This article is for all of you elderberry fans out there.
You’re probably wondering what to do with elderberries, and we’re here to give you some ideas.
In case you’ve just landed on our blog, and you’re thinking, “ what are elderberries?”, we’ve got you covered too.
By the time you finish reading, you’ll know all the black elderberry uses, what’s the difference between elderflower and elderberry, and some awesome recipes you can try at home.
So, shall we begin?
What you should know about elderberries
First of all, you should know that there are two types of elderberries: black and blue.
Black elderberries come from the American Black Elder, native to eastern North America. They range in color from dark purple to black and grow in clusters on reddish stems.
Blue elderberries, another subspecies of black ones, are native to western North America. They have a deep blue color and are coated in a white bloom of yeast when they’re ripe.
Elderflowers are the flowers of elderberry. They bloom on the shrubs before the berries form and make their first appearance in early springtime. They are a creamy white color and grow in clusters. They are often dried and used in tea.
Many people ask themselves, “ Are elderberries edible?”. The answer is both yes and no, and it all depends on how you’re thinking of eating them.
Raw elderberries are poisonous and can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, among other symptoms. However, cooked ripe elderberries are perfectly edible and flavorful.
Once cooked, the elderberries can be used to make all kinds of delicious recipes like jams, chutneys, pies, and even wine. You can use them for syrups, tea infusions, or even alcoholic drinks. The sky’s the limit!
How to make elderberry juice
Let’s start with an easy recipe. If you like to make fresh juices at home and serve them for breakfast to the whole family, you’ll love this one.
However, you must be aware that drinking juice made from freshly picked berries can cause vomiting.
The elderberry plant contains a toxin called cyanogenic glycosides. Luckily, this can be removed by cooking.
When preparing the elderberry plant, you also need to get rid of the plant’s leaves, branches, and bark.
What you’ll need:
- 6 lb of elderberries
- 12 apples
- 1 ¾ lb sugar
- 4 ¼ cups of water
Instructions:1. Wash the elderberry thoroughly. Remove all the leaves, branches, twigs.
2. Wash the apples, remove their core and slice them.
3. Put both the berries and the apples in a large pan. Add all the water and let them boil for 30 minutes, or until the juice is extracted from the berries.
4. Put a tea towel inside a strainer. Place the strainer on top of a bowl, and pour the elderberry juice into the strainer. Use a spoon to press the elderberries in the strainer, making sure you get all the juice out of them. Let it sit until the liquid passes completely through the strainer.
5. Heat up the concentrated juice at medium heat, adding the sugar also. Stir it until all the sugar is dissolved.
6. Pour the juice in clean bottles and seal them right after.
7. Keep the juice in the fridge. Once you open the bottle, the juice should last you for a couple of weeks.
You can drink your elderberry juice cold, with some ice cubes, or hot, adding some rum also.
Elderberry Syrup Recipe
Similar to elderberry juice, you can make elderberry syrup that you can mix with water, juice, or even put in milkshakes or pancakes.
Instructions1. Remove the elderberries from their stems by hand.
2. Put the berries in a saucepan and add water to prevent scorching.
3. Bring the water to a boil to soften the fruit, and then let everything cool down.
4. Use a food mill to remove the seeds. You can also strain the juice through a jelly bag.
5. Pour the juice back into the pot, add sugar, and cook at a low boil over moderate heat for 15 minutes until the syrup thickens. Add a squeeze of lemon juice.
6. Cool completely. Pour into a bottle or jar and store in the refrigerator.
Vegan elderberry muffins recipe
Muffins are a great breakfast addition, and we’ve thought you’d like to start your day with some delicious vegan elderberry muffins.1. You’ll need to mix flour, nuts, brown sugar, and vegan butter in order to make a crumble topping for your muffins. After mixing, set the crumbly result aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the following ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt.
3. Take another bowl and mix in it applesauce, apple cider vinegar, soy milk, melted vegan butter, sugar, and vanilla.
4. In a small bowl, mix the elderberries with 1-2 tablespoons of the flour mixture. 5. Make sure the elderberries are coated in the flour.
6. Add the applesauce mixture to the flour mixture until you get a moist concoction. Add also the berries. If the batter is lumpy, don’t panic. It’s better than over mixing, as you want your muffins to be fluffy.
7. Pour the batter into the muffin tray and sprinkle the crumble topping on it.
8. Bake the muffins in the oven for about 20 minutes. Let them cool before serving.
Elderberry wine recipe
Alcohol lovers, rejoice! There is such a thing called Elderberry wine!
Ustensiles you’ll need:
- Large fermenting bucket with lid
- Bung and airlock
- Siphon tubing
- Hydrometer (optional)
- 4 lb of elderberries
- 8.7 pints of Boiling water
- 3 lbs of sugar 3 lbs
- 1 juiced lemon or 1 tsp citric acid
- 1 tsp Pectolase
- 1 tablet of Campden, optional
- 1 tsp of yeast nutrient
2. Freeze them overnight. This helps with breaking the skin so that the juice flows easily.
3. Put the berries in the fermenting bucket and start crushing them until you get all the juice out. Wearing rubber gloves, squish the berries in your hands without crushing the seeds inside.
4. Add the sugar and 2 pints of boiling water. Stir the sugar until it dissolves completely. You can now add the rest of the water, the yeast, and the citric acid. 5. At this point, you can use the hydrometer to see the strength of the mixture.
If you prefer to use the Campden tablet, this is the moment to use it. It’s good to kill any kind of bacteria, but it can cause headaches for some people. After adding the Campden tablet, leave the mix for 24 hours.
6. Make sure the temperature is below 89.6 Fahrenheit degrees before adding the yeast. You can sprinkle the yeast over the must ( unfermented wine).
7. Leave the must for 3-4 days in order for the fermentation process to take place. 8. After that, you can siphon it in a demijohn and leave it again to sit for about a month.
9. Siphon it again into another demijohn, leaving the sediment behind. This process should be repeated between 1-3 times, depending on the sediment buildup. Every time you’ll lose some liquid, so you should top up with some boiled-then-cooled water.
10. When the air-lock stops bubbling, you can bottle the wine. Cold weather can affect the fermentation process, so make sure you keep the demijohn in a warm environment with a steady temperature.
11. Once the wine is ready, siphon it into sterilized bottles with corks.
Let the wine sit in the bottles anywhere between a month and 1-2 years.
Super easy recipe for elderberry jam
Your tummy won’t know how to thank you enough for those amazing pancakes with elderberry jam you’ll be making this autumn.
Ingredients for 4 jars:
- 2.2 lbs ripe elderberries
- 1.1 lbs caster sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 strip lemon peel
2. Strain the liquid to remove the seeds and return it to the pan. Add the sugar and stir while boiling the mixture. Keep boiling until the jam thickens.
3. Pour the jam into sterilized jars and close the lids very tight.
That’s it! Now you’re ready to tackle the kitchen with some awesome elderberry recipes at hand. We can only imagine how amazing your kitchen will smell.
If you’d like to try some other cool recipes, we have some out-of-the-box elderberry recipes you can try. Or, if you love cakes, you can delight your taste buds with these delicious elderberry cake recipes.