you can try this one at Food Revolution.
How to Make Homemade Elderberry Syrup
After you have made you a batch of elderberry syrup, it can be used in culinary ways which are quite delicious. Try any of the following ideas:
Pancakes- This syrup is a great replacement from traditional syrup which gives you a health boost!
Healthy Soda- If you are trying to ween yourself off of soda, a tablespoon or so of this dropped in sparkling water will curb that craving from high fructose traditional soda
Oatmeal-We know oatmeal is already healthy, but this is fun twist instead of maple syrup or brown sugar.
Smoothies-This is also another great way of enjoying elderberry syrup. Try making it with blueberries and adding the elderberry syrup as a little additional light sweetener.
Salad Dressings-How awesome is this? Try making a salad dressing with a little elderberry syrup combined with vinegar. Perfect for fruit focused salads
Elderberries have been around for a long time and having it in a syrup form such as my suggestions listed above, is a fun way to add this legendary berry to your current wellness plan.
Eat Good! Look Good! Feel Good!
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Vanessa LaBranche/Chef Instructor-Culinary Educator