I know no one wants to think about cold and flu season, but now is the time to get ahead of the game. Blackberries are coming into season here in the Northeast. While they can be a bit strong tasting on their own, they pack a powerful health punch.
|My little blackberry picker|
Blackberry elixir is used when you first have the signs of a cold. It has similar health benefits of the elderberry syrup we make in the fall. The berries have high levels of both Vitamin C and E, both immune-boosting antioxidants. My stepmother told me it was used by her family for generations, which inspired me to make my own. I’m a big fan of trying to treat a cold quickly, and without a visit to the doctors office.
|Fresh blackberries off the vine|
Our neighbor has a generous blackberry bush and we made it a family affair to collect some. Both kids ate some and liked them. I found them to be a little too strong for my tastes.
I collected about 1 1/2 cups of blackberries to make our first blackberry elixir. The berries should be rinsed and well drained. Remove stems and discard any moldy berries. Add them to a glass jar; I used the pint size.
|Cover the berries with brandy|
Cover the berries with the brandy. Secure the top and gently swirl. Place in a cool, dry spot in your kitchen. Swirl gently for a few days, then let it ferment for eight weeks. Mark your jar with the ready date so you know when to strain it. It can sit longer, it will just get stronger. You can add a tablespoon of sugar to the elixir, however I try to avoid white sugar when possible. If it’s too tart when you taste it, you can add some simply syrup to the glass.
When you first see the signs of a cold, pour yourself a warm glass just before bed. Drink it up, get cozy under some warm blankets, and feel better in the morning. Cheers!
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Snacks for the whole family are important and deserve some planning. Moms need snacks too! Get my list of 50 healthy ideas to stock in your kitchen and plan them for yourself, and the lunch boxes this week. Skip the processed stuff and give yourself better quality food. Get ready for more energy, better sleep and a happier tummy.
About Emily Roach
Live your healthiest life, even when life gets busy. Discover how food can make you feel awesome. Boston ex-Pat in Toronto. Find free meal plan here every week.