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Georgie’s Marvellous Medicine: Elderberry Syrup with a twist

Elderberry Syrup and some….

Autumn in back and the hedgerows are bursting with fruits and berries and all sorts of natural goodies. At this time of year, we like to make our own version of George’s Marvellous Medicine. A syrupy concoction that is 100% natural, tasty, and can help to bust any type of cold, cough or nasty global pandemic that seems to be circulating…

Eat it on your cereal, sip it on a teaspoon or add it to a glass of water – however you do it, be happy knowing that this is the good stuff!

It’s easy, quick and fun to make with the kids – that’s our kind of recipe.

picking blackberries
picking (and eating) blackberries

Foraging

Wherever you live, you’ll be able to find a hedgerow covered in fruits and berries in Autumn. Head out with a bag or Tupperware to collect your ingredients.

For our marvellous medicine, we like to collect:

Elderberries

Pick the clusters off at the stem and shake off any insects. When home, you can remove the berries from the branches with your fingers or using a fork.

Elderberries are packed with antioxidants and vitamins to help boost immunity. They’re great when cooked, but don’t eat them raw.

elderberry syrup
elderberries

Blackberries

When you’ve made your crumble, completed your blackberry tie-dye and eaten as many blackberries as the kids can stomach but there’s still more (!), throw them in your syrup too – they’re tasty and good for you.

blackberries & hawthorn

Rosehips

I always saw rosehips yet had no idea that they were edible and really healthy! After a rose has been successfully pollinated in summer, it’s fruit begins to develop. It then transforms into a bright red fruit/hip. Mind the thorns as you pick your rosehips. When home, wash and top and tail them.

rosehips
rosehips

Hawthorn berries

These little red berries are everywhere! They have very impressive anti-inflammatory qualities and are generally pretty good for you. As you forage, pick a few to add to your concoction!

hawthorn berries

As ever when foraging, take what you need and leave the rest for the birds.

Making your syrup

There are some really good, precise recipes out there if you want to find them. I’m a bit more slap-dash in my approach.

  1. Wash all your fruit and berries
  2. Prepare the ingredients (remove all branches and top and tail the rosehips)
  3. Grab a pan and boil 500ml (roughly) water
  4. Add the hawthorns and boil for 20 minutes
  5. Throw in the rosehips and boil for further 5 minutes
  6. Add the elderberries and blackberries and boil for further 10 minutes.
  7. You can throw in some ginger and/or cinnamon stick if you like
  8. I don’t own a muslin so I filter the syrup using an old tea towel (old because it will stain). Place the tea towel in a colander and, if you can, rest this over a large bowl.
  9. Pour the mixture into the tea towel so it drips through into the bowl. Leave to drip until all the liquid has soaked through
  10. Discard the berries into the compost
  11. Add a big dollop of honey (to taste) and reheat for 5 minutes.
  12. Bottle your syrup or store it in a clean jar.
  13. Store in the fridge and have a little dose each day to see off those pesky colds!!

The kids absolutely love this on their breakfast and will often add some stewed apples or pears as well. Delish!

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