70+ Elderberry Recipes & Remedies for Food & Health (2024)

It’s no secret that elderberries are a superfood with many undisputed health benefits! These tasty elderberry recipes will leave you with tons of ideas of how to use these immune-boosting wild berries.

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Wildcrafting Weeds

If you want to learn more about the edible and medicinal weeds that surround us and how to use them, check out my eBook: Wildcrafting Weeds: 20 Easy to Forage Edible and Medicinal Plants (that might be growing in your backyard)!

Gather & Root Online Foraging Course

My online foraging course is a great way to learn about wild edible and medicinal plants! Sign up to to learn more about the gather + root online foraging course here.

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Health Benefits of Elderberries

Let’s be honest, the best way to use herbs is to let your “food be your medicine.” I mean, you have to eat anyway, right?

With their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, and immune-stimulating benefits, elderberries can be made quite flavorful and are easily incorporated into a variety of recipes and remedies.

They can be made into anything from rustic or decadent desserts, candies, co*cktails, or fermented beverages, breakfast dishes, or preserved in jams, jellies, and more.

Remember, raw elderberries can upset your stomach when consumed in high quantities. The glycoside content that can cause issues is reduced when the berries are cooked or fermented.

Where to Find Elderberries

Elderberries are abundant and easy to learn how to forage. Freezing the berries before processing or using a fork to run through the umbels makes easy work of removing the stems.

But if you missed the window to harvest elderberries, or can’t find any in your area, you can purchase dried elderberries from Mountain Rose Herbs.

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70+ Elderberry Recipes to Support Your Immune System

Elderberry Drinks

Elderberries make delicious and refreshing drinks. They can be used in a gut-healthy Elderberry Kombucha, Elderberry Water Kefir, and .

Fermented Elderberry Soda with Ginger and Honey

Make your own homemade fermented elderberry soda with ginger and honey from wild foraged elderberries!

Check out this recipe

Or you can infuse elderberries into co*cktails like Elderberry Infused Vodka, Elderberry Gin, or Elderberry Lemon Basil co*cktail.

My elderberry syrup co*cktail made with vodka is an easy co*cktail recipe made with elderberries you should try if you already have elderberry syrup on hand.

Elderberry co*cktail

This elderberry co*cktail recipe is a festive and delicious way to celebrate fall! Made with elderberry syrup, it even has some health benefits as well. It’s the perfect foraged holiday co*cktail!

Check out this recipe

This Hedgerow Martini sounds like the perfect way to take your elderberry syrup at the end of a long day at work when you’re feeling run down and like you might be starting to come down with something.

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Hedgerow Martini

At the Ballyvolane House in Cork, Ireland, they make a Hedgerow Martini in honor of this prolific berry using a liqueur made by the Brits for hundreds of years. You guessed it. Sloe gin! The tartness of the berry dissipates through infusion in a high-proof gin, plus a wee bit of sugar, and I promise you, this is not the sloe gin of your college years.

Check out this recipe

Elderberries make fantastic wine and you can make your own Elderberry Wine at home.

Elderberry Coridials are a spicy, immune-boosting adult version of elderberry syrup made with ginger, cinnamon, and rose hips.

But I admit I’m partial to Elderberry Mead which is a naturally fermented honey wine. It’s an excellent holiday drink when mulled. Celebrate and stay healthy!

Elderberry Mead

Mead, or fermented honey wine, is a delicious ancient fermented beverage and it's so easy to make! This elderberry mead, made with foraged berries, is a wonderful version of classic mead and perfect for the holidays.

Check out this recipe

Elderberry Smoothies made with elderberry juice, grapefruit, blueberries, raspberries, and mangoes would be a great way to start the day!

Elderberry Spritzer and Black Elderberry Lemonade sound like such a refreshing drink for those hot and steamy late summer days.

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Black Elderberry Lemonade

Black Elderberry Lemonade recipe made with Black Elderberry Syrup packs an immune-supportive punch.

Check out this recipe

Elderberry Desserts

Indulge yourself guilt-free and enjoy beautiful, rich desserts with these elderberry recipes! This Elderberry Curd Mandala Tart made with a chocolate crust is beyond decadent.

Not to mention Elderberry Poached Pears or Rustic Elderberry Galette.

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Rustic Blackberry & Elderberry Galette

This galette and the little extra galettes on the side have been a beautiful surprise. The dough turned out crusty and filling, the berries are astringent and punchy and the apple-poppy-rose sauce that I served it with brought these babies home in no time.

Check out this recipe

Whoever said you can’t have your cake and eat it too was dead wrong! Red Wine and Elderberry Pears with Ginger Cake turns pears a glorious crimson color for the perfect fall dessert.

