Wednesday, 26 December 2012
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)
I have an elderberry tree in the garden. The berries should not be eaten uncooked. However when boiled in water and strained you get a lovely purple juice that can be made into a cordial or mixed with stewed apple. You can also make apple and elderberry jelly to spread on your toast.
A herbalist told me that they are good against colds and flu. I keep some in the freezer. More info here
In late summer or early Autumn you can find them in the countryside growing in the hedgerows though do take care to identify them correctly. Have a look here
Here is a recipe I found
They used to be in Bottle Green's Spiced Berry Cordial which is in most supermarkets. I don't know if they still are as the bottle I have is not very new.
It says on their website that it has blackcurrant and ariona. Ariona is a berry and superfood new to the UK but well known by the Polish community here and it has health benefits too.
In April or May the tree flowers. Elder flowers make a lovely drink with sugar and lemon or can be fermented to make elderflower 'Champagne'