Common Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is truly a miraculous plant. Hippocrates, the ancient Greek known as the “father of medicine,” described the plant as his “medicine chest” because of the wide array of health concerns it seemed to cure. The white flowers are not only beautiful and fragrant but you can also use them in kitchen. In my home country and throughout Europe the flower heads are used in infusions or made into cordial or syrup. The flowers can also be dipped into a light batter and then fried to make elder flower fritters. The berries can also be eaten when fully ripe (cooked to make jam or jelly). Both the flower and the berry have traditionally been used to treat diabetes.
Elderflower beverage is one of my favorite summer drinks. Here's how to make your own elderflower cordial to start enjoying summer!
Homemade Elderflower Cordial (refined sugar free)
To make 1 large bottle of cordial, you will need around 20 flower heads. Pick a shrub further from main roads and place the blossoms in a basket, cloth bag, or paper bag. Do not use a plastic bag.
15-20 elder flower heads
peel and juice from 1 organic lemon
0,5 cup (1 dl) of coconut palm sugar
1,5 liter of water
1. Put the elder flowers in a large bowl.
2. Peel and juice the lemon. Pour both peel and juice over the elderflowers.
3. In a pot, bring water and coconut palm sugar to boil until the sugar dissolves. Pour the water over the elderflowers and allow to cool.
4. Cover and let infuse overnight.
5. The next day, filter the liquid. Make sure there are no bits of flowers left in the infusion. If desired, add two drops of lemon essential oil. Fill into clean sterilized bottle. Dilute with water, sparkling water or unflavoured kombucha before drinking.