Alternative medicine is getting a ton more attention these days with so many people wanting to go the natural and, if possible, organic route when it comes to treating and preventing diseases and just boosting overall health in general.
Elderberry is one of the most popular and longest used plants in the world for curing various illnesses and providing health benefits to those who consume it. With health-boosting properties, it’s no wonder why elderberry has gained worldwide recognition.
Here are 15 health benefits of elderberry, according to science:
- 1. Elderberry is Packed with Fiber
- 2. Elderberry is a Potent Cure for Flu and Colds
- 3. Elderberry Boosts the Immune System
- 4. Elderberry Provides Cardiovascular Protection
- 5. Elderberry Can Aid the Treatment of Diabetes
- 6. Elderberry Makes You Look Good
- 7. Elderberry Can Treat Arthritis and Prevent It
- 8. Elderberry boosts respiratory health
- 9. Elderberry May Help Combat Cancer
- 10. Elderberries May Help Treat Urinary Tract Infection
- 11. Elderberry Helps Detoxify and Cleanse Your System
- 12. Elderberry Helps Improve Your Vision
- 13. Elderberry Keeps Bones Healthy
- 14. Elderberry Can Help Promote Sleep and Enhance Its Quality
- 15. Elderberry Makes You Look Younger and More Beautiful
- 16. Elderberry Can Treat and Prevent Aids
- 1. Elderberry Jelly
- 2. Elderberry Dumplings
- 3. Elderberry Gummies
- 4. Elderberry Water Kefir
- 5. Elderberry Muffins
- 6. Elderberry Tea
- 7. Chilled Elderberry Soup
- 8. Elderberry Cheesecake Bites
1. Elderberry is Packed with Fiber
Elderberry is packed with fiber which is great for keeping your digestive tract healthy, among other things. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, one cup (145 grams) of elderberry contains 10.2 grams of total dietary fiber. That’s about a third of the recommended daily intake which is 25 to 30 grams per day.
A balanced and healthy diet is not complete without fiber. It is what’s responsible for moving things smoothly along in your digestive tract by making sure that you have plenty of prebiotics that the probiotics can feed off of and that you are going on a regular basis. Fiber also makes food more filling, making you feel full while eating less.
Check out other benefits of fiber here.
Bottomline: The fiber present in elderberries can help keep your digestive tract healthy while also giving you other benefits that you can obtain from similar fiber-rich foods.
2. Elderberry is a Potent Cure for Flu and Colds
The symptoms for both flu and colds are exceptionally similar, but there are quite a few key differences that will allow you to tell them apart. Whether it’s flu or cold you’re suffering from, though, one thing is certain: being sick hinders you from performing daily tasks efficiently. If you’re looking for a more natural way to fight off flu and/or colds, why not give elderberries a try?
In a randomized study about the safety and efficacy of the oral consumption of elderberry to treat Influenza A and B virus infections, the symptoms of flu were relieved at an average of four days earlier in those who were receiving elderberry extract. The use of rescue medication was significantly less in the same people, too.
Treating colds is another thing that elderberry is very popularly known for. Most people take their tea with elderberry extract to fight off colds while others prefer to consume elderberry syrup. There are also tons of other ways to get some elderberry in your system to enjoy its health-boosting benefits. In a randomized clinical trial, results show that elderberry was able to help reduce and lower the symptoms of colds. It also able to help shorten the duration of colds by two days among the participants.
Bottomline: High levels of phenolic compounds combined with equally high levels of anthocyanins found in elderberry helped fight off the symptoms of flu while its vitamin C content was able to help with the treatment of colds.
3. Elderberry Boosts the Immune System
You may have already heard of elderberry as an amazing cure for various kinds of illnesses but did you know that it can help you prevent them too?
To keep your body from being susceptible to illnesses and diseases, you need to boost your immune system. You can do this by eating clean, exercising often, getting the right amount of sleep, and doing many other things, including consuming elderberry on a regular basis.
Cytokines are small proteins that, when released, affects the way that the cells around them behave. They are important in cell signaling and they act as immunomodulating agents. They are the ones responsible for communicating infections from viruses to other parts of the immune system so that it can react and respond accordingly.
According to a study on elderberry and its effect on the body’s production of cytokines, the consumption of elderberry extract significantly helped in the increase of production of inflammatory cytokines (IL-1 beta, TNF-alpha, IL-6, IL-8).