But let’s not stop there. You could also bake Elderberry Cream Cheese Cupcakesor Blueberry Elderberry Cake Roll with that beautiful naturally lilac-colored filling.

Keep it simple with an Elder Almond Pound Cake or you can bake Elderberry Confetti Cake with Elderberry Plum Curd. Check out the ombre frosting on that one! So cool!

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Elderberry Cake with Elder Plum Curd

An elderberry cake speckled with beautiful wild berries, filled with elderberry & plum curd, wrapped in an ombre Italian buttercream.

Check out this recipe

If you’re more of a pie person, we’ve got more than a handful of elderberry recipes for pie to share there too. These Plum & Elderberry Syrup Hand Pies are a must-bake! Love that late-summer fruity combination, it’s perfect!

Or you can simply showcase the pure berry flavor with an Elderberry Pie, a gluten-free Elderberry Cobbler, or Elderberry Honeycomb Cream Pie which is like a custard pie made with elderberry preserves. I love the fancy honeycomb top. What an easy trick!

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Elderberry Honeycomb Cream Pie

A creamy custard pie in a baked shortbread crust featuring Blueberry-Elderberry Preserves.

Check out this recipe

This Elderberry & Almond Pie and a scoop of vanilla ice cream is calling my name. (Maybe Elderberry Ice Cream would be a better choice?)

While Plum & Elderberry Curd Tartlets or Cream Puffs with Elderberry Filling would be so adorable to serve at your next gathering.

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Cream Puffs with Elderberry Filling

Classic cream puffs sandwich a delightful berry cream filling made with fresh elderberries and a little port wine.

Check out this recipe

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Beef Tenderloin with Elderberries from Norms Farms

Main Dish Elderberry Recipes

Elderberries aren’t just for sweets! The color on this Warm Elderberry Soup is stunning!

You can make some main dishes with all of that berry goodness too. If you’re a red-meat lover, try Venison with Elderberry Pan Sauce or Beef Tenderloin with Elderberries. Both sound delicious and are elegant enough to serve to company!

Unless it’s game night. Then you’re going to want to bust out the Elderberry Buffalo Wings!

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Elderberry Buffalo Chicken Wings

These Elderberry Buffalo Chicken Wings use the slow cook bbq/smoke method so that when the wings are done the meat just falls off the bones. The sauce has a bit of a kick, but is not too hot by any means.

Check out this recipe

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Banana Coffee Cake Muffins with Elderberry Jam from Pickles & Honey

Elderberry Breakfasts

Is there a better way to start your day than with a superfood? Top your pancakes with Elderberry & Blueberry Yogurt Whip.

Tuck some Elderberry Jam filling into Banana Coffee Cake Muffins. Or toss some berries into Elderberry & Einkorn Scones made with wholesome ancient grains.

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Elderberry & Einkorn Scones

These scones were like little mouthfuls of autumn; not only because of the fact they contain beautiful elderberries but because of the wholesomeness of them. They were ostentatiously homemade and a wonderful way to welcome the change of season.

Check out this recipe

Bake up some quick Elderberry Muffins and entice the children with that crumbly streusel topping.

Elderberry Buckwheat Pancakes and a vibrant purple, fruity Elderberry Smoothie Bowl would also bring the kids running with no complaints.

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Elderberry Smoothie Bowl

Bananas, berries, coconut, and elderberry flavors come together for a bright and healthy breakfast.

Check out this recipe

I don’t see why Elderberry Chia Pudding wouldn’t be a great way to start the day, especially if you’re feeling crummy and don’t have much of an appetite. Sure is a lot healthier than many other “breakfast” foods.

I wouldn’t mind waking up to Stewed Elderberries with Baked Semolina or a simple Elderberry Compote beautifully swirled into Greek Yogurt.

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Elderberry Compote with Greek Yogurt

Naturally sweetened and spiced elderberries are swirled into thick greek yogurt and breakfast couldn't be any simpler!

Check out this recipe

Elderberry Remedies

Elderberries are easily made into many herbal remedies. And since elderberries are so beneficial to our health, thankfully they’re pretty tasty remedies too!

Elderberry Juice is the base for many of the remedies so that’s a great place to start.

I would use it to make homemade Elderberry Cough Drops or you can make the juice a little sweeter and spicier for a more flavorful Elderberry Elixir.

Fermented Elderberry Honey

Make these fermented honey elderberries to boost your immune system or simply for a tasty and healthy treat.

Check out this recipe

Fermented Elderberry Honey is such a sweet way to soothe a sore throat and calm a cough and thanks to the elderberries and raw honey, you’ll be feeling better in no time.

Elderberry Oxymel is similar with the addition of raw vinegar if you feel you need some extra probiotics as well.

