If elderflower and elderberry sound pretty similar, that’s because they are both from the same plant species. The shrub itself is called elderberry.
Elderflower has a light and delicate flavour and it is primarily used to flavour different syrups, wines and cordials. Elderberry flowers, which are creamy white and really beautiful, can be added to salads or batter-dipped and fried like fritters. The flowers are popular for making solutions to soften, tone, and restore the skin, relax sore muscles, and sooth burns and rashes.
The berries, which have a deeper, more robust flavour, are also used in the production of Elderberry Wine. Traditionally used in Europe for folk medicines, these healthy berries have numerous benefits which include boosting the immune system and they have a history of treating conjunctivitis, reducing congestion, relieving arthritis pain, soothing upset stomachs, relieving gas, and for detoxification. Besides lots of flavonoids and free radical-scouring antioxidants, elderberries contain 87% of the daily value in vitamin C, and high amounts of vitamin A, potassium, iron, vitamin B6, fibre, and beta-carotene.
The options for including elderberries in recipes are virtually endless, with these berries seen in everything from jelly, jams and pies to wine, syrup and muffins. Top flavour pairings include Echinacea and Elderberry, Rhubarb and Elderberry, and Cranberry and Elderberry.
Considering there was only one product with Elderberries introduced in 1997, Elderberries have made great strides over the last 17 years. The number of food and drink product launches with Elderberry as a flavour increased overall from 2011 to 2012 by about 102% and keeps climbing.
Elderflower Cordial is a wonderfully, refreshing summer drink but the cordial has other uses and makes a stunning Elderflower vinaigrette. Use as any other vinaigrette for a delicious, light sweet dressing for your salads.
- 1/2 cup elderflower cordial
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp honey
Place all the ingredients in a screw top jar, screw on the lid and shake vigorously until the all the ingredients are incorporated and creamy.
Serve immediately on baby leaf salads or as a dressing on hot new potatoes. The dressing also makes a good light sauce for fish or baked chicken.
Or try these gorgeous Elderflower and Lime cookies from the Bottlegreen website !
Information on Elderberry sourced from fona.com