Immune Boosting Elderberry Gummies
Tis the season…for colds and flu. Last year was our son’s first year in school/daycare and boy did I suffer- every sniffle got me and even though I know it’s part of the process of strengthening the immune system, it was NOT fun. This year I decided to make immune boosting a little more fun and found this awesome recipe for cold busting elderberry gummies from Danielle Walker (of Against All Grain). If you’re dealing with dietary changes related to having an auto-immune or digestive disease, she is an amazing resource, and is about to release yet another great recipe book!
Benefits of Elderberry:
Elderberries have been shown to have natural antiviral activity- see studies:
My elderberries came from Amazon (if anyone knows a local AZ source, please share!), as did the candy molds. I used a different brand of collagen protein than Danielle- (Great Lakes Unflavored Gelatin vs Vital Protein) which meant decreasing the amount of gelatin used in the recipe. I had different juices on hand and had some other immune boosting supplements that I added in, and I also doubled the recipe. You can see the original elderberry gummy recipe here.
My recipe looked like this…
- 1 cup dried elderberries
- 2 cups filtered water
- 1⁄2 cup unfiltered apple Kombucha (Trader Joe’s)
- 1⁄2 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed tangerine juice
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1⁄4 cup + 2 TBS unflavored gelatin (grass fed best)
- 1/2 cup light-colored raw honey
- 2 tsp powdered children’s probiotic
- 2 tsp liquid zinc (30 mg total)
- 20 drops liquid vitamin D (40,000 IU total)
- 1 scoop buffered vitamin C (2000mg total)
- Place the elderberries and 2 cup water in a saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour. Strain the elderberry juice through a fine-mesh sieve and return the juice to the saucepan. Discard the elderberries. Add the juices.
- Sprinkle the gelatin over the mixed juice mixture. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes, until the gelatin has absorbed most of the liquid.
- Return the pan to medium heat and warm until the liquid is steaming but not boiling, then whisk until the gelatin has completely dissolved. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. Whisk in the honey, probiotics, zinc and vitamin D.
- Use a turkey baster or medicine dropper to fill candy molds with the mixture. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours, until set.
- Store the fruit snacks in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.
If the mixture begins to solidify before the molds are full, warm it in a saucepan over low heat until it liquefies again.
*If you don’t have silicone candy molds, pour the mixture into glass baking dishes, filling them about1⁄2 inch up the sides, then cut into squares once the elderberry gummies are chilled and set.
My recipe filled both candy molds as well as a medium glass pyrex dish (6×8 inch) to 3/4 inch up the sides. I’ve been taking 2 -1/2 inch squares per day myself and letting our 2 year old have 2-4 small elderberry gummies per day. It’s safe to say he is OBSESSED with this “candy.” Not sure how much longer he’ll fall for my trickery, but hopefully I can get a few more years out of it!
If you’re in Tucson, and want more information on how to boost you immune system, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Wishing you a healthy season,
Dr. Katie Rose