Elderberry Tea is Our Favorite Drink for Winter
Dried elderberries are our pantry staple and we keep them at home year round. During flu season, we like to make elderberry tea with honey. We love elderberry tea for its unique aroma, attractive dark red color, and slightly tart flavor. The tea is super easy to make. Add 1 tablespoon of dried elderberries (here or the organic version) for 8 oz of hot water, steep for 5 minutes, add honey to your taste, strain out the berries and it is ready to drink. It is recommended not to eat the berries because the seeds may be poisonous if consumed at large quantity.
Elderberry is Traditionally Used to Boost Immunity
Elderberries have been traditionally used as herbal medicine to treat respiratory diseases for centuries. People from different cultures have been drinking elderberry tea to prevent or relieve symptoms of cold. Modern scientists believe that elderberry is rich in vitamins, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, which could all contribute to its effects in improving immunity against viral infections.
People Use More Elderberry in Past Two Years
As one could expect, in the past two years during the COVID pandemic, use of elderberry and its related products, such as supplements and tea, has increased. Although there has not been any definitive studies confirming that elderberry has direct anti-COVID effects, it is a nice and tasty option for boosting immunity. Dried elderberries have long shelf life (2-3 years) and can be kept at room temperature. The 1 lb bulk package could last a long time.
Homemade Honey Elderberry Gummy Bear Recipe
Elderberry gummy bear could be a delicious and healthy on-the-go snack for the whole family. Turned out it was also super easy to make, and it tastes so good.
1 cup of European Organic Whole Dried elderberries
2 cups of water
0.5 cup of raw honey
1 oz of Knox Original Gelatin Powder, Unflavored
8 x 8 inches Pyrex baking pan (I do not have gummy bear mold at home. The pan works just fine)
Steps （Prep time: 30 min. Wait time: overnight):
1. Add 1 cup of dried elderberries to 2 cups of water in a stainless steel pot, bring to boil, simmer to reduce the liquid to 1 cup (15 minutes)
2. Remove berries using a strainer. Cool it till it is warm to touch, but not hot
3. In a small pot, mix 1/4 cup of tea with 1 oz of gelatin powder(4 Knox packets total). The gelatin powder will get hydrated and swell.
3. In a separate container, add honey to rest of tea, mix well （avoid adding honey to hot liquid as that will reduce its nutritional effects). This is elderberry syrup.
4. Add elderberry syrup into the pot containing hydrated gelatin powder, heat it up on stove top at low heat, stir continuously. Gelatin will completely dissolve in 3-5 minutes, and no granules will be visible. The liquid becomes thick and smooth.
5. Pour the liquid into the baking pan. Cover it and refrigerate overnight.
6. Use a sharp knife to cut the gummy candy into 1 x 1 squares. Enjoy.
7. As the homemade gummy bear does not have any preservatives, I keep it refrigerated, and we normally finish it within a week.
The homemade gummy bear is rich in flavors, fun and chewy to eat, and easy to pack as healthy snacks.