Elderberries are also filled with antioxidants which, as most of us know, are great for boosting the immune system as well. With various versions of antioxidant flavonoids such as isoflavones, anthocyanins, flavones, and flavanones present in elderberry, it’s no wonder this makes a great shield for the immune system against free radical damage.
Bottomline: elderberries are rich in antioxidants and the consumption of elderberry extract helps in the production of cytokines. Both these features make elderberries a great option for a natural way to boost the immune system.
4. Elderberry Provides Cardiovascular Protection
Protecting your heart from diseases is easy when you know just what to stock up on in your pantry. If you don’t have anything with elderberry in there, you’re doing it wrong.
Elderberry contains loads of potassium. Having the right amount of potassium in your diet is essential if you want to lower your risks of having cardiac arrest. Consuming potassium-rich foods can also help your heart maintain a steady rhythm which, in turn, lowers your risk for atrial fibrillation.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends an adequate intake of 4.7 grams of potassium daily for both males and females who are over the age of 14. One cup (145g) of elderberry contains 406 mg of potassium which is about 10% of the recommended daily intake.
The fiber content of elderberry plays a significant role in boosting heart health, too, as fiber has the ability to get rid of excess cholesterol from your system to ensure that there is enough room for good cholesterol for the body.
In one study, elderberry has been shown to increase protection of the heart from certain oxidative stress, too.
Bottomline: Elderberry is rich in fiber and potassium which are good for protecting the heart from various diseases.
5. Elderberry Can Aid the Treatment of Diabetes
Statistics show that 29.1 million American suffer from diabetes. A large percentage of this are adults who are suffering from type 2 diabetes which, if left untreated, may result in more serious issues like blindness, amputation, organ failures, and death. As a matter of fact, diabetes is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.
For years, elderberry has been used in alternative medicine as treatment for diabetes. In European folk medicine, elderberry infusions were used in the treatment of many different diseases including diabetes. This was long before the discovery of insulin in the 1920s.
In 2010. A formal study was conducted to show that elderberry is indeed capable of helping in the treatment of diabetes by boosting the insulin output of the body and by making the body more sensitive to that insulin.
In another study by Grey et al., where a powdered elderberry infusion was compared with an insulin injection, elderberry has been shown to have the same insulin-like properties as well as the same insulin-releasing action.
Bottomline: The elderberry’s insulin-like and insulin-releasing action helps in the treatment of diabetes and may also be able to help the prevention of the disease.
6. Elderberry Makes You Look Good
Being healthy is not all about feeling good, it’s about looking good too! Your skin is one of the longest and biggest organs in your body and it that means protecting it and keeping it healthy is extra important.
You can use makeup and other cosmetic products to keep it looking beautiful on the outside, but if it’s beauty on the inside and out that you are looking for, you need to nourish the skin deeper. Exercise, healthy foods, and good hygiene are all important in maintaining your skin’s health. Consuming foods rich in antioxidants is another thing that you can do to ensure the health and beauty of your skin.
Antioxidants are responsible for neutralizing oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals. The human body naturally produces some antioxidants, others you’d have to get either by oral consumption or by topical application.
To rate antioxidants and their capacity to neutralize free radicals, the USDA has developed the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity or ORAC scale. Foods with a higher ORAC score are more powerful in fighting age-related diseases and degeneration.
Elderberry has an ORAC score of 14,697 μ mol TE/100g which is significantly higher than that of blueberries, wine and many other foods that are considered rich in antioxidants. Here’s the list of the top 100 foods with highest ORAC scores.
Bottomline: The antioxidants in elderberry can help keep skin looking younger and more radiant. These antioxidants are also useful in fighting age-related diseases and degeneration. Furthermore, the antioxidants in elderberry can also help in slowing down the appearance of the signs of aging such as wrinkles and age spots.
7. Elderberry Can Treat Arthritis and Prevent It
Arthritis is one of the most common ailments among elderly people and while almost everybody knows about it, only a few people understand it well.
Not to be confused with osteoporosis, arthritis is more commonly referred to as joint disease or simply joint pain. While arthritis itself is not generally considered as a fatal disease, the pain and discomfort that this ailment brings is definitely enough to hinder you from performing daily tasks efficiently.
