The winter of 2014-15 was filled with construction and random illnesses. Last year, during the height of the croupy chaos, I shared our favorite recipe for elderberry syrup. We have been using this elderberry syrup for years now. We have it every morning, more often when there is a virus circulating the house. It’s delicious and easy to make. In fact, my kids often make it independently!
Here’s a flashback to the winter of 2014, in all its croupy glory:
I’m going to go off my normal bloggin’ path to share a recipe with you today: a recipe for elderberry syrup. Folks, don’t get used to this because there is a multitude of things I’d rather be doing than cooking. I’m loving that the kids like to help in the kitchen now and I have visions of them taking over completely one day. A girl can dream, right?
In yesterday’s post, I alluded to a recent jinx during which a friend asked me whether my boys, both of whom are prone to pretty severe croup, had outgrown the ailment. I said yes. Folks, never say your kids have outgrown something because they will then go down with it within seven days, guaranteed. The next time someone asks me this question, I will offer a resounding NO, and I shall do so until Leo and Seuss are in their forties. Take that, croup!
First, I must state that I do not claim that elderberry syrup will cure croup. Our boys require prednisone when they come down with croup. That said, elderberry syrup is a fantastic prednisone chaser, as it tastes good, it’s easy to make, it soothes a sore throat, and there have been studies like this one and these here, and articles like this one, this one, and this one that show elderberry may help with flu, colds, and cough. So when flu season hits, we have a little bit daily (~ 1 teaspoon) and we up our dose when there is a plague, like croup, in our house. Schizz, who happens to be a doctor, used to pooh-pooh our daily elderberry syrup and green smoothies, but he now drinks both, folks. He’s been taking it the last couple of days in an attempt to ward off kid-germs. Our elderberry syrup is endorsed by Schizz! So, without further ado, I present to you our tried-and-true elderberry syrup recipe. And please remember, never give honey to kids under one year of age!
Elderberry Syrup Recipe
4 cups water
1 cup dried elderberries (I buy these online)
3-4 whole cloves
2 tablespoons ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup raw honey (we purchase ours locally, but you can also find it online)
1. Combine all ingredients except for honey and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes – 1 hour, until liquid is reduced by one-third to one-half.
3. Strain to remove berries and cloves, let cool to below 115 degrees and then stir in honey until combined.
4. Store in refrigerator and enjoy!
Tell me, folks: How do you try to ward off illness in your house? Do you have any tips’n’tricks? Share here!
Tart words make no friends; a spoonful of honey will catch more flies than a gallon of vinegar.
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and GeekMom. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram
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