Wednesday, October 20, 2010

200th Post, Elderberries & a Give Away....

(Fresh Elder Berries)

WOW, can't believe I made it to 200! Thanks for checking in every once in a while, hopefully you have found some recipes to try or tips to use in your own cooking adventures!

I wanted to do a "different-than-normal" post (beings that it is the 200th one I've done!!!) and I couldn't think of a more perfect one than the newest Elderberry Concoction that I have just tried, it could be my MOST FAVORITE HOME REMEDY YET! I have been hearing a lot about Elderberries everywhere I turn. It seems they are really making a name for themselves- whether it be with Dr. Oz & Oprah (via my mom, I don't have cable!), the health articles and websites I check out, or one of my all time favorite blogs Passionate Homemaking where I found this recipe and tutorial video on how to make your own Elderberry Syrup for PREVENTING sickness and HEALING soar throats and cold like symptoms- perfect timing for the winter months ahead, right?

I am a big fan of trying things out that prevent sickness (especially with little kids in my house all the time- even more so when I taught 6 year olds all day long- and now MOST importantly because I am about to have a newborn in the house during cold & flu season!) so I jumped on the opportunity and thought it was worth giving it a shot..... AND I AM SO GLAD I DID!

Most of the ingredients are ones you have on hand or things you can find at your local grocery store, with the exception of the Dried Elder Berries. I purchased these online and they shipped rather quickly from Mountain Rose Herb Company. I bought an 8 oz. bag in hopes that it would last me a few rounds (note: if you use that site, you have to make a minimum $10 purchase).

It's so simple to make, watch this video posted on Passionate Homemaking or follow the instructions below. If you don't want to make your own, you can purchase it as well, but it's much more cost effective to give it a whirl yourself!

In a small sauce pan bring to boil the following ingredients:
1/2 cup dried elder berries
2 cups water
5 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 TBSP freshly grated ginger
***(you will also need 1 cup local or wild honey later in the recipe)

Once that comes to a boil, turn it down and allow it to simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes until the liquid reduces by half. Remove it from the heat and pour all the ingredients through a strainer and into a bowl. Gently press the Elder Berries to remove all the juices from them. Then add 1 cup honey to your elder berry juice that you have just poured into a bowl. (NOTE: I have made this recipe many times since posting it and have cut the honey in HALF so that it's not as sweet, it still packs the same punch though!) Stir it well, let it cool on your counter top, then transfer it to a jar with a sealing lid and store it in your fridge for 3-4 weeks. This syrup is safe for both adults and children alike. (NOTE: Remember there is HONEY in the recipe so it isn't recommended for children under 2. Just make sure everyone else in the household is taking it to lessen the chances of sickness spreading!)
Directions on how to take it:
You can take this Elder Berry Syrup as a preventative & to boost your immune system by taking 1 tsp. daily. Or you can also take it if you feel sickness coming on or have already gotten sick (flu, soar throats, colds, aches and pains, or anything viral) up to 1 TBSP per hour.

Hope this post will help you throughout the cold season, I am so glad I found this concoction right in time! Let me know if your feedback!

200th POST & a Trader Joe's Gift Card Give Away:
Now because it's the 200th post, leave a comment sharing a favorite recipe from this site or a request for a certain kind of recipe you'd like to see in the future and win a $10 Trader Joe Gift Card... because Trader Joe's is my favorite store and my home away from home :) Just a little something fun! Give away will end in ONE WEEK on October 27th and the winner will be posted on the 28th- so stay TUNED!

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