Complications and other issues arising from arthritis, however, are different topics altogether. In an article published by Mail Online, people who suffer from arthritis are said to be more susceptible to heart diseases including arrhythmia, heart attack, and stroke. These are fatal and must be prevented before it happends, if not at least dealt with accordingly and immediately.
In various studies conducted about arthritis, specifically rheumatoid arthritis, it has been found out that people who suffer from the disease are also more likely to have heart problems like atrial fibrillation and stroke.
To treat arthritis, people usually turn to drugs. If you are, however, looking for a more natural alternative for arthritis medication, you should look into using elderberry for arthritis treatment. These purplish-blue berries have long been used as aid for relieving joint pain from arthritis and is now being looked into as a way of preventing it.
As discussed previously, elderberries have been found to have exceptionally high levels of anthocyanins which give it that dark, rich color. More than that, anthocyanins are also equipped with anti-inflammatory activities which make them a great alternative for arthritis and many other kinds of inflammatory disorders.
Bottomline: The anthocyanins in elderberry have anti-inflammatory properties that can help take the reduce or take the pain away from people suffering with arthritis. Regular consumption of elderberry may also help reduce the frequency of arthritis episodes or flare ups.
8. Elderberry boosts respiratory health
Respiratory diseases like bronchitis, sore throat, and cough are all very common among children and adults alike. This is why it’s not all that surprising to find everyone medicating these respiratory disorders with over-the-counter drugs the moment they feel the symptoms. However, taking OTC drugs may not always be the wisest move, after all.
There are certain dangers that come with the convenience of taking OTC drugs. Many people tend to self-medicate instead of going to the doctor for a prescription since OTC drugs are easily accessible. This is one of the reasons why it’s so easy to overdose on these kinds of medicine.
A safer and healthier alternative for treating common respiratory disorders like the ones mentioned above is to use plants or herbs. The fruits, flowers, and/or extracts of certain plants have contents that can help alleviate, if not totally cure, these respiratory diseases.
Elderberry, for example, are known to be quite efficient in treating respiratory disorders. You can take elderberry syrup or have elderberry extract infused to a warm beverage like tea to get this benefit.
In one study where 60 patients with respiratory symptoms were randomly given 15 mL of elderberry extract and a placebo syrup four times daily within five days, the patients who consumed the elderberry extract were found to show improvement earlier than those who were on placebo. The same study also showed that there were no adverse effects from the elderberry on the patients consuming it.
In another study by Krawitz et al., elderberry extract has been shown to have effective inhibitory activity against clinically-relevant human respiratory bacterial pathogens as well as influenza A and B viruses.
Bottomline: The anti-inflammatory action present in elderberry is a great alternative to over-the-counter drugs for treating and possibly preventing common respiratory diseases. Considering that it comes from a natural sources, elderberry is also considered to b one of the safer choices for dealing with respiratory disorders.
9. Elderberry May Help Combat Cancer
Cancer is probably one of, if not the most, devastating diseases to deal with. Unless you’re keen on getting tested regularly to find any signs and symptoms, it’s usually pretty difficult, if not impossible, to tell when you have cancer, especially in the early stages. Treatment for cancer is quite expensive, too, and the side effects can definitely change the quality of your life as well as you physical appearance.
Elderberry, as already previously established, is very rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants are perfect for fighting the free radicals that damage healthy cells and develop cancer cells. Although the elderberry fruit and flower are usually what most people use to treat various illnesses (including cancer), these are not the only parts of the plant that are useful in doing so.
Elderberry seeds have been found to contain amygdalin, a poisonous compound that is found in the seeds of many plants, most notably in bitter almonds, peaches, plums, apples, and apricot. Amygdalin along with laetrile, a modified form of the former, have been used as an alternative for treating cancer as early as 1950.
In a research published by Bagchi et al., it has been found that extracts made from edible berries, including elderberry, are rich in anti-carcinogenic properties as well as therapeutic and pharmacological properties. When combined, the extracts from these edible berries were able to form a synergistic formula which showed very high ORAC value.
With plenty of different elderberry variations out there, though, it’s important to choose and use the right one, especially if you want to reap these cancer-fighting benefits. American elderberries, as one study has found out, are not as effective in providing anti-cancer benefits as European elderberries, so be sure to use the right kind.
Bottomline: The antioxidants from elderberries and the amygdalin that is found in the fruits’ seeds are useful in the treatment of cancer. Consumption of elderberries can also help prevent the onset of cancer by neutralizing free radicals before they get the chance to develop cancer cells. When choosing elderberries or elderberry extracts to use in the aid of cancer treatment, it is better to use European elderberries over American elderberries.
