Blue Elderberry is a deciduous fruit tree native to Western North America. Elderberries have been an important food and medicine source for thousands of years - but only the blue and purple-berried species are edible. Berries and flowers are a native food source that can be eaten fresh, but are best cooked or made into elderberry wine, jam, syrup, and pies. The entire flower cluster can be dipped in batter and fried, while petals can be eaten raw or made into a fragrant and tasty tea. The flowers add an aromatic flavor and lightness to pancakes or fritters.
Blue Elderberry fruit and flowers are very nutritious and medicinal - they contain high levels of antioxidants, vitamin C, and Vitamin A. The flowers contain flavonoids and rutin, which are known to improve immune function.
NOTE: Flavor improves with cooking. Raw berries contain compounds that should not be consumed in large quantities. Leaves and stems are toxic.
Blue Elderberries can be prepared in many ways, but Devon's Lollipops were one of the more creative and kid-friendly methods we've seen: herbal and medicinal lollipops! As Devon says, "these elderberry lollipops are delicious and the perfect thing for a dry, hot throat, and hoarse cough."
2½ cups water
1 cup fresh or frozen blue or black elderberries or ½ cup dried
¼ cup marshmallow root
¼ cup wild cherry bark
2 cups organic honey
½ teaspoon cream of tartar to prevent crystalline texture
corn starch powdered sugar or slippery elm root for dusting
1) Gently simmer water, elderberries, marshmallow, and wild cherry bark for approximately 20 minutes.
2) Strain away solids and discard. The resulting liquid should measure two cups exactly; adjust accordingly.
3) In a 4 quart saucepan, combine warm elderberry liquid with sugar and cream of tartar.
4) Over medium high heat, bring mixture to a gentle boil. DO NOT LEAVE UNATTENDED.
... (continued on the Nitty Gritty Life website)