Posted on: November 19, 2019 at 8:25 pm

The sensation of a cold popsicle is such a relieving treat to a sore and achy throat. However, the potentially artificial and nutrient-lacking ingredients, which make up a majority of store-bought popsicles — are not so beneficial for our immunity, recovery and daily well-being. 

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Thankfully these frozen treats are simple to make at home, only require a few ingredients, and with the addition of elderberry — they can also provide some immune-supporting and flu-fighting benefits. 

While there are plenty of people who may not know what an acerola or acai berry is, elderberry (Sambucus nigra), on the other hand, is fairly well known. This ancient remedy is commonly found dried as whole berries, powder form, immune teas, syrups, and capsules.

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This super-berry is well-versed with potent and direct antiviral effects against at least 10 strains of the influenza virus in vitro [1] and has been shown to help both reduce symptoms and their duration [1][2]. This flu-fighting property has been long observed, and we can thank the phytochemicals in elderberries, specifically the anthocyanidin (which also creates the vivid purple color), for these flu-fighting and immune-strengthening benefits [2].

It’s no wonder that elderberry: an ancient remedy, has remained relevant! 

For those who travel often by plane, elderberry supplementation has also been referenced as a natural way to provide respiratory, cardiovascular, and mental health benefits, all of which can be affected during long-duration trips. [3]

Elderberries naturally contain a variety of nutrients: 

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  • Antioxidant Vitamins A, C, and E
  • Nourishing and energy-supporting B-vitamins such as B1, B2, B6, and B9
  • Trace elements such as copper, zinc, and iron
  • Minerals including potassium, calcium, and magnesium
  • Phytochemicals including anthocyanidin and other polyphenols, phytosterols and carotenoids

Elderberry is nourishing, to say the least.

This elderberry popsicle recipe is also made with other wholesome ingredients: including wild blueberries, a source of electrolytes, raw honey, and gelatin! A satisfying and soothing recipe designed to help speed up the recovery, and provide relief for your cold or flu. 

Elderberry Immune Popsicles

Makes 6 popsicles

What you need:

  • 3 tablespoons dried whole elderberries
  • ¾ cup filtered water
  • 1 tablespoon grass-fed (optional) gelatin
  • 2 tbsp raw honey or dark maple syrup
  • 1 cup maple water*
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen wild blueberries*

*see notes below

What to do:

  1. Start by making strong elderberry tea. In a small saucepan combine your elderberries and water.
  2. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a gentle simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Remove or strain the elderberries from the tea.
  4. If available, use cheesecloth to really squeeze the juices from the elderberries.
  5. Pour the elderberry tea back into the saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin (if using) and let it bloom. 
  6. Now add in your raw honey or maple syrup and gently heat the tea over very low heat, stirring so that everything is well combined
  7. Add your maple water and blueberries or fruit to a high-speed blender, and blend until creamy and smooth
  8. Pour the blueberry mixture and lemon juice into the elderberry mixture and stir to combine
  9. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze until firm enough to enjoy!

SAFETY NOTE ON RAW ELDERBERRIES: Make sure elderberries are always cooked. They should not be consumed raw as they contain high amounts of alkaloids that can cause vomiting and/or diarrhea [4]. These are deactivated by the heat of cooking, rendering the berries harmless. If you have an allergy to elderberries, you should avoid them completely. 

NOTES

  • If you just add everything to the blender, you will end up with a batch of foam. You will need to follow this recipe as directed.
  • You can also use unsweetened/unflavoured coconut water as a substitute for maple water
  • While blueberries and elderberry are a delightful and vibrant combination, you can also make this recipe with something other than blueberries to compliment the immune-enhancing properties of elderberries. 
  • You don’t need gelatin to make popsicles, while this will provide some additional benefits for gut health and immunity. You can skip the step that involves blooming the gelatin if you prefer. 

Enjoy!  

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and is for information only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition and/or current medication. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.

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Nicole Eckert
Holistic Nutritionist
Nicole Eckert is a Holistic Nutritionist and the Owner + Founder of Holisticole. On her holistic living blog: holisticole.com - you can find amazing clean-eating recipes, informative blog posts and online programs.

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