Have you ever heard about the magic of Elderberry? It has been widely studied due to its reported antioxidant, antiviral, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, and immune-modulating, and even some antidepressant properties. So much of elderberry’s powerful medicinal properties and healing benefits are due to its high number of antioxidants, including anthocyanins, which give the berries the rich blue-violet color.
Since I have a background in Public Health, I love research and before I share the recipe, I wanted to share the research out there on elderberries and how amazing they really are.
There is a lot of research that proves that it is truly magical! According to the University of Maryland medical center, "elderberry outranks blueberries, cranberries, goji berries, and blackberries in terms of total flavonoid content. Consuming foods rich in these flavonoid anthocyanins is thought to prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer, while also boosting brain function."
You can also treat many symptoms of the cold and flu with this powerful little berry. (which is what I mainly use it for) Two randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled studies demonstrate the elderberry extract, Sambucol, "effectively inhibits both influenza A and B strains when given orally to patients in the first 48 hours of flu-like symptoms." MAGIC
Another study showed a beneficial effect on severity and duration of cold and flu-like symptoms when participants consumed elderberry extract lozenges. I have used these during a shoot in KC for TITLE, when I wasn’t feeling the best and my throat was scratchy.
Consuming elderberry may also shorten cold duration and symptoms in air travelers. A recent study published in the journal Nutrients showed that travelers using elderberry for ten days before travel until five days after arriving overseas experienced a two day shorter duration of the cold and a reduction in cold and flu-like symptoms. something we all pray for!
Along with being antioxidant superstars, elderberries also contain a variety of nutrients including vitamins A, C, and E and trace minerals such as copper, zinc, iron, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
So why am I sharing how to make it when you can just buy it? well it is PRICY.
For almost 2 years, I purchased this magic concoction from either from our local market or amazon until I saw my friend make her own and decided to do more research. I looked up a ton of recipes online and thought, I bet I can make this in my instant pot! (if you don’t have one, you need one!)
If you have followed me, you know how obsessed I am with my Instant Pot . After a ton of research, I based my recipe on a few different ones that I found and then naturally, I added my own twist on it.
I added my elderberries, a few cinnamon sticks, zested orange and lemon zested, ginger and vanilla into my Instant Pot . I simply sealed it all up and set the timer to 7 min on high pressure. THAT IS IT!! truly it was so simple and way less expensive than constantly buying the small bottles of elderberry syrup from the store.
**Please note that this recipe is not suitable for kids under the age of one since it contains honey. Do not feed this to your kids under one.
*Consistency: If you have purchased this syrup from the stores, you will notice it they have a thick syrupy consistency. This recipe does not—It is all natural and therefore does not have enough sugar in there to be as thick as the store bought ones. You can add more honey if you’d like or reduce it. My kids love it the way it is and it’s our special juice.
HOW TO MAKE ELDERBERRY SYRUP IN THE
2 cups elderberries
6 cups water
2-3 cinnamon sticks
1 orange, zested and juiced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tbsp vanilla paste
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
1 cup Raw honey
Place the elderberries, water, cinnamon sticks, ginger and vanilla into your Instant Pot.
Zest the orange and the lemon into the pot. Juice the lemon and orange and either drink or discard. Throw the remaining orange and lemon into the pot after juicing.
Put the top on your Instant Pot and set on "MANUAL" HIGH PRESSURE for 7 minutes.
Once the timer goes off, push the valve to "VENT" and then strain the mixture into a fine mesh steel strainer over a bowl. Squeeze the mixture through the strainer with the back of a large cooking spoon until no more liquid comes out. Then discard the remaining berries and citrus.
Once the syrup has cooled completely to room temperature you can add in the honey. you can add more if you want!
Pour into an airtight container and . enjoy each morning to boost you and your family’s immunity!