DIY – Making Elderberry Syrup in a Crockpot

Homemade elderberry syrup -

It’s Autumn here in the Pacific Northwest where the founding Fit2B families are located. The leaves are changing color as the rain returns, and most mornings I wake up to mist creeping across the fields here on our little homestead farm… Along with carving pumpkins and roasting the seeds for snacks, I find myself instinctively reaching for immune boosting foods and starting a batch of elderberry syrup to fight off the coming colds.

Homemade Elderberry Syrup


Homemade elderberry syrup is NOT hard to throw together, or I wouldn’t do it. I’m a fitness chick and not too savvy in the kitchen. Dinner gets burned on a regular basis around here, and when I say “burned” I mean there are flames and screams from my children. The struggle is real, people. The. Struggle. Is. Real.

However, I seem to have a bit of a knack for healing foods and farm life. The making of things like sauerkraut, countertop pickles, water kefir, and elderberry syrup all feels instinctual to me. I’m enchanted by all the ways to make healthy things that nourish my family. For example, there’s so many recipes for elderberry syrup, so I can relax and enjoy experimenting.

So, how do I make homemade elderberry syrup?

This recipe is very relaxed and full of freedom to use what you have on hand and what you feel your family needs right now. I’ve made elderberry syrup by fermenting the dried elderberries in honey with a lot of other immune-boosting goodies. I’ve made it on the stovetop with fresh elderberries my husband brought home from Montana {I know, I’m spoiled} and covering them with water, bringing it to a boil, straining and pressing it, stirring in local raw honey as it cools.

This method is even more laid-back, allowing you to use a crock pot and forget about the whole thing for a day or so. 

Feed your leftovers from making homemade elderberry syrup to your goats!
Elderberry syrup leavings aren’t very pretty, but they’re still valuable! We feed them to our chickens and goats, and others add them to soup stock later.

All I do is dump fresh or dried elderberries into a crockpot along with whatever I feel the urge to add and have available. My most recent batch was a freezer clean-out that included the remainder of last years elderberries, rosemary sprigs from our garden, turmeric root I ordered from Amazon, a single habanero pepper from a friend’s garden, and a bunch of sliced garlic cloves and ginger I got at the grocery store. I filled it the pot with water, set it to low and let it go until the same time the next day, so about 24 hours. Then I mashed it through a strainer and added unfiltered honey that is raw and local to me, whisking it in as it cooled. 

Now I’m not a naturopath or herbalist or nutritionist. I’ve just done my own research {like you should} and came up with this method of making homemade elderberry syrup that works for me and my busy life. The information about how honey shouldn’t be boiled or heated too much, and knowledge of all the immune-boosting foods like white onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric root, peppers, and all that just gels in my mind, and I go with my gut.

So this isn’t an exact recipe. It’s an encouragement to YOU to do your own research on how amazing elderberry syrup is (i.e. you could google “elderberry medicinal properties”) and take a peek in your fridge or your local grocer for other things you are craving. Then provide those things to yourself.

Once the syrup is made, it gets stored in a mason canning jar in the fridge and we all slurp a swallow from it at least once a day. If we’re sick, it’s several times a day.

And I’ll put my hand on a Bible and swear that this stuff dramatically shortens colds and flus PLUS warding all that off in the first place. After all, my kids are in public school right now, and they only got 1 small cold last year… and it was when I was between batches and they hadn’t had any for a while.

One sniffle, and I’m whipping out double-doses of my homemade elderberry syrup! And now another batch is done and ready for the season!

Okay now back to talking about tummies which is our specialty around here 😉

Read how you can protect your core and pelvic floor when you have a cold HERE

Read about fermented foods and how they affect our tummies HERE

Read how one Fit2B mama lost weight by slowing down HERE 

Read about what running can do {and it’s not good} to your abs if you have a diastasis HERE

Read some great squatting tips and watch a free squatting video HERE

9 thoughts on “DIY – Making Elderberry Syrup in a Crockpot

  1. Jen Mc says:

    Do you know approximately what your berries to water ratio is? I want to make as much as I can but don’t want it “too watered down” either….. 😉

      • julianatulip says:

        Wow–longer than I would have guessed. Thanks!
        I made batch #1, but since we have a 3.5 qt crockpot and buying that many dried elderberries would be cost prohibitive for me, I just gently simmered it on the stove for a long, long time. The ginger & garlic to elderberry ratio in my batch is too high, though–compared to the store-bought stuff, they think its poison. Lesson learned. I was thinking of adding some blueberries next time. ?

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