How To Make Elderberry Tea

New Book: THE COMPLETE ELDERBERRY TEA BOOK: MAKE YOUR OWN DELICIOUS, HEALTHFUL, HOMEMADE ELDERBERRY TEAS

Just the book we need to get us through this year!

Elderberry Tea Book make your own elderberry teas, tea recipes.

I am a heavy drinker–of elderberry tea, that is.

There’s really no going wrong with elderberry tea with an antioxidant value and nutritional profile as high as it has, but elderberry teas also have the HUGE benefit of flavor. Elder tea is light and delicious, low-calorie, and is great with just a teaspoon of honey to help this tea–which doesn’t taste like medicine at all–go down.

Just In Time for Cold And Flu Season: DIY Elderberry Tea Book Release

I’ve been making my own elderberry teas for years. I find them to be much more interesting and enjoyable, and they give me greater variety. And save money, too! (PSST–They also make the best gifts!)

I’ve recently released my next book, The Complete Elderberry Tea Book: Make Your Own Delicious, Healthful, Homemade Elderberry Teas

It includes:

  • Over 25 recipes for homemade elderberry teas
  • Complete instructions for making teas
  • Instructions for harvesting and drying your own elderberries, herbs, and ingredients (if that’s your thing, but that’s optional)
  • BONUS RECIPES for elderberry syrups, elderflower syrup, wine mulling spices, and elderberry jam

All recipes use dried elderberry, herbs, and spices, all of which can be easily purchased online or at specialty stores. You do not need to grow your own elderberries to make these wonderful, relaxing, healthful teas! (But if you do, that’s covered, too!).

All You Need to Know to Make Homemade Elder Tea

Start to finish, it’s all in this book–just in time to get us through 2020 and see us into 2021, whatever that brings, and for years of continued wellness beyond.

Whether you drink it for the health benefits, illness prevention, or only for the flavor, there’s just no downside to making your own elderberry tea. It’s a money-saver and also a way to easily incorporate elderberry, enjoyably, into your health and diet plan every day.

Having your own set of elderberry tea recipes gives you variety but is also a very good way to be able to use elderberry even when the shortages are on for commercial products and syrups.

ORDER YOUR COPY HERE, today. Available in paperback and for Kindle and Kindle eReader Apps.

And please, Take care, and BE WELL!

How to Rehydrate Elderberries

Make “Fresh” Elderberries or Elderberry Juice From Dried Elderberries

Get the Answer to How Much Do Rehydrated Elderberries Yield? (Berries and Juice)

We see plenty of articles and posts about using dried elderberries, and even plenty about how to dry or dehydrate elderberries. But what seems a lot harder to find are instructions for how to rehydrate elderberries.

Here are some simple instructions for rehydrating elderberries (based on instructions in recipes by Frontier Co-Op). You can use these instructions to “make” elderberries that are close to fresh from dried elderberries. This will give you a yield of plump, juicy berries that you can use in any elderberry recipes, and/or juice for elderberry syrup, jellies, jams, and more.

How Much Water and How Much Elderberry?

To rehydrate elderberries for recipes and juice you will use:

dried elderberries for rehydrating for recipes

Instructions for Rehydrating Elderberries:

There are two methods for rehydrating elderberries, a cold soak method and a hot soak method.

Cold Soak Method to Rehydrate Elderberries:

Pour 3/4 cup fresh cold water over 1/2 cup dried elderberries. Cover. Place in the refrigerator and let stand to soak overnight, or for about 8 to 12 hours.

Hot Soak Method to Rehydrate Elderberries:

Rehydrated elderberries on fork.
  • Place 1/2 cup dried elderberries in a heat-proof bowl, such as a stainless steel mixing bowl or Pyrex dish.
  • Carefully pour 3/4 cup boiling water over the dried elderberries.
  • Hold for a minimum of 15 minutes for water to be absorbed. Thirty to 45 minutes is better.
  • Let stand until berries are tender, close to normal fresh berry size, and much of the water is reabsorbed. All of the water will not be absorbed by the berries and this will be your “juice”.

Berry and Juice Yield from Rehydrated Dried Elderberries

How many cups of berries will you get from rehydrating elderberries? How much juice will one half cup of rehydrated elderberries yield?

You will find only a slight difference between rehydrating elderberries with the cold soak method and rehydrating elderberries with the hot soak method. The yield is slightly better with the cold soak method, but the difference is really negligible.

As the pictures show, your yield of berries versus elderberry juice will be:

  • 1 (scant) cup plumped elderberries
  • 2/3 (brimming) cup dark elderberry juice

This yield is similar to what you would get from thawing a cup of fresh-frozen elderberries and so it would be fair to say that this conversion would be appropriate for use in recipes calling for one cup of fresh elderberries.

Using Rehydrated Elderberries and Juice

To use the rehydrated elderberries in recipes calling for fresh berries, simply strain the juice from the berries and use the rehydrated berries in place of fresh. The juice can be used in elderberry syrup recipes or jam recipes by measure.