But let’s not forget the good, old-fashioned, trusty Elderberry Syrup.

Elderberry Syrup

In the late summer and early fall when elderberries are in season, it's the perfect time to make some homemade elderberry syrup! This syrup is not only delicious, but has powerful medicinal benefits as well.

Check out this recipe

Echinacea is also featured in my Elderberry Tincture recipe.

Elderberry & Echinacea Tincture

Since cold and flu season is happening whether I want it to or not, I decided to make two different tinctures that I commonly use during this time of year: elderberry and echinacea.

Check out this recipe

Elderberry can also be incorporated into beverages like tart and fruity Elderberry Shrub and herbal teas such as Elderberry Spice Tea or my favorite Immune-Boosting Blend.

Immune Boosting Herbal Tea

This immune boosting herbal tea blend is the perfect natural remedy to have on hand for cold and flu season. It's a simple blend with immune boosting herbs - perfect for soothing a sore throat, easing cold and flu symptoms, and so much more!

Check out this recipe

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Elderberry Vinegar Honey Caramels from The Nerdy Farm Wife

Elderberry Recipes for Kids

Since many kids aren’t too keen to take their medicine, even if it is as yummy as elderberry syrup, you still have options to sneak it in there!

Elderberry Popsicles are great, especially if you’re having a hard time getting the poor little one to drink anything. Not many would turn down a purple popsicle!

Elderberry Popsicles

These elderberry popsicles are the perfect way to support your immune system and feel better quick! Made with elderberry syrup, they are easy to make and delicious. Kids love them and adults do too!

Check out this recipe

Elderberry Vinegar Honey Caramels mix elderberry infused vinegar and honey to make sweet anti-viral candies.

Or you can make little chewy Elderberry gummy bears with grass-fed gelatin and no artificial food dyes!

Homemade Elderberry Gummies

These homemade elderberry gummies are a delicious way to support your immune system. Elderberry gummies are easy to make, especially if you already elderberry syrup on hand. Kids and adults both love them!

Check out this recipe

If your child isn’t too sure about this whole elderberry thing, you can break them in slowly with Elderberry Thumbprint Cookies.

They certainly won’t pass by Homemade Elderberry Marshmallows either.

Personally, I’d try making Elderberry Syrup Power Balls with dried cherries, chia seeds, toasted hazelnuts, and, of course, elderberry syrup. Cookies for mommy… and then maybe I’d share.

Elderberry Lollipops are perfect for sick children with sore throats that need some soothing (plus they just sound delicious!)

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Elderberry Lollipops

Try this sweet recipe with the immunity-enhancing elderberry for kids and adults alike. These elderberry lollipops are delicious and the perfect thing for a dry, hot throat, and a hoarse cough.

Check out this recipe

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Elderberry Chutney from Larder Love

Preserving Elderberries

If you’re lucky enough to have come across a big yield of elderberries while foraging, you’ll need a way to preserve them. Thankfully, you have lots of choices!

Elderberry Powder is a new idea I’d never heard of before! It’s a great way to sprinkle a little tart flavor and immune system boost to your meals. Or you can incorporate it into many of the other recipes we’re sharing here.

You can also simply dehydrate or freeze the berries for later (which is a great way to remove the berries from the stems.)

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Elderberry Powder

Learn to dehydrate elderberries and turn the dried berries into a useful powder for cold and flu season, or just to generally boost the immune system and improve health.

Check out this recipe

Elderberries are wonderful candidates for all of your preserve-making ventures. You can make Sugar-Free Elderberry Jam sweetened with stevia! (Sugar-free is always a great choice when your immune system is down in the dumps.)

Or you can make Elderberry Jelly or elegantElderberry Chia Jam.

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Elderberry Chia Jam

Elderberry together with Chia seeds make a powerful combination full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances that can help you overcome this demanding flu and cold season. Rich and exquisite Elderberry jam can be spread over your toast or just served up alongside a cheese platter.

Check out this recipe

Elderberries mix well with other fruits when you’re making a jam. Try Elderberry Peach Jam, Elderberry Strawberry Jam, or the one I’m most excited to try, Elderberry Apple Jam. A great use for early season apples that will be ready around the same time elderberries ripen.

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Elderberry Strawberry Jam

Making elderberry syrup? With a few quick additional steps, you can make a double batch and end up with a jar of syrup AND jam for just .000001% more effort.

Check out this recipe

You can also preserve not-quite-rip elderberries as homemade capers! What a novel idea!

Or a spicy, chunky Elderberry Chutney is sure to be delicious

What is your favorite way to enjoy the benefits of elderberries?

