Friday, September 2, 2011
My elderberry shrub is really a friendly plant. It is growing taller and taller (twice as tall as me?) but when the berries ripen it bends down like a UK commoner would bow meeting his Queen. The branches get so heavy from the weight of the ripening berries that it bends all the way down to the ground, and it is time for the annual elderberry harvest. I snip off the berries with scissors, and wash then gently. I remove all the berries and cook then in a large pot filled with water barely covering the berries. Once the pot comes to a boil, I simmer the berries for 10min, and after that let it cool to room temperature for a few hours.
I pour the berries and (black) juice into a large sieve that has a large bowl underneath and capture the juice. Then I smash the berries for the last bit of tasty juice residue and discard them on the compost pile. The juice stores well for a few days in the fridge, and just needs a bit of sweetener.
Why elderberry juice? “Black elderberry has been used medicinally for hundreds of years.” (wikipedia) They are definitely a local superfood, similar to blueberries. Who needs goji berries?