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Elderberry syrup is a popular remedy (especially during the flu season). But there are plenty of ways to get more of this delicious, healthy berry into your life. My family loves the taste of these elderberry marshmallows, and I love that they support the immune system and don’t have processed sugar.
A Better Way to Take Your Medicine
Hiding under the bed….
That was my solution when I was supposed to take medicine when I was sick as a kid. I didn’t like the taste and my poor parents would have to chase me down to get me to take it. Fast forward a lot of years (more than I’d like to admit) and it’s a much different story when I have to get my sick kids to take remedies.
They actually love it, beg for it, and wish they could take it all the time. Especially when it’s elderberry syrup!
A New Take on Elderberry
Recently, I was making two of my kids’ favorite things on the same day: elderberry syrup and homemade marshmallows. I had some extra elderberry liquid from making the syrup and had a great idea: elderberry marshmallows.
The result was a light purple, delicious, and immune-boosting treat that my kids love!
Health Benefits of Elderberry
If you aren’t familiar with elderberries or can’t imagine why you’d want to make marshmallows with them, here are some of the benefits:
- Popular cold and flu remedy
- Many people use them in the cold months to ward off illnesses
- Helps lessen coughs, sore throats, and runny noses
- Natural source of antioxidants and vitamins
- Modulate inflammation during illness
- Kids love it!
Elderberry Marshmallow Ingredients
This recipe only requires a few basic ingredients. Most of them you probably already have in your pantry.
The only unusual ingredient you need to make these is elderberries.
In some areas, you can grow or wildcraft your own elderberries. Just make sure to only use the berries and remove the stems and leaves, as these can be toxic if eaten. The brand that I use sells organic or wildcrafted elderberries that you can get here.
You’ll also need gelatin to help the marshmallows reach the right texture. I use pasture-raised, high-quality gelatin. While I love mixing collagen powder into my tea and coffee, for this recipe, you need actual gelatin. Gelatin is what “gels” and gives the marshmallows the right consistency. I get it here – it’s the one called “beef gelatin” in the green can.
How to Make Elderberry Marshmallows
Many people don’t realize how easy it is to make homemade marshmallows. They won’t be the artificially stiff and sickeningly sweet ones you find at the store. But they’re even better in my opinion.
The only ingredients needed are water, gelatin, honey/syrup, and in this case, elderberries and optional spices. Once the mixture is done whipping you have to work quickly to get it into the oiled dish. Otherwise, it sets up and it’s hard to smooth out. They’ll still taste just as good though.
If your marshmallow mixture doesn’t spread out evenly, you can use wet fingertips to gently smooth the top out some.
Finishing the Marshmallow Recipe
Once the mixture has set long enough and is stiff enough to cut, you can use a knife, pizza cutter, or even sharp scissors. Just be sure they’re well-oiled or the marshmallows will stick to them. I added more oil to my knife every few cuts
I like to dust the cut marshmallows in cinnamon sometimes to prevent them from sticking together. Powdered coconut sugar also works for dusting. For this batch, I used a blend of 2 parts arrowroot powder to 1 part acai berry powder to give it a nice purple color.
Elderberry Marshmallows Recipe
- 2 cups water
- 2 TBSP dried elderberries
- ¼ cup gelatin
- 1 cup honey or maple syrup
- ½ inch piece of fresh ginger root optional
- 2 cinnamon sticks optional
- ½ tsp whole cloves optional
- Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with coconut oil, or line with parchment paper, leaving some on the sides to be able to pull up.
- Bring the dried elderberries, spices (if using), and the water to a boil in a small pan. Gently boil uncovered for 10-15 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half.
- Strain out the elderberries and spices and measure out the resulting liquid. If there's more than 1 cup, then simmer it for a little longer. If you have less than 1 cup, then add enough filtered water to get 1 cup.
- Put ½ cup of the liquid in a stand mixer bowl, or a large bowl if using a hand mixer, and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Mix lightly to incorporate and set aside.
