Cold and flu season has arrived — good times.
Thankfully, the natural world has much to offer in support of a healthy immune system, not the least of which is immune-enhancing beneficial bacteria, and wellness-enhancing plants, such as the long-revered elderberry, traditionally used in treating respiratory ailments, allergies, and combating influenza.
So, why not bring them together?
I found dried, organic elderberries at the natural food store, and of course the first thing I think to do is ferment them. Since I have water kefir always prepared at home, that was no problem.
Elderberries are quite tart–meaning very little sugar content–and they are very hard when dried. So, I did more than just put them in some finished water kefir.
Here are the details:
Elderberry Water Kefir
- 2 tablespoons Dried Elderberries
- 1/2 cup very hot chlorine-free water
- 3 tablespoons fresh, frozen or dried Blueberries (Concord Grapes and/or Thompson Raisins work well, too)
- 2 cups Water Kefir (without the grains/SCOBY)
Place the elderberries in a mug and pour over the hot water. Allow to sit for 3-4 hours, then pour into a pint or quart-sized glass jar. Add the blueberries or grapes and pour in the water kefir. Cap tightly and allow to sit for 12-24 hours at room temperature for a second fermentation cycle (the first being when the water kefir was created from sugar water, as described in my book, The Funky Kitchen.) Strain and consider enjoying an ounce or two each day. May be stored in the refrigerator until complete, to slow the second fermentation process.