DIARY OF A CHEF AT HOME
a collection of holistic nutrition tips & tricks, plus many of Food on the Table's favourite recipes
Cold & flu season is upon us. Our 2.5yr old son who attends classes and play gyms throughout the week seems to bring in even more germs into the house. Kids are an extra special germy little bunch! Even being out in public, it's almost impossible to avoid these germs. In our household I have a few preventative & support systems in place to help build the immune system and provide support for the gut flora to help prevent or reduce the symptoms of cold & flu. Homemade elderberry syrup being one of them.
Elderberry syrup is an effective, affordable, versatile & delicious way to boost the immune system to prevent illness or reduce the longevity of cold & flu symptoms. These little berries have been used for centuries in treating coughs, colds and flu's.
Scientific studies support the use of elderberries which pack a nutrient dense, sickness fighting punch! They're high in Vitamins A & C which are essential in building immunity, loaded with antioxidants like quercetin which supports the respiratory system, anti-inflammatory properties and is known to inhibit and reduce symptoms of several different strains of influenza.
You can purchase elderberry syrup in most health food stores however it can be pricey. It's very easy to make your own. You can make a larger batch which will last for months in a pantry or refrigerator, a little goes a long way! You can also use elderberry syrup in the following ways:
1/2 - 2/3 cup dried elderberries (you can buy at Quidditas or Mountain Rose Herbs)
3 cups filtered water
1/2 - 1 cup of raw, unfiltered honey
2 Tbsp shredded or sliced ginger
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon or cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1 star anise
Place elderberries, filtered water, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, peppercorn, and star anise in a small pot. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 30min-1hour stirring occasionally. Mash berries with a fork or spoon to release more of the juices. Strain through a cheesecloth or mesh strainer into a mason or medicine jar. When mixture has mostly cooled down, add the honey and mix well until dissolved.
*DO NOT add honey until mixture has cooled down as to preserve the amazing medicinal properties in raw honey*
This can be stored in a cool dark space or refrigerated for up to 4 months.
1/2 - 1 tsp for children over 2
1/2 - 1 Tbsp for adults
If there are cold or flu symptoms take every 3-4 hours until symptoms subside.
One of my great joys in life is cooking! As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) & food lover I continue to explore the balance between healthy, traditional food preparation and tasty dishes.
Check out my new COOKBOOK! Planting Seeds of Nourishment with over 40 whole-foods based recipes and tons of nutrition info!