70+ Elderberry Recipes & Remedies for Food & Health (2024)


How long to cook elderberries to be safe to eat? ›

Preparing Elderberry Safely: What You Need to Know

Cooking elderberries is not just a culinary step; it's a safety measure. To neutralize toxins, specifically cyanide-inducing glycosides, heat treatment is a must. Boiling elderberries for at least 30 minutes is the go-to method.

What not to mix with elderberry? ›

Possible Interactions
  • Diuretics (water pills). Diuretics help the body get rid of excess fluid and increase the amount of urine your body makes. ...
  • Diabetes medications. Elderberry may lower blood sugar levels. ...
  • Chemotherapy. ...
  • Laxatives. ...
  • Theophylline (TheoDur). ...
  • Drugs that suppress the immune system.

Does cooking elderberries destroy nutrients? ›

Elderberries were more prone to decrease anthocyanin content after cooking process. Nevertheless, about 70% of the anthocyanins were recovered from the fruit and the water used in the cooking process. Berry anthocyanins' content decreased the most in jam, and in recipes with baking soda.

How do you prepare elderberries for eating? ›

  1. Carefully separate your elderberries from their stalks with a fork or your hands.
  2. Chop up a little ginger into small pieces.
  3. Put the elderberries and chopped ginger into a pan and cover them with water.
  4. Bring to the boil and let simmer for 10 minutes.
Sep 28, 2022

How long to cook elderberries to remove cyanide? ›

(1) Add berries and spices to water, heat until boiling. (2) Reduce heat to keep from a constant boil (high temperatures will destroy some of the nutrients) and continue cooking for 20-30 minutes.

Does boiling elderberries destroy vitamin C? ›

Elderberries contain vitamin C, but much of it is destroyed by heat. Adding lemon juice provides an additional vitamin C boost to the syrup.

What is the healthiest way to consume elderberry? ›

The biggest concern of consuming elderberry is that there are parts of the plant that are not edible and can be toxic if ingested. The safest way to take elderberry is to make sure that you are only ingesting extracts of the cooked fruit.

Are there negative side effects of elderberry? ›

Symptoms of eating uncooked berries, leaves, bark, or roots of the elderberry include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea (2). There is one report of eight people falling ill after drinking the juice from freshly picked berries, including the leaves and branches, from the S. mexicana elder variety.

Is elderberry safe for kidneys? ›

Cardiovascular disease risk biomarkers and liver and kidney function are not altered in postmenopausal women after ingesting an elderberry extract rich in anthocyanins for 12 weeks.

How do you remove toxins from elderberries? ›

Both the berries and flowers of the elderberry tree are edible, but elderberries need to be cooked before being consumed to eliminate the toxin sambunigrin.

Can you take elderberry with high blood pressure? ›

Always talk to your doctor first, especially if you're on any prescription medication, such as blood pressure medications (elderberry products may lower blood pressure, compounding the effect of the drug), on chemotherapy (elderberry may increase the risk of side effects), or if you have been diagnosed with diabetes ( ...

Can too much elderberry hurt you? ›

There is a downside to consuming too much elderberry, and that is an upset stomach. Just like with any high fiber fruit, eating too much can cause stomach pain, upset stomach, and diarrhea.

What fruit goes with elderberry? ›

Some common companion ingredients for elderberries include brown sugar, dates, dried figs, maple syrup, blackberries, raspberries, stone fruits, roasted nuts, scallops, vanilla, white wines, tawny ports, and coffee.

Can I cook elderberries with the stems? ›

Note: Some varieties of elderberries are not meant for consumption and none should be eaten raw, especially the leaves. I remove all of the hard, woody stems as well before cooking.

Why do you have to boil elderberries? ›

But before we begin, it is essential to note that eating raw elderberries is not advised as they are toxic when uncooked. In this recipe, however, they are brought to the boil, then simmered, making them fine to eat or drink. If you can harvest the berries in season, it is almost free to make.

Is it safe to eat cooked elderberries? ›

When uncooked, elderberries contain a toxic substance that can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, so any preparation of elderberries you use should be cooked. Commercial preparations of elderberry such as syrups and lozenges don't contain this substance and are generally recognized as safe for that reason.

Can you cook elderberries for too long? ›

We have seen those symptoms subside when we cook the berries for at least 20 minutes on a medium heat after bringing them to a boil. I do not recommend cooking the berries over 45 minutes, as they begin to lose their medicinal properties.

Does heat destroy elderberry? ›

While immune supporting magnesium, potassium, niacin, viburnic and shikimic acids and other health supporting constituents and nutrients in elderberries can withstand heating and drying, the ascorbic acid, anthocyanins, and many other flavonoids (AKA antioxidants) may not.


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