10. Elderberries May Help Treat Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary Tract Infection, or UTI as more commonly called by most people, is an infection in the urinary tract that is usually caused by the E.coli bacteria in the digestive system. It can affect both men and women, although women are more highly susceptible to it than men are.
Some of the symptoms that are found in patients who suffer from UTI include pelvic pain, burning sensation when peeing, and a very strong smell in urine. While it is not very likely that UTI will kill you, especially when you treat it immediately, it can be very painful and uncomfortable.
Contraction of UTI generally calls for a visit to the doctor so you can get a prescription for antibiotics to treat the infection but in some rare cases antibiotics don’t and won’t always work. There can be many factors that can contribute to UTI being antibiotic-resistant. This is why research is now being done for alternative treatments.
Recent data from a study suggests that elderberry extract may be useful in preventing the growth of harmful bacteria by up to 70%. The same study claims that this is the first time that elderberry has been shown to have strong bacteria-fighting potential which means that it could very well be a natural alternative for fighting infections.
Aside from that, elderberry has been proven to be an effective natural diuretic. Diuretics are important in the treatment of urinary tract infections. They are given to patients to help them urinate more frequently, thus allowing the body to flush out toxins, bacteria, and other unwanted debris from the body more frequently as well. This is process of flushing out toxins and bacteria is crucial in preventing the infection from spreading and getting worse.
When using elderberry as a diuretic, it is best not to take other diuretic drugs. Since elderberry already functions as a diuretic, taking it with drugs of the same nature might lead to dehydration.
Bottomline: Elderberry acts as a natural diuretic and can help you get rid of excess fluid in your system as well as the toxins and bacteria in it by making you urinate more frequently. It has also shown positive antibacterial potential which makes it a great aid for treating UTI.
11. Elderberry Helps Detoxify and Cleanse Your System
Spring cleaning is not just something that you do for your home, you can (and should) do it for your body too! You may have already heard of many different ways people detox and cleanse -- some do a total purge of the things they think are harming their diet, others turn to juicing, and there are also those that opt for pills and other kinds of drugs.
If you’re looking for a more natural way to detox and cleanse, look no further that this amazing fruit that we’re looking at right now that is the elderberry.
Detoxing and cleansing your system has a lot of benefits. It’s also the best first step to take towards a new and healthier lifestyle. Elderberry is one of the most popular and effective detox herbs. It has the ability to remove excess mucus from the body which is often the cause of respiratory issues and it can also help the body get rid of free radicals which might later on develop into cancer cells.
Because they also have the ability to function as a diuretic and promote sweating and more frequent urination, elderberries allow the body to flush out toxins and other unwanted elements from your system as well. What’s more is that elderberries can act as a natural laxative, too, in case you also need to detox and cleanse your gut.
Bottomline: Elderberry’s diuretic properties make it a great option for cleansing and detoxifying the body in a more natural way. The antioxidants that are abundantly present in the plant also help detoxify and cleanse the body from potential harm from free radicals.
12. Elderberry Helps Improve Your Vision
With the rise of technology today and our apparent addiction to all sorts of screens, from TV to phone, tablet, and computer -- it’s hard to keep your vision a perfect 20-20. Bad vision isn’t just from having too much screen time, though. It could be genetic as well.
While bad vision is not something that you would wish or aim for, it’s definitely not something that you can avoid altogether as well. The good news is that according to the World Health Organization, 80% of visual impairments are either curable or preventable.
This is where vitamin A comes in. Also known as retinol, vitamin A is what keeps your eyes in good shape. It is what produces the pigments in your retina and it is also what is responsible for the promotion of good vision. This is why it’s important to consume foods that are rich in vitamin A.
Another important vitamin that you should be getting to ensure optimal eye health is vitamin B6 or pyridoxine. Along with other B vitamins, pyridoxine is responsible for keeping the eyes at optimum health and keeping the rest of the body functioning properly as well.
The recommended daily intake of vitamins A and B6 are 2,100 (women) to 3,000 (men) IU and 1.3 mg respectively. Elderberry contains 870 IU of vitamin A per 145g serving and 0.3 mg of vitamin B6 per 145 g serving. Although it may not be able to provide your full daily recommended intake of vitamins A and B6, elderberry can cover a good percentage of these vitamins in your daily diet.
