Black Ice Cream Vitamins

     ....that's what my grandkids call the elderberry syrup that is kept in the freezer.  It does look black! (deep purple)  When the kids are fighting a cold, the moms will go into the freezer, scoop out a spoonful of frozen elderberry, and give it to them.  My kids/kids-in-laws (the moms) swear by it.

     The elderberries are just starting here in northeastern Wisconsin.  In fact, the chickens got quite a few that were just not quite ripe.  When they are ripe, they come right off the stem when you gently squeeze, pull and twist the berries between your thumb and forefinger.  (Some people use a fork to strip them.)  It's tedious work, but so worth it.  I will be putting up enough elderberries for 3 gallons of elderberry wine, a new elderberry jam recipe I want to try, and, elderberry syrup for all the grandkids  for the winter.

Picked and ready to stem (de-stem? -- you know -- take the berries off the stem :-)

I try not to be a perfectionist.  There's plenty of berries that hang on to the stems.
These get recycled to the chickens.  A great treat for them.

4 quarts of elderberries.


     I will can some syrup in 1/2 pint jars -- just enough for one person for a couple of days during a cold.  A pint could easily be too much and I don't want any wasted after all the hard work.  But, this first batch will be for the freezer, just for the grandkids.  They can store it in their freezer :-)

For each quart of berries add 1 cup of water.
Bring it to a boil, then simmer 5 minutes.
Gently crush the berries with a potato masher.  Do it gently so that
the seeds don't crush too bad.  The seeds can upset some people's stomach.
Now simmer for 5 more minutes.

     Strain off the juice through a dish towel lined colander.  Let it sit for 20 minutes.  For each quart of berries you should end up with 2 cups of juice.  For each cup of juice add in 1 TBL. of lemon juice.  Now it's up to you how sweet you want it and what sweetener to use.  Don't use maple syrup if you are going to can itDon't use honey for children under 2.   Because this batch is "Black Ice Cream Vitamins"  and it is specifically for sick kids who may need to be enticed to eat it, I did use sugar.  3/4 cup to a cup of juice --  I know it sounds like a lot, but those berries are a bit tart.  They only will be eating 3 or 4 spoonfuls a day when sick.

16 half pints of Black Ice Cream Vitamins
ready for the freezer.  (I left a good 1 inch headspace)
Grandbabies should be covered for the winter.
      .....dr momi

Linked to:  Living Well Blog Hop
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Candy C. said...

I love the kids name for the frozen elderberry syrup! LOL!! I sure wish my elderberry bush would produce berries, I only get flowers. I think someone said I have to have two bushes for pollination?

dr momi said...

I think you do have to have two bushes Candy. And maybe two different varieties like apples? I'll have to look into that. I have wild ones just across the driveway from my tame bush. Both are just loaded with berries this year.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

When we lived in Wisconsin each year a good friend of mine used to give me a jar of her elderberry jam and we really enjoyed it! Thank-you for reminding me of that friend and that memory!

Michaele said...

I made jelly last year from roadside elderberries. This year I planted elderberry bush seedlings. I hope to someday make my own elderberry wine. Love this berry!

Sharon said...

Here's a trick for getting the berries off the stem. Freeze them in a big bag. When they're frozen you just bang on the bag and the berries fall off the stem.

dr momi said...

I'll have to try it Sharon.....sounds a lot easier!

Unknown said...

I love that your grandkids call this ice cream. What a great way to take their medicine!

labbie1 said...

I love to keep elderberry syrup around--though I have to purchase the bottle in the store as I have been unable to find elderberries. I love the taste though!

labbie1 said...

PS--frozen would feel really good on a sore throat I would think.

Leontien said...

they look like what we call "vlierbes" but i am not sure. We use it too if we are having the flu...

Thanks for sharing!