Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I'll pass on the sick, thanks


My family is sick... They have been for quite a while now. Poor people. I have managed to mostly stay away from it though. That makes dealing with all the sick kids a lot easier. I'll admit it, I don't like to take care of other people or even the animals when I'm under the weather. It makes me grumpy and selfish. Shame on me... So it's really important for me to stay away from all the germs. Nobody likes a grumpy mama...
How have I managed to stay away from the worst of the sick? Simple, elderberry syrup.

If I remembered to give it to everyone else as often as I take it, they wouldn't be sick either. But I forget until the sniffles come.

Elderberries are really easy to find in my area. Tons of trees. Since it's January you get a googled elderberry tree picture. :)

Elderberry tree loaded with berries
Elderberry tree in bloom
The berries will be ready for picking in late summer, early fall-ish. I noticed all the trees around here were ready to pick at completely random times. Some would be ready weeks before another tree. That works good for me because it gives me plenty of time to get my picking done. They freeze great, so you can and should pick a lot.

If you don't have a tree near you, you can order dehydrated berriesonline, but they are pretty spendy.

Some trees produce red berries, don't pick those, they will make you sick. You shouldn't eat the blue/white berries raw. They will give you a tummy ache, but once they are cooked no problem.

Elderberry syrup is really simple and easy to make. All it takes is water, honey, and elderberries.


4 cups elderberries
8 cups water
1 cup +/- honeylocal and raw is best

Add your berries and water to a large pot. Bring to a boil. It really boils up once it gets going so keep an eye on it. Once it boils reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes.

 Allow to cool to room temp. Take a potato masher and smash all the goody out of those berries. Pour through a strainer into a 8 cup bowl.

I used a soup scoop, AKA a small ladle, to smash the berries even more in the strainer. Throw out the pulp and get your honey. Raw honey is full of beneficial bacteria and immune boosting ability. Treasure that stuff!
I like mine with just 1 cup of honey. You can add more if you want, but I don't like it super sweet.

Pour into jars, but don't fill them all they way up. You will be freezing these jars, allow room for expansion.
Did you know 16 oz PB jar lids fit regular mouth jars? Blue ones fit best.

Keep one jar in your refrigerator for daily use, and the rest in the freezer.

I take about 2 T a day. The kids, when I remember, get 2 tsp per day. They love it. I like to have mine on top of my cream of wheat for breakfast. Yummy nummy...

I ran out of cream of wheat a couple weeks ago, GASP, so I wasn't taking my syrup everyday and that is when I started to get a little bit sick. I started taking the syrup again, just by the spoon full and the cold hasn't gotten me completely down yet. I went to the store to pick up some more cream of wheat and realized I have never read the ingredients. Blech. I am not buying that stuff anymore. This made me sad. I LOVE cream of wheat... So I got to shopping around good ol' amazon.com and found organic cream of wheat!Bonus, it's cheaper than the fake stuff at Safeway. Buy it, eat it, love it!

Happy days all!


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