Like most berries that grow on the northern plains of Montana, elderberries are pretty tart. They are excellent for making jams, jellies, and juices, but aren’t ideal for snacking. That said, elderberries also make a delicious homemade syrup which has many medicinal properties.
This particular recipe—compliments of my daughter, Allison—is called Elderberry Plus because it includes additional ingredients, not just elderberries. For a more traditional elderberry syrup, just combine berries, water and honey. But the additional ingredients make for a particularly satisfying treat. I use it on my KAMUT® Brand Whole Wheat Sourdough Pancakes, to sweeten my morning KAMUT® grain porridge, or even as a tangy topping for my ice cream. As a bonus, you can also take 1 Tablespoon daily to promote illness prevention or 1 Tablespoon hourly to boost your immune system when you’re sick! Give it a try and let me know what you use it for!
Allison’s Elderberry+ Syrup
1 cup fresh or frozen elderberries (or 1/2 cup dried elderberries)
1 cinnamon stick
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
5 cloves, whole
2 cups water
1 cup honey
Combine elderberries, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer over low heat until reduced by half (about 20-30 minutes).
Smash the berries and strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer. (Tip: the mash left in the strainer makes excellent compost for your garden!)
To the liquid add the honey (or adjust to desired sweetness). Bottle syrup and store in the refrigerator. Refrigerated, it will keep for 2 to 3 months, but you can also freeze it to last through the winter!