Have you ever had homemade elderberry syrup? If the answer is no, then you'd better read on and see about changing it to a yes quick smart because it is absolutely delicious and incredibly good for you.
Until a few years ago I always thought that making jellies and syrups was much more complicated than making jam, but it is really simple. OK, so there are more steps to it, but they are easy steps. This is a great one to get the children involved in because there are plenty of activities in it that do not involve boiling fruit and sugar as you do for jam. First of all there is the foraging for berries, then picking them off the stems. Once the berries have been cooked, the children can press them through a sieve to extract the juice. The boiling and bottling are too dangerous to have children involved in due to the heat, but they can decorate labels for the bottles and jars while you boil and bottle.
You can find my full recipe and step-by-step instructions for both elderberry jelly and elderberry syrup here.
You may be thinking to yourself, right, it is tasty and good for me, but what do I do with it then? Well, basically, loads.
You can literally spoon-feed it to the whole family as a tonic. My children call it elderberry medicine and can't wait for their daily spoonful before school each morning.
You can drizzle it over natural yogurt.
One tip here - always make sure that you pick the right bottle out of the frige and don't make the same mistake The Bavarian did last winter. He accidentally poured mulled wine over the children's breakfast yogurt because I had bottled the leftover mulled wine from the previous evening and put it into the fridge. Same type bottle, same colour liquid. Luckily the children notced the funny smell before eating.
You can make it into elderberry jelly to use on bread, in cakes or biscuits.
So what are you waiting for? Grab you kids, coat and wellies and get foraging.