Raw elderberries are incredibly tart, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a place in your kitchen.For centuries,elderberries have been used to make jams, pies, pastries,syrups and even wine. Cooking the berry reduces the tartness and allows the fruit’s uniquely earthy flavor to shine through.
Elderberries are rarely available in markets, but fortunately they’re relatively common in the wild. You can find elderberry bushes in low, warm areas from July through September. When you’re foraging for elderberries in the wild, look for full, dense bushes that are filled with clusters of vibrant green leaves. There are both blue and red elderberries, but only hunt for the blue ones; red elderberries are overwhelmingly tart and unpalatable. Select deep, rich, dark blue berries for the best flavor.
If you’ve got a garden, consider planting elderberries. They’re relatively easy to grow and their flowers make an attractive display during the summer.
Americans don’t eat as many elderberries as they once did, and it’s a shame. They contain more phosphorus and potassium than any other temperature fruit. They’re also an excellent source of vitamin C. Elderberries have been used to centuries to treat wounds, colds and other respiratory illnesses.
You can make a delightful syrup from elderberries to adorn pancakes, ice cream and even meat dishes. Boil the berries in water until they become soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the berries, then puree them in a food processor or blender. Strain the pureed berries through cheese cloth or a fine-mesh sieve and return them to the pot. For each pound of berries, add 1 cup of sugar and cook the mixture over low heat until it has thickened.
Source: herbwisdom.com, fruit.cornell.edu, umm.edu, kcweb.com, ehow.com
Image by Stephen McKay available under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 License
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Blackberry or Elderberry Tapioca Pudding (Microwave)
1/2 cup minute tapioca
2 cups milk
1/2 cup honey or 1/2 cup agave syrup
2 1/2 cups elderberries or 3 cups blackberries
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 egg (optional)
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
1. In a 2 quart microwavable bowl, mix tapioca, milk, and honey (or sugar). Microwave on high for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Temper the egg by gradually add some of the tapioca mixture to it. Stir it into tapioca along with the berries and the lime juice.
3. Microwave on high another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Low-Sugar Elderberry (Or Blackberry) Jelly
4 cups elderberry juice
4 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
6 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons agave syrup
2 -3 tablespoons agar-agar flakes
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
1. Place a glass plate in the freezer.
2. Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil; simmer 10 minutes or until agar-agar is dissolved.
3. Test consistency by placing a bit of the jelly on the cold plate and returning plate to the freezer for 1 minute. Add more agar-agar if too liquid.
Yield: 4 cups
Elderberry-mustard Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
1/4 cup elderberry wine vinegar
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup finely minced onion
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
1. In a small bowl, whisk mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper.
2. Slowly add to oil while whisking.
3. Stir in onion and parsley.
4. Drizzle over salad greens, toss to coat.
2 1/4 lbs elderberries (vlierbessen)
4 cups water
1/2 cinnamon stick (pijpe kaneel)
1/2 lemon, rind of, of (schil van 1/2 citroen)
2/3 cup agave syrup
1 pinch salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup whipped cream
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
1. Remove berries from stems, wash with cold water and let drain.
2. Bring 4 cups water to boil, add the berries and let cook over a soft fire with a lid on, for about 15 minutes.
3. Press the berries and water through a sieve and return to the fire.
4. Add the cinnamon stick, the lemon peel, the agave syrup and the salt.
5. Peel the pears, core and cut in thin slices into the berry mixture.
6. Let the pears cook in the soup for a few minutes.
7. Take out the cinnamon stick and the lemon peel.
8. Mix the cornstarch with the white wine and pour into soup to thicken it.
9. Chill the soup in the refrigerator.
10. Serve with a dollop whipped cream on top.
elderberry flowers, clusters
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon agave syrup
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
oil (for frying)
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 4 mins
Total Time: 9 mins
1.Dip washed and drained flower clusters into a batter made by beating next 5 ingredients together.
2. Fry dipped clusters in oil (375*F. on frying thermometer) for 4 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
3. Drain on absorbent paper.
4. Roll in additional granulated sugar.
5. Serve hot.
6. Makes 4 servings.
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