It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of using elderberries to keep my family healthy during the winter months. My kids love their elderberry gummies and elderberry syrup, but sometimes it’s nice to have something that’s extra soothing for sore throats.
These elderberry popsicles not only boost immunity, they also soothe an achy throat, all while tasting amazing. (And I now have a good way to use my stainless steel popsicle molds in the winter!)
The Amazing Flu Fighting Benefits of Elderberry
Elderberry is a popular remedy, and for good reason. It’s anti-viral properties have been shown to prevent the flu better than a flu shot (source). And in this study, those who were given elderberry recovered in half the time as the placebo group.
A complete cure was achieved within 2 – 3 days in nearly 90% of the elderberry-treated group compared with at least 6 days in the placebo group.
If you go to your doctor for a dose of Tamiflu (which I would personally never do!), it is shown to only reduce your symptoms by an average of just 1 day. Even scarier is that it commonly affects children more adversely than adults (source).
Some people using Tamiflu have had rare side effects of sudden confusion, delirium, hallucinations, unusual behavior, or self-injury. These symptoms have occurred most often in children. (source)
With no side effects and a sweet, kid-friendly taste, elderberry really is the clear winner here! You can read more about how awesome elderberry is here and get more ideas to avoid and beat winter sickness here.
Other Soothing Ingredients
The next ingredient in these elderberry popsicles is antioxidant-rich blueberries. They give the popsicles a more intense berry flavor and are high in vitamins C and K as well as manganese. Not only does vitamin C help fight the cold and flu, but during a bout with the flu it helps to protect the lungs. These antioxidants help to reduce the severity of coughs and prevent the sickness from turning into pneumonia.
My sweetener of choice for these elderberry popsicles is raw honey. Not only is it not detrimental to health like refined sugar, but it has a plethora of benefits. It’s antibacterial and is frequently used to soothe sore throats, among many other benefits. If you’re making these popsicles for a small child under 1 year old, then omit the honey or substitute maple syrup (and be sure to supervise them while eating).
I’ve also included grass-fed gelatin in this recipe. Since there isn’t a lot of fat or sugar in these popsicles, the gelatin helps to keep them from becoming rock-hard ice bricks. Not only does gelatin make these a popsicle consistency, but it’s fantastic for hair, nails, skin, and joints. Here are 12 unusual ways I incorporate gelatin’s benefits into my life.
Electrolytes + Vitamin C
Instead of just using elderberry infused water in these popsicles, I’ve also included coconut water. It’s sweet taste is a big hit with kids, and it’s a great source of electrolytes and other good stuff. During sickness, especially if there’s been vomiting, it’s important to replace your body’s electrolytes. Just make sure you use a brand that’s minimally processed and doesn’t contain added (and unnecessary) sugar.
A hint of fresh lemon juices finishes up this elderberry popsicle recipe. The acidity from the lemon helps balance out the other sweet flavors. Lemon is also full of natural vitamin C to improve wellness and boost glutathione production, which is considered the body’s master antioxidant. Lemon is a great source of natural Vitamin C. Since our bodies can’t produce their own vitamin C, it’s important to get it from food, especially during illness.
Vitamin C is also highly concentrated in immune cells and consumed quickly during an infection.
How to Make the Popsicles…
Elderberry Popsicles Recipe (Soothing for Sore Throats)
- In a small saucepan combine the elderberries and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce and gently simmer for 15 minutes. You’re making elderberry tea here, just extra strength.
- Strain the elderberries from the water with a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Make sure you really squeeze them to get the juice out. Pour the elderberry tea back into the clean saucepan.
- Sprinkle the gelatin over the elderberry tea and let it absorb for a few minutes.
- If your raw honey is really thick add it to the elderberry tea after the gelatin has gelled a bit.
- Gently heat the mixture over very low heat, stirring slowly just until everything is combined and melty. You don’t want to overheat this, or the honey won’t be raw anymore!
- In blender combine the coconut water and blueberries and blend until smooth.
- Pour the coconut mixture and the lemon juice into the elderberry mixture and stir just until combined.
- Pour the elderberry popsicle mix into your favorite popsicle molds and freeze until firm.