October 1, 2012

'I spy with my little eye... that it is a berry good season'.

Deep dark elderberry jewels are hanging in clusters ready for harvesting and what produce can be made from these gorgeous berries. Elderberry jam, elderberry jelly and elderberry wine are wonderful things to have ready for comfort on those winter evenings.

Having a reputation for being an amazing cold and flu remedy Elderberries can also be made into a delicious cordial. Full of vitamins this is a definite 'must' to keep at the ready for winter sniffs and coughs.

In the UK you can 'roam on foot to access open country in England and Wales'. This includes mountains, moors, heath, registered commons and land that has been opened up voluntarily by landowners. Legally, a person may take away foliage, fruit or parts of the plant (that are not protected by law) without committing an offence, unless it is done with the intention of selling them or for any other reward.

So... when the weather is dry grab your bucket scissors and gloves and off you go.

Remember to pick 'above dog level' and to leave some berries on the tree

Cut about 2kgs of elderberries on the stalk. If you wear light rubber gloves you will avoid stained and smelly fingers.

When you get home use a fork to remove the berries from the stalks. Using a large saucepan cover the berries with water and bring to the boil letting them simmer for 20minutes.

Strain the juice preferably through a muslin cloth or 'jelly bag'. Measure the deep red juice and pour back into the saucepan. For every 500mls of juice add 500gms of sugar (some prefer to use soft light brown or demerara) 3 cinnamon sticks and juice from 1 or 2 lemons.

Bring to the boil and simmer rapidly for 15mins after which remove the cinnamon sticks.

Once the cordial is cooled pour into clean sterilized bottles and seal the top. Kept in the fridge this cordial will keep for approx 6 months.

Add a dash of whisky, rum or brandy and this healthy cordial is a hot healing remedy you won't need an excuse to drink.

A wonderful Christmas gift made in advance


Nutritional values

Vitamin A: 600 I.U. per 100mg

Thiamine: Vitamin B 0.07mg

Riboflavin: 0.06mg Niacin: 0.5mg

Vitamin C: 36mg

Protein: 2.6mg


For safety reasons research what you pick before you pick

DO NOT use the leaves, bark or roots of Elder for consumption as they can be poisonous


For safety reasons DO NOT use the leaves, bark or roots of Elder for consumption.

They can be poisonous!!!

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