Bottomline: Elderberry contains vitamins A and B6, both of which are helpful in keeping the eyes healthy and preventing vision impairments including glaucoma and macular degeneration and ensuring clear, lasting vision.
13. Elderberry Keeps Bones Healthy
Cheese and milk may be the most popular go-to food for making your bones stronger and healthier but if these aren’t your cup of tea, then perhaps you’re better off with elderberries.
When it comes to making your bones stronger and healthier, calcium is your number one source. Although usually found in foods like milk, cheese, yogurt, greens, it can also be found in other kinds of food, including elderberry.
Minerals like potassium and iron are also important in boosting bone health. An optimal ratio between potassium and iron in the body is important to maintain good bone mass. It is also crucial in fighting bone diseases including osteoporosis.
The recommended daily intake of calcium for kids 4 years and older up to adulthood is 1,000 mg. As for potassium, the recommended daily intake according to the World Healthy Organization is 3510 mg/day while the recommended daily intake for iron is between 17 to 20.5 mg/day for adults, depending on gender.
Elderberry contains and 55.1 mg of calcium, 406 mg of potassium and 2.3 mg of iron per 145 grams / 1 cup. While it does not cover the whole amount of your daily recommended intake of the minerals mentioned, it sure covers quite a nice percentage of these.
Bottomline: While elderberry may not be able to cover your full daily recommended intake of calcium, iron, and potassium, it sure is a good source of these minerals that can help in boosting and maintaining bone health and bone mass.
14. Elderberry Can Help Promote Sleep and Enhance Its Quality
Life can be stressful and getting the right amount of sleep every night can be a challenge. This is why many people turn to drugs that help induce and promote sleep. However, taking sleep-inducing drugs is not the healthiest way to get a good night’s sleep daily.
There are several natural alternatives to sleeping pills and other sleep-inducing drugs, elderberry included. The fruit itself is not the only part that’s useful in the elderberry plant. The leaves, the flowers, the roots -- all these and more also have properties that can benefit your health. One part of the elderberry plant that’s unexpectedly useful in promoting sleep and improving its quality is the bark.
The bark of the elderberry plant has been found to contain valeric acid which is often used in sedatives and sleep-inducing medication. This substance is also used as an effective pain reliever which, for patients who are feeling pained and can’t go to sleep because of said pain, could help improve the quality of sleep as well.
Bottomline: The valeric acid present in the bark of an elderberry plant can be extracted and infused with different beverages to help promote sleep for people who are having trouble doing so.
15. Elderberry Makes You Look Younger and More Beautiful
As established earlier, elderberries are rich in antioxidants and, besides being effective in neutralizing free radical damage and preventing the onset of cancer, these antioxidants are also beneficial in keeping your skin (and overall appearance) radiant, youthful, and healthy.
Antioxidants have the ability to fight wrinkles, protect the skin from the sun, give you a brighter complexion, and more. As a matter of fact, elderberry is now being used in the cosmetics industry as an ingredient for many skincare items along with many other fruits to make products as natural as possible.
Some of the biggest and most well-known brands in the US including LUSH have come up with products that include elderberry as one of the ingredients, if not the main ingredient. Its anti-aging property is what most people are after.
Bottomline: The anthocyanin antioxidants that are abundantly found in elderberries are used as an ingredient for cosmetic products because of its anti-aging effects. Using products that use elderberries as one of the ingredients can also help users get healthier and more radiant skin.
16. Elderberry Can Treat and Prevent Aids
HIV or human immunodeficiency virus is very popular and common. Once infected, your body will not be able to get rid of the virus completely which means that you will have it for life. While there is no ultimate cure for it, there are several treatments that can help patients deal with HIV. These treatments aim to control the virus and make life easier for the patient.
When left untreated, HIV could lead to AIDS or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. This disease will change the way your immune system works and will make you more susceptible to various other kinds of diseases and infections which will ultimately weaken your whole body and leave you ill.
We’ve already previously established that elderberry has strong antiviral properties. This is the reason why many turn to it as an effective and natural way to combat the influenza virus, also more commonly known as the flu. This is why scientists were prompted to study the plant even further and see whether or not it can also be used to treat HIV. The result?The study has successfully shown elderberry to be an effective shield against HIV-1.
