Especially in earlier times, there were a number of elderberry bushes on every farm. The small black berries were a kind of medicine cabinet, as they not only helped against colds but also helped to strengthen the cardiovascular system. What used to be good doesn’t have to be bad today. It is therefore worthwhile for you to pick and juice the small berries to be prepared for the cold season.
- However, you should only pick the berries as soon as they have turned blue-black, because only then are the fruits ripe. Unripe fruits contain the toxin sambunigrin, which can at least trigger cramps and nausea.
- The ripe elderberries are usually harvested between September and October.
- The outer skin of the fruit is very thin, so you should be careful when picking healthy berries. However, many of the ripe elderberries willingly fall off the bush by themselves if you shake them a little.
- Tip: Only pick the berries when you have time to process them immediately after picking.
Juicing the elderberries
The color of the elderberries is so intense that they were even used for dyeing in the past. Accordingly, you should choose your clothes before you start processing the berries.
- After rinsing the elderberries, remove the stems.
- The berries are then placed in a saucepan and heated to around 80 degrees. By heating, you kill any germs and the juice will last longer later.
- While the fruit is cooling, take a large bowl or saucepan and place a cotton towel over it.
- Then pour the berries in portions onto the cotton cloth. Don’t take too many elderberries at once, as you’ll still have to twist the cloth to squeeze out the juice. Then press the closed cloth over the bowl.
- Finally, pour the juice into appropriate bottles. Of course, you can sweeten it with sugar or honey beforehand. To do this, briefly heat the juice so that the sweetener dissolves better.
- If you juice fruit and vegetables more often, it is worth using a steam juicer, which you can get for as little as 25 euros and does a lot of the work for you.