Elderberries are packed with vitamins and nutrients. They have been an integral part of traditional medicine that goes back thousands of years.
Since it’s risky to eat fresh elderberries, preparing elderberry tea from ripe berries is the best way to get all the health benefits without the potential side effects.
However, not everyone likes the raw taste of elderberry tea. This is why we added a few flavors in the following recipe to make the tea more palatable.
- 16 ounces of filtered water
- Small saucepan
- 2 tablespoons of dried elderberries
- ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon of raw honey
- Fine mesh strainer
1. Mix Dried Elderberries With Water
Start by filling the saucepan with filtered water, and then add the dried elderberries.
Some of the dried fruits might float while others will sink. That’s normal since not all of the elderberries have the same density.
2. Add in the Flavors
To make the tea more tasteful we will add turmeric and cinnamon. The sweet-sour taste of turmeric hides the taste of the elderberries while cinnamon adds delicious odors and flavors to the brew.
Stir the ingredients well to make sure both the cinnamon and turmeric powder are dissolved in the water.
3. Boil the Ingredients
Put the saucepan on the stove, and bring it to a boil. Then reduce the heat, and keep the ingredients simmering for 15 minutes.
This is necessary to release all the benefits of the elderberries as well as the flavors of the cinnamon and turmeric.
4. Cool the Tea
Take the saucepan off the stove, and set it aside for 5 minutes to cool.
5. Strain the Tea
Use a fine mesh strainer to strain the tea into the cups. You want to keep all the mushy fruits and any solids out of the brew.
6. Add Honey
Add honey to the cups as needed to sweeten the tea and add extra flavors. Enjoy your elderberry tea.
Elderberry Tea Taste
Without any additives or flavors, raw elderberry tea tastes somewhat like ripe elderberry fruits. It’s a mixture of sweet and sour with earthly tones.
The flavors are not to everyone’s liking, and many people find the tea to be unpalatable. In the above recipe, we added a few flavors to hide the earthly undertones and make the tea more delicious.
Flavorful Add-Ins for Elderberry Tea
It’s no secret that the majority of those who drink elderberry tea do so not because they enjoy the taste but because the tea is packed with healthy nutrients.
So to make the elderberry tea more appealing and taste less like medicine, you can add some of these ingredients:
- Lemon: The zesty and acidic lemon juice and peel can make a huge difference with your elderberry brew. If you’re just using lemon juice, add it to the brew after you pour it in the cup. If you’re using the zest, go ahead and boil it along with the dried elderberry fruits.
- Ginger: Nothing hides undesirable flavors like ginger can. The spicy herb has a rich, nutty flavor that gives you tea extra depth, not to mention the health benefits of ginger as well.
- Cinnamon: Use cinnamon in small doses to give a hint of a sweet flavor to the tea. You don’t want the overwhelming cinnamon taste to overcome every other flavor.
- Turmeric: Turmeric has a sweet yet sour taste similar to elderberries but with rich and fruity tones unlike the earthly tones of elderberries.
- Rosemary: This is another herb that has a powerful fragrant flavor. Don’t use too much of it.
Elderberry Tea Benefits
Elderberry tea has all the benefits of elderberry fruit without the potential side effects of its toxins. When boiled, the toxins are broken down.
There’s also an added advantage of all the different flavors you add to the tea and their added health benefits. These health benefits include:
- Boosts the Immune System: There’s growing evidence that elderberry triggers an increase in white blood cells that fight off bacteria and parasites in the body, which improves the body’s defenses against diseases. Fast Metabolism: Elderberry tea increases the metabolism, which can lead to weight loss and an uptick in the person’s overall health and well-being.
- Low Inflammation: The tea is rich in different antioxidants that improve the body’s ability to reduce inflammation.
- Better Heart Health: The antioxidants in the tea also bind with the free radicals in the bloodstream and prevent them from reaching the heart or main blood vessels which they could lead to high blood pressure or other cardiovascular diseases.
- Lower Cholesterol: Drinking elderberry tea on a regular basis has proven to be beneficial to people with high cholesterol levels.
Can You Drink Elderberry Tea Every Day?
There have been no known side effects to drinking elderberry tea every day.
In fact, drinking tea as part of your daily diet can bring about many health benefits thanks to its many nutrients and antioxidants.
Is Elderberry Tea Safe for Children?
Elderberry tea is quite safe for children. When prepared correctly with the various flavors that dampen its earthly taste, elderberry tea can become the favorite drink of children.
Tip: Add an extra dash of honey to make it sweet enough.
Can You Make Tea From Elderberry Leaves?
You shouldn’t use elderberry leaves to make tea. For one thing, the leaves are packed with toxins without the flavors of the elderberry fruits.
Furthermore, boiling the leaves doesn’t do much to break down the toxins. You can make elderberry tea either from the dried fruits or the flowers of the plant.
How To Dry Elderberries for Tea
You can dry elderberries in four ways. You could sun-dry them, dehydrate them, use an oven, or freeze-dry the fruits.
The fastest and easiest way to dry elderberries is to use an oven. This method takes about 12 hours in total. Here’s how to do it in simple steps:
- Wash the elderberries under running water, remove the stems, and dry them on a paper towel.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and arrange the elderberries on top.
- Place the baking sheet inside the oven and close the door.
- Set the temperature to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Increasing the temperature will not speed up the process, so don’t exceed 170℉. High oven temperature will cook the elderberries instead of drying them.
- Turn the elderberries every few hours with a spatula, and rotate the baking sheet to allow for even drying.
- When the elderberry skin becomes wrinkled and feels firm under your thumb, that means they’re fully dry.
- Allow them to cool, and then store them in a tightly sealed jar.
Where To Buy Elderberries
You can buy elderberries at the supermarket or online. Amazon sells dried elderberries as well.
Elderberry tea has all the benefits of fresh elderberry fruits without the health risk of consuming the fruits.
You can change the taste and flavor of the elderberry tea by adding different ingredients to the tea, such as cinnamon, ginger, lemon, and many others.