Bottomline: The antiviral action in Elderberries are not only useful in treating and preventing the common flu but for HIV as well. Early treatment of HIV can prevent AIDS from developing.
Now that you’ve seen the awesome benefits of elderberry, it’s time to think about ways to incorporate this wonder plant in your diet. Here are eight delicious elderberry recipes that you can try.
1. Elderberry Jelly
What’s a better day to start your day than with toast, you ask? Well, how about starting it off with toast and elderberry jam? This elderberry spread recipe inspired by Whole New Mom is not only delicious, it’s jampacked with health benefits too!
½ cup of elderberries (dried)
¾ cup of filtered water
1 ½ cups of natural fruit juice of choice (lemon, blueberry, and lime juice are great options)
3 teaspoons of sugar-free pectin
3 to 4 scoops of stevia extract
First, soak your dried elderberries in water overnight to rehydrate them and prevent them from forming chewy lumps in your jelly. This step is often referred to as “reconstituting.”
The next morning, boil your reconstituted elderberry along with your natural fruit juice of choice and filtered water in one pot over medium high heat.
Next, take out about a cup of the mixture from the pot, add stevia extract and pectin and then blend until the mixture is smooth.
Slowly add the mixture back into the pot and stir to combine all ingredients evenly and continue stirring for about 10 minutes on medium heat to prevent any lumps from forming.
Turn off the heat and pour the mixture into your storage containers of choice while it’s still hot. The pectin will harden the mixture and give it a jelly-like consistency as it cools.
2. Elderberry Dumplings
If you’re the adventurous kind who loves to try new stuff in the kitchen, this elderberry dumpling recipe from Mother Earth News might just be your new favorite. Here’s the recipe.
For the berry mixture:
2 cups of fresh elderberries
¾ cup of brown or white sugar
2 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice
1 tablespoon of flour
¾ cup of water
Simply combine all ingredients together in a saucepan and over low, gentle heat. Keep the mixture warm until the dumplings are ready by keeping it on steady low fire.
For the dumpling batter:
¾ cup of sifted flour
½ teaspoon of baking powder
½ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder
¼ cup of milk
¼ cup of grated lemon peel
¼ cup of sugar
1 medium-large egg
Combine dry ingredients together in one bowl and mix the milk and eggs together in another.
Add your dry ingredients in with the milk and egg mixture and mix well until the batter forms a dough.
In a casserole, pour the berry mixture and then drop in spoonfuls of the dumpling dough then put the casserole in the oven and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until the dumplings have turned a light brown color.
Let cool and serve with ice cream.
3. Elderberry Gummies
Kids are always picky when it comes to, well, anything and everything but this elderberry gummies are a foolproof way to trick them into eating their daily dose of goodness.
1 cup of elderberry-infused water
3 tablespoons of gelatin
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
¼ cup of sweetener of your choice (tip: honey helps make the mixture even gummier and it adds a nice hint of sweetness, too!)
This one’s really easy, just dump everything into a pot and whisk continuously over low heat to prevent clumps and lumps. Once the mixture has thickened, pour into silicone molds, let cool (refrigerating them will make the gummies cool faster) and pop out of the molds.
4. Elderberry Water Kefir
Water kefir is a probiotic drink that can boost the health of your digestive system. Combine that with elderberry and you’ve got a drink that’s not only refreshing but insanely good for your health! Thanks to Raisa’s Recipes, you can enjoy all that with this recipe.
1 quart of water kefir (you can make your own or you can buy them at your local supermarket)
1 tablespoon of dried elderberries.
If you’re making water kefir from scratch, do all the necessary steps and let your mixture go through the first fermentation by leaving the grains in sugar water for 24 hours or more in room temperature.
If you’re using ready-made water kefir, you can go ahead and skip the first step and proceed to pouring your water kefir in a clean airtight jar along with the elderberries.
Keep your water kefir and elderberry mix in a dark place for another 24 hours for another round of fermentation and then take it out and transfer the container in the refrigerator.
Anytime you’ve got a hankering for something refreshing and healthy, just pour yourself a glass of this elderberry water kefir and you’re good to go!
5. Elderberry Muffins
For those of you who love baking, be sure to give this recipe a shot. Muffins are great for breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner, so having these elderberry muffins inspired by Cauldrons and Crockpots on hand whenever you’re hungry is definitely something you’ll thank yourself for making.
