This week we have made the elderberry syrup for winter, this has been used in folk remedies for centuries to boost the immune system and to help protect against colds and flu amongst other things. If you would like to read more about the benefits there is this site or it is easy to search for others.
First we collected our elderberries, we used about 500g in all, make sure you know what you are picking NEVER use berries if you do not know what they are. Once they start to droop or hang they are ripe, we collected a few from several bushes to ensure there where enough left for the wildlife of the area.
The 500g of berries can easily be removed from their stalks for the pot by using a fork. We just covered the berries in water approximately a litre and cooked them for about 20 minutes. Then we put all of the pan contents through a straining bag to remove any berry remains and seeds. At this point measure how much liquid you have and return to the pan to add some sugar, you will need to add about 500g per 500ml if you are using metric measurements, or if you use imperial 1lb of sugar for each pint of liquid you have. Simmer for a further 10 minutes until all of the sugar has been dissolved and you can then bottle it up into your sterilized container.
As you can see it is a very dark purple colour and has a very thick texture like syrup, you need just one tablespoon of this in a glass of water per day or just a teaspoon on it's own, my children love the taste of this. I will add another couple of sites at the bottom here in case you would like to read further on the benefits HERE and HERE