Both elderberries and elderflowers from the elderberry plant are fantastic foods with a lot of great properties.
They are most known for being a powerful immunity booster. Elderberries are full of antioxidants and vitamins A, B and C.
But there are many things you can do with elderberry that’ll not only benefit your health but also your palate.
The flowers and berries of Elderberry are quite edible, after being prepared properly.
The dark blue berries are gathered and made into elderberry jam, syrup, wine and pies.
The entire flower cluster can be dipped in batter and fried, or they can be made into a lovely tasting, fresh juice. Both berries and flowers can be used to make a tasty tea.
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Elderberries Are Both Toxic And Beneficial For You
Elderberries are poisonous if not prepared properly. The simplest way to detoxify them is to boil the berries for at least 15 minutes. But you will also have to be careful so that you get the right, true elderberry and not the false ones.
We strongly recommend you read our article about the toxicity of elder and how to select and prepare them for consumption before making anything from this list.
You’re probably interested in elder because of not only the taste but also because of those coveted health benefits it can provide. So we’ve written an article where we cover the benefits of elderberries if you’re interested to learn more.
You can also find both of these articles in the related section at the end of this article.
Among the most common uses for elderflowers in Scandinavia is to make delicious elderflower juice from it. It's light in color and according to many (our family included), tastes fantastic.
It has a fresh and a bit of tartness in it which makes the flavor quite unique.
Many people describe the taste as “the taste of summer”.
I recommend you to try it yourself. If nothing else to experience what summer tastes like!
It's very easy to make elderflower juice yourself. It takes some time, but be patient - it’s amazing!
Fried elderflowers are absolutely delicious. All you do is pan fry them and eat them straight away or have them in desserts. You should be aware that deep fried elderflowers are not healthy at all, it's just something you can do for that little extra treat once in a while.
I recommend you try ice cream with some elderberry juice and some pan fried elderberry flowers on top. Absolutely amazing!
Here is a video you can watch on how to make a traditional deep fried elderflower. It's this family's old recipe on this quite unhealthy but amazing deep fried elderflower.
You can also make juice or jam of the elderberries. Remember to cook it! Elderberries have a special taste that doesn’t resemble the flowers at all.
Actually, many recipes of elderberry jam or juice contain a lot of apples or some other fruit. The fruits or berries are added because some want to tone down the elderberries' strong taste.
There’s so much more you can do with elderberry juice besides drinking it though!
The elderberry juice or the juice of the elderflowers can be used in for example ice cream, in pies, in mousse and as a potent flavoring in many other different dishes.
You can choose between making your own elderberry juice or buy one. We recommend this nice juice that you can find on Amazon. For images and prices including availability in Amazon markets please go to our recommended page.
Here you have a video of how to make a super easy elderberry juice of dried elderberries.
If you’re interested in buying a strainer like the one used in the video you can check out this one available through Amazon. For images and prices including availability in Amazon markets please go to our recommended page for elderberry products.
If you’re interested in making elderberry juice yourself, we have a Scandinavian recipe that’s easy to make and absolutely delicious as well.
Recipe for a Scandinavian Elderberry Juice
A Scandinavian recipe for delicious elderberry juice.
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Ingredients (about 2 liters (1/2 gallon))
- 6 lb elderberries (remove the largest twigs)
- 12 medium sized apples
- 4 1/4 cups water
- 1 3/4 lb sugar
- Wash and clean the elderberries thoroughly. Remove the branches and twigs. You can leave the smallest ones.
- Wash the apples and remove the core. Slice them.
- Put the elderberries and the apples in a large saucepan and add all the water. Let it boil for about 30 minutes or until all the juice is extracted from the berries. Remember: it has to boil for at least 20 minutes!
- Put a clean tea towel or a cheesecloth inside a strainer. Place the strainer on top of another large saucepan or bowl. Pour the elderberry juice in the strainer and use a spoon to press the berries so that you get all the juice out of them. Let it sit until all the juice is passed through the strainer.
- At medium heat, heat up the concentrated juice in a saucepan and add the sugar. Continue heating and stirring until all the sugar is dissolved.
- Clean the bottles in boiling water, and let them cool off. Pour the concentrated elderberry juice on to the bottles and seal them tightly right after. This step is important if you want to make the juice last longer.
Keep the juice refrigerated and enjoy!
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Elderberries have a delightful flavour all on their own but you can also experiment with adding pears or apples or both to this jam.
For instance, a tart elderberry jam goes very well with cheese, as well as on your toast.
If you don´t feel like it or have a hard time finding elderberries to make your own jam we recommend you check out this this elderberry jam available on Amazon. For images and prices including availability in Amazon markets please go to our recommended page.
Recipe for Elderberry Jam
A recipe for elderberry jam.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients (4 jars)
- 2,2 pounds (1kg) ripe elderberries
- 500g caster sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 strip lemon peel
- Wash and stem the elderberries.
- Place them in a saucepan with a very small amount of water, cinnamon stick and lemon peel.
- Boil until berries burst, at least 20 minutes. Make sure it boils for 20 minutes!
- Strain the mixture to get rid of seeds and return the liquid to the saucepan.
- Add the sugar and bring to the boil, stirring. Boil until the jam thickens.
- Pour into sterilised jars and place the lids on tightly.
Enjoy! Especially with ice cream.
Elderberry Pie makes an impressive dessert any time of year. There are different ways to make an elderberry pie, the good thing is that you can use either fresh berries or elderberry juice. That is good depending on what you have at home or what you can get your hands on.
You can find really old recipes of elderberry pies. It has been made throughout the centuries. Many have kept their old mothers grandma's recipe, and are still using it. That is impressive.
Elderberry pies sometimes tend to be extra juicy, so remember to sprinkle some flour over the filling before adding the upper crust.
Here you can see how to make a beautiful elderberry pie without being a professional baker.
Tea made from Elderberry
Making tea is easy and a quick way to get the nutrients elderberries contain. You need to be careful when straining the tea that you don't get any of the seeds from the berries in your tea.
Recipe for Elderberry Tea
A recipe for elderberry tea.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients (1 cup)
- 1¼ cups water
- 2-3 tsp dried elderberries
- 1 cinnamon stick or a few slices of fresh ginger
- Place elderberries, water and cinnamon/ginger in a pot.
- Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat some and cover the pot. Leave it for 20 minutes.
- Strain out the berries.
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Elder In Alcoholic Beverages
Elder is also used as an ingredient in the production of stronger beverages.
Usually in cider and wine but also in liqueur and sparkling wine.
For example in Germany, they make champagne of the elderflower that can contain up to 10% vol alcohol.
Elderberry syrup is a very common thing to do with elderberries. Elderberry syrup is a very potent remedy that we recommend you only use in a medicinal way or very seldom.
We have an extensive article about elderberry syrup. Complete with the science, the recipes on how to make it yourself, where to buy it, dosages among other things.
Conclusion: Elderberry Can Provide You With A Wealth Of Tastes And Benefits
Elderberries and elderflowers are great foods that have been used for a long long time, both for their health benefits but also for their great taste.
Just be sure when making something out of elderberries that you have the real deal.
Elderberries are toxic and you have to render them safe for consumption. If you want to know more about elderberries toxicity I recommend you read the article “Are elderberries poisonous? If you’re interested in making your own elderberry food from scratch.
Elderberry is a really fascinating plant. I hope this article managed to inspire you to try to make something out of the berries or flowers next time you get your hands on them.
Good luck in your elderberry adventure!
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