When you take a good look around you in late spring you will probably see them everywhere. Big clusters of small white flowers filling the air with a sweet and sunny scent. I am talking about elderflowers. The elder tree is a common plant in a big part of the world and grows in both rural and urban areas. Although the plant itself is poisonous, the flowers and the berries we can use for consumption.
The flavors of the flowers and the berries taste like the season in which you can harvest them. The berries are ripe around the beginning of autumn and have a very earthy flavor. Perfect for making a wonderful and healthy juice or syrup.
The flowers are sweet, fresh and taste like the sun. Just like the berries, they are a perfect ingredient to make a lovely syrup. It is like an explosion of spring flavor in a glass. Very nice! The good thing is that it is very easy to make the syrup and you can make a whole supply with little effort. I had a lot of fun while making the syrup and everything about the process, from picking the flowers to tasting the syrup made me very happy. I can really recommend to go outside, harvest the flowers and make yourself a big supply of this very refreshing beverage for the summer. This is how you do it.
Ingredients for one bucket
- A big pile of elderflowers
- 3 lemons
- A couple of rose flowers (optional)
- 750g of sugar per liter (I used raw cane sugar)
Pick the flowers on a dry and sunny morning and make sure you pick clusters of fresh flowers which are opened up. Once you have collected the flowers you can put them in a bucket or a big pan. Fill it up with water just so the flowers are under water. Cut the lemon into pieces and add them to the water and the elderflowers. If you like you can add some rose petals as well.
Put the pan away for 24 hours so the water gets the flavor of the flowers. After 24 hours you can take the flowers and the lemons out of the water and filter the water. You can do this by putting a clean tea-towel (not washed with fabric conditioner) in a sieve and pouring the water on top of it with another bucket beneath it.
Once the water is filtered, you can measure the amount of liters. Heat up the elderflower water in a pan and add 750g of sugar per liter. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. The syrup does not have to boil. Put it in clean and sterilized bottles and there you have your summer supply of elderflower syrup. Enjoy!
Project ‘Cooking With Wild Ingredients’ is a part of On My Way To Freedomland as an inspiration to bring us closer to earth again. In order to grow, we first need strong roots. Many aspects of modern society are clouding our relationship with nature and are cutting us from the connection with earth. Without our roots we are floating, lost and stuck with a feeling that we are not in charge of our own lives. It leaves us insecure because we are afraid to fall. But knowing that there is always an earth to rely on can take these fears away and can make you feel safe and confident again. No matter what choice in life you make, there is always an earth to fall back to. Earth is always providing and is just like for plants, it is also the soil for your roots.
Once you feel this relationship again, you will realize that most of your fears are actally based on nothing and you will find more strength to create the life you want. Finding and making your own food, directly from nature can help to restore your relationship with the earth and besides that, food always tastes better if you have picked the ingredients yourself! It is super organic!
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