Judging by the national shortage of yeast in grocery stores, we can safely presume that we’re all getting creative with our at-home concoctions.
You can only make pasta alfredo so many times without starting to feel bloated, sluggish, and greasy. (Note: the number of times may vary from person to person. If you’re not sick of it yet, you’ve got an extra-high alfredo tolerance.)
Maybe you’re not there yet.
But if you have officially reached peak pasta capacity… the chances are that you’re not only expanding your gastronomical reach in the kitchen, you’re also looking for ways to repair the strength and health of your digestive tract.
After all, the gut loves variety, in the form of new and healthy bacteria, more than it could ever love the benefits of whole-grain pasta buried beneath cheeses and sauces.
And so lots of people have started branching out and considering alternatives to maximize our bodily efficiency, from gut health to immune strength. Sometimes, that means looking for nutritional supplements. For others, that means turning to special herbs and plants that occur naturally and provide troves of benefits…
Like, for example, the much-mythologized elderberry fruit. It’s so packed with nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber that it commonly appears in global folklore as a medicine.
And it works wonders on your digestive health.
Elderberry and the Gut
Elderberry, specifically black elderberry, is rich in polyphenols and flavonoids.
Polyphenols have been shown to aid and increase intestinal ease, specifically in terms of gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
Also, sometimes as little as 10% of ingested polyphenol molecules reach the intestines, and still manage to positively affect the bacterial profile of the gut.
And black elderberry juice helps to encourage the release of digestive juices, which keep the system running smoothly and prevent constipation.
Plus, antioxidants, flavonoids, and polyphenols are all great at reducing inflammation which is essential for a healthy gut.
And as we know from continuous study, what’s good for the gut is good for the immune system, a critical concern at this time.
So let’s think about how you can introduce elderberry juice into your at-home creation repertoire…
How to Make Elderberry Syrup at Home
You can do a ton with elderberry syrup… pour it over pancakes, swirl it into yogurt or oatmeal, freeze it into ice cubes to add to water or tea, add it to a smoothie, drip it over ice cream, stir it into hot tea…
The list goes on!
And here’s a simple recipe to get you started:
All you need to make a 50-serving batch of elderberry syrup is ½ cup of dried black elderberries, 2 cups of water, 1 tablespoon of minced fresh ginger, and a ½ cup of honey.
Got your materials? Great.
Take your dried black elderberries, water, and ginger and heat them over high in a saucepan.
Let it boil, then turn the heat down to bring it to a simmer.
It should take about 20 minutes to reduce the water to half its original content – there should be about a cup of liquid left.
Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to get rid of any berry skins left. You can even press gently onto the backs of the berries with a spoon to get all the juice out.
Once the mixture has cooled to room temperature, add in the honey. Whisk it all together so it’s smooth!
Now, that concoction can last safely in the fridge for two weeks. If you plan to use it over time, you can freeze it and thaw the night before you need it!
Use it when you’re not feeling so hot, or when your gut’s been giving you trouble, or as a preventive measure!