If you are looking to yield more juice for a recipe and do not need the plumped berries, mash and strain the elderberries to release more juice. If you are just straining the berries without mashing them, reserve them for use in another recipe (maybe make some elderberry muffins!). Store in the refrigerator but use within a few days.

What is the Best Way to Rehydrate Elderberries?

Is one method better for rehydrating elderberries? Should you use the hot soak method or the cold?

Soak dried elderberries for cooking.

As mentioned, the yield is not a lot different, so use whichever method fits best given your available time. If you have the time to plan ahead, though, the cold-soak method inches out the hot soak method and is preferable for a couple of reasons:

  • While the cold soak method is slower, it results in less nutrient and vitamin loss, and therefore preserves more of the natural goodness and nutrition of the elderberries.
  • The cold soak method results in slightly plumper berries, with slightly better water absorption.
  • It should be noted, and this is a very important point, that the heat-soak method with the boiling water essentially “cooks” or heat-treats the elderberries. It is not considered safe to consume raw elderberries. If you are not using the elderberries in a recipe that will be baked or cooked, then the heat-soak method is the way to go.
  • The potentially harmful compounds in elderberries are found in the bark, leaves, unripe berries, and seeds. Therefore, if you are removing all of the seeds and berries via straining anyway, it is not as important to cook or heat treat the berries.
  • Overall, if you have the time, go with the cold soak method, but keep these points in mind when choosing.

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Make Elderberry Jelly from Dried Elderberries!

Elderberries may be hitting the mainstream now for their promising antiviral benefits, but the truth is that a lot of us homesteading and country types have had a relationship with elderberries for a very long time. Elderberries were always a part of our late-summer preserving in my mother’s and my grandmother’s kitchens.

Blessed with Abundance…Smells Like Childhood

elderberries on stem

If you grew up with elderberries, you’re sure to remember the rich smell of it processing. In my house it was always in the form of jelly. I recall it as a fruity yet rich, deep, earthy flavor, actually something of an acquired taste for me as a youngster, but which I grew to appreciate even more as an adult. We were blessed both on our property and my grandparents’ property next door with an abundant grove. Over the years, though, many of those bushes fell away, probably choked out by more dominant growth, and so, too, did my knowledge of elderberry as a prime food source.

I understand that a few bushes remain and I’ll have to go scouting for some cutting to root for planting elderberries here on the homestead (not that I don’t have native elderberries available near me, and in fact I have plenty of local cuttings, but there’s something about owning a piece of grandma’s elderberry bush that draws me).

Elderberry Knowledge Lost & Re-Found

At some point about five years ago I was reminded of elderberries once again. I think it came to me when we started making homemade wines with the fruits of our land and started looking at things other than grapes to make wine with. An older gentleman at the gym made mention to my husband, who made mention to me, and there was my head-smack moment. Elderberry is the PERFECT flavor for my husband! He’s not much of a sweets-eater, but elderberries are not sweet, and nor are most recipes that use elderberries. Earthy and balanced, he’d love elderberry anything, and I should have thought of it years before. In a wine, elderberry tends toward dark, heavier and dry, and not very sweet. exactly what he’d want. That gentleman sent him home with a bottle, and the rest, well, it’s homemade wine history.

Making Elderberry Jelly from Dried Elderberries

how to make elderberry jelly from dried elderberries

I did, however, manage to convince my husband to let me use a small portion of our first elderberry forages for a batch of jelly. And on this, too, he soon became hooked. Elderberry jelly recipes are pretty basic, and not too involved. The problem is often finding elderberries in season to make them…or being willing enough to spare from the wine for the jelly!

Recently, however, I chanced across a post from an herb and spice company, Frontier Co-Op, that I frequently order from online (usually through Amazon because it gets around their high wholesale minimums). I order from them primarily for ingredients for my homemade elderberry tea mixes. But Frontier had recently shared a post on How to Make Elderberry Jelly from Dried Elderberries. This is a brilliant, simple elderberry jam recipe made from dried elderberries, so you can make it at any time of the year.

One More way To Get Our Daily Dose of Elderberry

Especially in the winter months (but really all year long), we try to incorporate elderberry into our daily diet. We do it for the immune support, the antioxidants and antiviral benefits, the high vitamin and mineral and overall strong nutritional profile, but mostly, we use it for the taste of elderberry. It’s simply delicious! We enjoy elderberry in wine. We enjoy it mostly in tea–it’s not hard to make a tasty, relaxing cup of elderberry tea a part of your daily habit. But we enjoy elderberry in other ways, too; like that jelly and like syrup for yogurt and summertime spritzers.

In the end, I believe we can get far with small changes to our daily diet and a return to traditional, wholesome, nutritional foods like elderberries. The challenge for us in this modern crazy age is finding the ways to incorporate those good foods. Simple recipes like this elderberry jelly that are easy–and delicious!–to use every day make eating well and harnessing the power of healthful traditional foods that much easier. I hope you, like me, SHARE and ENJOY this handy elderberry jelly recipe!