- Combine the remaining ½ cup of liquid and the honey or maple syrup in a saucepan. Slowly bring the water and honey mixture to a boil. If you have a kitchen thermometer, you want it to reach at least 240 degrees. If not, just keep boiling, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Turn on the mixer with the gelatin mixture to medium speed. Whisk while slowly pouring the honey/water mixture into the mixing bowl with the gelatin mix.
- When all the honey mix is added, turn the mixer to high and whisk for another 10-15 minutes or until it forms a stiff cream the consistency of marshmallow cream. It should form soft peaks.
- When the marshmallows are whipped, quickly pour into the lined/greased dish and smooth evenly with a well oiled spatula.
- Let rest uncovered for at least 4 hours (overnight is better).
- Flip onto a cutting board and cut with a well-oiled pizza cutter or knife. Dust with cinnamon powder and/or coconut sugar if desired to keep them from being sticky.
Serving and Dosage
Since there aren’t a lot of elderberries in this recipe I’ll give my kids a few of these without worrying about dosage. It’s more of a nutrient-enriched food. If we feel the sniffles coming on, then I’ll reach for some elderberry syrup and other home remedies too.
More Elderberry Recipes
Looking for more ways to get elderberry into your daily regimen? Try some of these delicious (and healthy!) recipes.
Ever made marshmallows or want to try? How did it go? Leave me a comment and let me know!
Discussion (37 Comments)
I just made these and my toddler loves them! I wanted to share what I did though…
I think I over-mixed my gelatin mixture before pouring (or I waited too long and it started to congeal before I poured). So I ended up with a very uneven bumpy mess, but I heated my oven to 350F and put the whole pan in there and it all melted a little bit and smoothed out. We’ll see if they come out of the pan easy! I used coconut oil to grease it.
Hopefully my husband will eat these too, because he is my non-compliant when it comes to “natural” healing things. 🙂
And they are sweet, but not too too sweet. I could definitely cut back on the honey/maple syrup (I used half and half) myself, but I think with the cinnamon, the sweetness is nice and festive tasting if that makes sense… they taste like an Autumn treat.
Are this sweet enough? I have an eight y. o. that wont take anything that is not sweet enough. Thanks!
These look really good and I am sure my children would love them. I am just curious if these should be limited to one a day and maybe no elderberry syrup that day?
It depends on how big you cut them, but I use much less dried elderberry in these than in the syrup so the kids can eat more per day.
What a great idea! Do you know how long these will stay good for?
Ditto on Taryn’s question. How long will they last? I’d like to make them ahead of time for cases of winter illness.
About 3-4 days at room temperature.
Why can the plain, non-elderberry marshmallows last 3-4 weeks, but the elderberry ones can only last 3-4 days?
I’ve found that the cinnamon & honey (maybe the cloves too) have preservative qualities to make my elderberry syrup last for months (I make and sell elderberry syrup). Why would those ingredients lengthen the life of the syrup, but the same ingredients shorten the life of the marshmallows?
What is an option for the beef gelatin. My family do very little meat and no red meat at all, so the beef gelatin is out.
Thank you! They look delicious!
I get mine here: https://wellnessmama.com/go/gelatin/
I always love your recipes, thank you!
I think you have mentioned in other recipes that it is very important not to heat honey as it can become toxic when heated, what about in this recipe? Is it just something we have to overlook to make marshmallows?
According to Ayruveda heating honey above 104 degrees makes it toxic to the body. http://www.ayurvedicyogi.com/honey-ayurvedic-nectar-or-poisin/
How long will they last? I was going to make elderberry syrup today… Then this popped up! Looks yummy!
Can these marshmallows be used for rice krispy treats?
I haven’t tried…
I have used wellness mama’s original marshmallow recipe (without the probiotics) and mixed in popped amaranth and my kids loved it.
Yes! I use it directly from the bowl! But I’m sure you could do it after they are set up.
Yes! I have done it before! I want to say that maybe it tended to be a little softer than when I have used store bought marshmallows. It was a special treat for my son’s birthday!