Benefits of Elderberries (w/ a recipe)
You may have heard of the latest, natural craze that grows from a Sambucus tree and sprouts delicious, tart and bitter berries all across North America...yup, it’s Elderberries! There are dozens of species, benefits and recipes that you can get from Elderberries. With only one cup of elderberries at 106 calories per cup , you are getting 870 mg of vitami A, 406 mg of potassium, 52.2 vitamin C, 55 mg of calcium, and 2.32 of iron... and so much more (MedicalNewsToday)! Elderberries are small blue or black berries that are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that can help boost your immune system which is crucial especially during a pandemic! According to Medical News Today, there was study done on 60 people with flu-like systems who took 15 mL of elderberry syrup four times a day and to no surprise, their symptoms improved 4 days before those who took a placebo. Wow! They are also a great way to ease inflammation, lower stress levels and keep your heart healthy. Since elderberries have such powerful inflammatory properties, they are a great way to protect healthy cells from harmful free radicals that usually play a role in skin problems helping to reduce signs of acne and redness. Adding some elderberries in your life, whether it be through a tasty jam, syrup, a glaze or even as wine can have major healthy impacts on your life. It is important to recognize the dangers of consuming elderberries as well. According to webmd.com, consuming unripe elderberries or the leaves, stems, seeds and flowers of the elderberry plant which contains toxins can cause diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. If you notice a rash or trouble breathing, do not continue eating them as you might be allergic. If you want to get started on reaping the benefits of elderberries, the best time to look is during mid August to September when they’re in season, it’s typically hard to get but you can check your local nursery or order them online in bulk. Once you have your berries, you can plant them leaving 4-6 apart for each shrub.
I’ve also included an Elderberry Jam recipe to get you started:
Ingredients for Elderberry Jelly
3-4 lbs of elderberries
1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 packet of SureJell pectin
4 1/2 cups of white granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon butter
Step 1: Remove all the stems and flowers from your elderberries
Step 2: Put the berries in a pot, crush berries with a potato masher and bring pot to a simmer for 10 mins
Step 3: Strain the juice from the elderberries using a mesh sieve or cheesecloth. Let this strain for about an hour
Step 4: Measure 3 cups of elderberry juice to make one batch of jelly using the SureJell Pectin
Step 5: Add the elderberry juice, lemon juice, and pectin to the pot and bring to a boil
Step 6: Add sugar and butter and continue to boil for 2 more minutes
Step 7: Pour your jelly mixture into a jar and let cool. You can also let the jars sit in a water bath for 5 mins to ensure a good seal on the jar.