Elderflowers are still in full bloom, but quickly coming to the end of their flowering season. High in vitamins A, B and C, Elderflower infusions are great for combating summer colds, (or any time, if you use the dried leaves). Herbalist Christine Haughton also recommends Elderflower for hayfever. Taken as a cordial every day it should reduce eye irritation and catarrh.
When picking Elderflowers, shake the head first to see if any flowers fall off. If the flowers come off from a simple shake, the plant wont make it home, so leave it and pick only those that don’t lose their flowers. Never pick more than you’ll need, and never over pick, in other words, don’t pick more than a third of the flowers off one tree.
You can make so much from Elderflowers. There are plenty recipes for champaign, wine, cordial and so on, and we’ve also used them to make fritters from. I wanted to try something slightly different though so adapted another recipe in to a simple Elderflower Jelly:
- 4 cups water
- 15 heads elderflower, thoroughly checked for bugs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 7 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
- Place the elderflower heads in a pot of water and bring to the boil.
- Once boiling, remove from heat immediately to remove the elderflower heads. The water should have taken on a slight green hue. Don’t worry if a few of the flowers stay behind. They are edible and I think they make the jelly look pretty.
- Return to the heat and add the sugar stirring till it has dissolved.
- Add the gelatin, stirring well but quickly
- Pour liquid in to mould and leave to set for about 8 hours
- Serve with vanilla ice cream or fresh fruit.
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