Last year we were hit hard with sickness here at the tiny house. Rig, Firebell, and three-week-old Hazelnut came down with croup and later pink eye. Colds, fevers, and aches arrived in sprinklings throughout the winter for me and Big. Now I think, if only we had known about elderberry, perhaps we could have avoided some of these trials!
But we soldiered on, as every family does. Bone broth bubbled in the slow cooker, fragrant turmeric golden tea wafted from our mugs at night. Prayers whispered, oils rubbed on little chests and bellies, breast milk squeezed into teary inflamed eyes . . . with magical, timeless results.
Now here we are one year later, fortified a bit with time and hardiness, but certainly not invincible!
So our immunity strategy this season, an unprecendented one for flu, has kicked into high gear. For us, it’s all about diet. Avoiding sugar and processed food. Focusing on homemade bone broth, raw milk, fermented cod liver oil, grass-fed and pastured animal products, and organic produce. . . and now, adding daily elderberry gummies.
Elderberry Gummies’ Intense Nutrition
Black elderberries are small, deep purple berries containing high levels of antioxidants, Vitamin C, and immunity-supporting minerals. We buy them in dried form, boil them to make a juice, and stir in honey to make a thin syrup. Then, with the addition of hot water and grass-fed gelatin, we turn this syrup into delightful gummies. Voila! Perfect, tasty immunity boosters.
Elderberry has been used for centuries in folk medicine to treat sinusitis, pertussis (whooping cough), influenza, colds, fever, tonsillitis, rheumatism, and most recently H1N1 (swine flu).
Additionally, with the grave concerns surrounding the effectiveness and safety of both the flu vaccine and Tamiflu, elderberry is a wonderful food to incorporate safely into your family’s supplements.
Many Elderberry Recipes with Excellent Results
There are many recipes for immunity-boosting and vitamin-rich tinctures, syrups, and gummies online, with and without elderberry. I especially love recipes from Holistic Squid, Wellness Mama, and The Healthy Home Economist. These ladies have high integrity and a love for whole foods and traditional, nourishing cooking, and I encourage you to explore their extensive websites. When you go about concocting your own homemade gummies, there is a myriad of ingredients you can experiment with and see what your family loves!
For us, especially in winter and during flu season, I find myself preparing a bulk quantity of gummies made with elderberry and warming spices. Gummies take a bit of time to make, so I might as well whip up as much as possible at a time. The following will last our family of five a couple weeks. That is, if we stick to merely an immunity-boosting dose of one or two gummies after dinner!
Bulk Elderberry Gummies: Ingredients
- 2/3 cup organic dried elderberries
- 1 cup raw local honey
- 1 cup grass-fed gelatin
- 2 Tablespoons ground ginger root
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ground or whole cloves
Bulk Elderberry Gummies: Directions
Makes approximately 8 cups / 50 gummies
1) Heat 2/3 cups of dried elderberries and warming spices in a pot with 3 1/2 cups of filtered water. Bring to a boil. Keep covered, and simmer on low for 45 minutes.
2) Strain elderberry liquid through a fine mesh strainer or sieve into a bowl. Let cool.
3) Add 1 cup honey, only once the juice has cooled. You should now have around 4 cups of liquid. If not, add water, tea, or another juice to bring it up to 4 cups.
4) Heat 2 cups filtered water to hot, not boiling. Set aside.
5) Mix 1 cup gelatin into 1 cup of the elderberry juice, stirring quickly with a fork.
6) Pour in hot water. Mix with a fork until there are no lumps.
7) Mix in the rest of the elderberry juice.
8) If needed, use an immersion blender to blend in any chunks of gelatin still present.
9) Pour entire mixture into gummy molds, glass storage containers, or a large glass casserole dish.
10) Chill in the fridge or outside. Tiny house trick: since we only have so much room in our mini fridge, I pour gummies into glass storage containers and set them outside on the porch at night to cool and gel. Depending how chilly an evening it is, the gummies will be ready in ten minutes to an hour.
Enjoy, and stay well! 🌻