I am a big fan of Harry Potter.
There I said it. I’m a Potterhead.
I am also a big fan of hibernating in my little corner of the internet when the holidays come around. Things get hectic. So instead of searching a hundred different cookie recipes I will be curled up on my couch, sippin’ some warm tea under the coziest of blankets.
You too? K, good.
And if you do decide to enter the chaos of the holidays you can try this recipe which has a nod to my friend HP.
Elderberry Cranberry Sauce. I love elderberries this time of year mostly because they help fight the snifflies which inevitably come around sooner or later during the winter months. I also love elderberries because there are more intriguing stories behind the plant- why else would it be used for a wand?
The elder tree has a lot of interesting folklore behind it. It was believed to provide protection from evil spirits and was often planted around houses to protect against lightening. The medicinal use of elder go back to Hippocrates and there even is a 230 page book written by Dr. Martin Blochwich in 1677 dedicated to the elder plant and its healing properties.
In this recipe I made a quick and simple elderberry syrup that is added to the cranberries. I also think it is important to add the honey at the very end, after the sauce is removed from the heat, to avoid destroying any beneficial enzymes. This recipe may be a little tart so feel free to add extra honey or orange juice to your liking.
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Elderberry Cranberry Sauce
Elderberries add an immunity component to this is a healing take on the standard cranberry sauce. This low sugar version will help to combat all of the holiday stress but is still sweet, tart and delicious!
1/4 cup elderberries, fresh, dried or frozen*
1 cup water
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 package cranberries(10oz ~ 3 cups)
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tbsp orange zest
1/4 cup honey, plus more to taste
- In a small pot add your elderberries, water and cinnamon. Allow to simmer until it reduces by half.
- Once reduced, pour liquid through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth.
- In another pot add the cranberries, elderberry liquid, orange juice and orange zest.
- Heat on medium low until the cranberries begin to burst and it starts to thicken.
- Once thickened, take off the heat and add honey.** Taste and add more honey or orange juice if needed.
*I usually freeze my elderberries from the summer which makes them easy to get off the stem. Dried elderberries are also a good option here.
**Taking the sauce off the heat before you add the honey helps to maintain the honey’s beneficial enzymes.