I finally harvested the elderberry bushes on my property and made jelly! Until a week or so ago I hadn't known much about them and how beneficial they are.. Here is what I found.
Story: Back when my husband and I bought our property, five years ago, we were told by previous owner that there were elderberries on our property. Not knowing much about them I didn't search for them. This year I decided to tame our massive blackberry "forest". As I did this, by mowing rows right through patch, I found the five elderberry bushes. After making the jelly I have found four more bushes.
Once I found the elderberries I went online and did my research on how to use elderberries. I pretty much enjoy any jelly so that is what I chose to make. If you were to ask, "well what does it taste like", to me the jelly has its own distinct taste but if I had to choose.. I personally would say it most comparable to blackberry jelly.
What's so great about Elderberries?!
Helps reduce nasal congestion.
Treats cold and flu.
Natural support for arthritis.
High in vitamin A, B, C and potassium
Treats wounds when applied to skin
Shouldn't eat too many raw as they have cyanide in seeds and stems. Must be boiled to eat in large amounts.
Using a pair of scissors I clipped off the whole batch of ripe elderberries. Put them in a tote and took them in the house. I then cleaned them in a large bowl of water. Once they are cleaned you need to pull off the berries from the stems. Some use a comb or fork to pull off the berries but I tried that and I preferred pulling them off with my hands.
How to make the jelly:
You will need: 3 cups juice (about 3-4 lbs ripe berries)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 packet sure gel
4 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 tsp butter (reduces chances of boiling over)
Boil down ripe elderberries for at least ten minutes. Then I placed a cheesecloth into my cone sieve (similar one listed to the side) to separate juice from seeds.
Take three cups of that juice and add it to pot on stove.
Add 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1 packet of SureJell pectin. Bring to boil on high heat.
Then add 4 1/2 cups white granulated sugar and 1/4 tsp butter. Bring to rolling boil, stirring with spoon occasionally. When the stirring no longer interrupts the boiling put spoon down and boil for another two minutes.
Done! Remove from heat and pour into 5-6 prepared jars.
Proceed to do water bath canning (for 5 minutes) or put into fridge.
Conclusion: The recipe turned out very delicious and the benefits seem pretty fantastic to me! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!
Please note: this recipe worked for me but I can't guarantee your success. Also for the water bath I'm assuming you know the basics to canning (including preparation, adding food to can but leaving 1/4" of space at top, and how to seal properly). I hope this recipe works out well for you and you enjoy it!