What to Do With Elderberry

Michael Gonzales
September 8, 2023
What to Do With Elderberry

what to do with elderberry

Ever wondered ‘What to Do With Elderberry’? These antioxidant-rich gems are perfect for a myriad of recipes, offering vibrant color, delectable taste, and health benefits. Dive into creations from sweet treats to savory delights, including the popular Elderberry zinc gummies. Always use ripe elderberries (Sambucus nigra) and remember: consuming them raw can release cyanide due to their glycosides. Cooking ensures their safety and flavor shine!


Fresh elderberries have numerous culinary applications. Their floral, fruity flavors make a delicious pairing for blackberries, pears, apples, peaches, stone fruits, rhubarb, figs and vanilla; not to mention making an enjoyable addition to beverages such as tea.

Elderberry syrup is an easy and inexpensive home project made using raw local honey. Once completed, the syrup can be kept refrigerated up to three months and used as an effective remedy against colds, flus, allergies and inflammation. This recipe may also include vodka, whiskey or brandy as an extra preservative for those without access to raw honey.

First, the berries need to be thoroughly washed and destemmed using either mechanical machines or DIY basket-making methods from steel or other materials. After stem removal, they can be placed in a pan and simmered until their liquid content has decreased to about 50% of original volume; once complete, this syrup can then be enjoyed plain or combined with other fruits or herbal tinctures for drinks, baked goods or more.

Addition of fresh or dried ginger is both flavorful and immune-stimulatory, making an excellent addition. Cinnamon sticks or whole cloves may also add extra nutritional benefits; additionally, some people like to include echinacea root for extra immunity-stimulatory effects.

People sometimes opt to tincture their elderberries, a more time-consuming project which takes about four to six weeks before it’s ready. Though this herbal medicine is quite effective, infants under one should avoid it due to the raw honey used. Instead, an easy alternative that’s suitable for both adults and babies alike would be creating a tincture instead. When creating one yourself be sure only use high quality raw honey from local sources as this will contain more antioxidants and beneficial properties than supermarket honeys.


Foraged elderberries offer an irresistibly fruity flavor with just a hint of tartness similar to blackberries, making them the perfect ingredient in jams, pies, baked goods, smoothies and beverages. Their tart sweetness also makes a delicious syrup; though low in pectin they require the help of jam sugar or lemon juice in order to set properly – we like using ours over ice cream, drinks or as the base for hedgerow ketchup for delicious results!

Elderberries can also be dried and stored for future use, making them easily accessible when needed. While some prefer eating elderberries raw, cooking can reduce toxic compounds that cause stomach upset. No matter which approach you take when harvesting elderberries from healthy plants. When harvesting ripe berries from such sources it’s essential that only those covered in bark, still green or not completely ripened (they won’t rehydrate as easily) are selected as food items for consumption.

Once your elderberries have been collected, give them a gentle rinse with cold water to rid themselves of debris and pat dry before placing on a baking sheet and placing in the oven to dehydrate for 12-14 hours with periodic stirring. Once done, let them cool before transferring them to a glass jar where they should remain out of direct sunlight until storage.

Refrigerating elderberries is another option for storing them, particularly if you don’t have time or confidence in their longevity. Simply rinse and pat the berries dry before spreading them in an even layer on a baking sheet before placing in the freezer – once frozen they can be transferred into airtight freezer bags and kept fresh or stored up to one year away from light sources.

Create an elderberry tincture as another storage option. Although this process takes much longer (4-6 weeks for infusing), it provides year-round supply of this powerhouse plant. Simply combine equal parts of dried or fresh elderberries with 80 proof alcohol in a dark glass bottle and store in cool, dark place until ready to use.


Elderberries’ rich, fruity flavor lends itself well to both sweet and savory recipes, particularly fall fruits like apple, peach and rhubarb that pair beautifully. Elderberries also pair nicely with bitter herbs and meaty proteins for delicious fruit-inspired desserts.

Elderberries are delicate plants and must be handled carefully to maintain both flavor and health benefits. Berries from healthy, well-established elder plants with large clusters of ripe berries should only be picked from healthy plants in full bloom that show no sign of disease or insect infestation, either individually or collectively with a hand-held branch breaker tool. Once collected, berries should be washed thoroughly to remove insects or debris that may have collected; for an added boost try simmering them slightly to lessen some of their more intense tannins before use – something most elder plants do naturally!

Cooked elderberries can be used in numerous ways, from syrups and cordials to pies, muffins and smoothies. Their tart taste pairs wonderfully with other sweet fruits such as nectarines or even pairing perfectly with warming spices such as cinnamon for winter cocktails or sangrias.

Elderberry syrup is an easy and straightforward project you can complete in minutes with either fresh or dried berries, creating delicious pancakes, waffles, drizzled ice cream and sparkling wine-laced cocktails or baked goods! Enjoy it!

Simple syrup can be made by simmering whole, raw elderberries in water until their fruit softens, then straining off the liquid. Once removed from the stovetop, strain again before straining off any leftover berries from your strained liquid for use as an immune-boosting syrup that you can drink or use in cooking. Refrigerator storage lasts several months; or alternatively freeze for extended storage time.


Elderberries (Sambucus nigra) are packed with antioxidants that can boost your immune system. Their unique floral and berry flavors add an irresistibly delicious twist to cocktails, baked goods, desserts, beverages and more – pairing perfectly with blackberries, raspberries, lavender rose and sweeteners such as brown sugar or maple syrup for example! Elderberries have long been used medicinally as an aid against respiratory infections and urinary tract infections.

Elderberries offer many health-enhancing properties, yet must be prepared carefully in order to avoid toxic levels of cyanogenic glycosides present in their seeds, stems, roots and leaves. Although levels can differ depending on your cooking method and other variables, cooked elderberries are generally safe to ingest while raw and uncooked elderberries as well as Sambucus nigra flowers and bark can be hazardous when consumed raw and uncooked – though raw elderberry flowers or bark should never be consumed due to potential toxic levels of cyanogenic glycosides present within them unless rendered harmless by heat treatment; recipes calling for elderberry remedies often call for boiling your berries in order to kill off potentially toxic levels of cyanogenic glycosides present within their components before use for optimal effectiveness.

Because elderberries contain essential antioxidants and phytochemicals that promote health benefits, you won’t find fresh, raw elderberries in the produce aisle of your grocery store. Instead, look for syrups, juices, extracts or teas made from dried elderberries in the herbal supplement section of your store.

When making homemade medicinal elderberry recipes at home, make sure you are using the correct amount of berries while discarding any dead or unripe ones. It is also important to only use those which are fully closed without bruises or overripeness.

Homemade elderberry syrup is an easy and tasty way to add a sweet yet tart touch to any drink or dish, especially coffee and teas featuring chamomile. Additionally, homemade elderberry syrup makes an excellent addition to morning orange juice as well as being great way to ease you into bedtime with its relaxing qualities.


  • Michael Gonzales

    Michael has a diverse set of skills and passions, with a full-time career as an airline pilot and a dedicated focus on health and fitness consulting. He understands the importance of balancing a busy lifestyle with maintaining a healthy mind and body, and is committed to helping others achieve the same success. Michael's expertise in health and fitness is not just limited to physical training, but also extends to nutrition, stress management, and overall wellbeing. He takes a holistic approach to health and fitness, helping clients to achieve their goals in a sustainable and fulfilling way. With a strong desire to inspire and motivate others, Michael is always ready to share his time and knowledge with those who seek his guidance. Whether in the air or on the ground, Michael is dedicated to helping others live their best lives.

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-gonzales-07bb4b31/ [email protected] Gonzales Michael


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