2 cups of fresh elderberries (frozen are okay, too)
2 tablespoons of room temperature butter
2 large eggs
2 cups of all purpose flour
¾ cup of honey
1 ½ cups of cornmeal
3 teaspoons of baking powder
½ teaspoon of salt
1 cup of buttermilk
Soften the cornmeal by soaking it in milk a few hours before cooking.
In a bowl, beat the butter until it is light and fluffy then add one egg at a time followed by the cornmeal mixture and continue beating until everything is incorporated nicely.
Next, add in half of the flour, the cornmeal, salt, and baking powder, mix and add the other half of the same ingredients in then toss in the elderberries and continue mixing until the batter is smooth and free of lumps.
Pour the batter into your greased muffin pans and bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes or until the muffins have turned a nice, golden brown color.
6. Elderberry Tea
Drinking elderberry tea is one of the easiest ways to reap its health benefits for your body. Try making this tea inspired by a recipe from Fresh Bites Daily and drinking it everyday and see how much better you’ll be in no time.
2 tablespoons of elderberry syrup
1 small cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods
2 whole cloves
2 cups of water
Honey or your choice of sweetener
In a saucepan, put all of the ingredients except honey and bring the mixture to a boil then let it sit simmering for half an hour.
Remove the chunks of elderberries, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon stick by straining the mixture before pouring into a teacup.
You may add in your sweetener of choice to sweeten your tea a little.
7. Chilled Elderberry Soup
Here’s another elderberry recipe inspired by Fresh Bites Daily: a great summer recipe for those of you out there who are looking for a sweeter and more unique alternative to the usual gazpacho. Having chilled elderberry Soup is a great way to cool down on a hot summer day.
3 cups of fresh elderberries without the stems
6 cups of water
1 tablespoon of thickener of your choice (tapioca powder seems to work best)
2 tablespoons of plain water
2 apples, cubed
1 tablespoon each of fresh lemon juice and grated lemon zest
Sweetener of your choice
Heavy cream (optional, for garnish)
In a saucepan, pour water and bring it to a rolling boil. Once the water is boiling,add in the elderberries and reduce the heat to medium. Let simmer for about 10 minutes.
Separate the berries from the liquid by straining them using a mesh cloth or a strainer and then bring it back to the pot and add in the apples. Keep the heat to a medium until the apples are cooked.
Next, take the berries in the strainer and add it back to the pot along with the lemon zest, lemon juice, and the sweetener of your choice and leave it to simmer on low heat.
Combine water and your thickener of choice and then add about a cup of the berry and apple mixture to it. Gradually return the berry apple mixture with the thickener in the pot and let simmer for about three minutes until the consistency thickens into that of soup.
Let the mixture cool down and then chill in the refrigerator.
8. Elderberry Cheesecake Bites
Dessert is something that we always have a hard time saying no to, mostly because we know that these indulgent treats are sinful and not always the best for our health. This modified version of Gaia Herbs’ elderberry cheesecake bites recipe from, though, is both delicious and healthy, so you won’t feel as guilty eating one or two.
For the crust:
⅓ cups of dates, pitted. soaked in hot water, and drained
⅔ cups of walnuts
A pinch of salt
For the filling:
¼ cup of elderberry syrup
½ cup of raw cashews prepared the same way as dates
1 tbsp each of lemon juice and orange juice
5 tbsps of melted coconut oil
¼ cup of chilled full fat coconut milk
To make the crust:
Using a food processor, chop up the dates and the walnuts until fine then grease a baking pan using coconut oil and press the walnut-and-date mix to the pan evenly to make a crust. Chill in the freezer for at least an hour.
To make the filling:
Blend cashews, orange juice, lemon juice, and coconut milk in a blender until smooth and then take the crust out of the freezer and pour the mixture in.
Drizzle some elderberry syrup on top and do random swirls with a clean tooth pick for decoration.
Lift the pan and gently drop from a low height just to eliminate air bubbles from forming to keep your cheesecake smooth and velvety.
Return the pan to the freezer and freeze for at least three hours or until the mixture has set.
Now that you have all these amazingly easy and delicious recipes, there’s really no excuse for not incorporating elderberries in your diet anymore.
You can buy elderberries online or from your local healthy supply store. If you’re lucky, you might even find them in your local supermarket. Remember to never eat raw elderberries as they may be poisonous. Always prepare your elderberry dishes with caution and care to reap the health benefits from this wonder plant.