Elderflowers are in season from end of May to the beginning of June, so now is a perfect time to go foraging. They enjoy sunny locations and can be found in most hedgerows. The cream coloured flowerhead blossoms have a beautiful honey like scent and a highly aromatic smell. So on a recent walk I actually smelt the flowers before seeing them.
With the weather being so beautiful at the moment I thought it would be lovely to have a go at making some Elderflower and Citrus cordial. Here’s my recipe below if you fancy having a go for yourself. It’s very easy and tastes delicious!
Best time to collect the flower-heads fresh and new when the tiny buds have just started to open.
I made a litre of cordial by using about 5/6 flower-heads with the zest of a lemon and orange. This helps to preserve the cordial and add tartness.
Wash and check the Elderflower-heads for any insects.
Place in a bowl with the zest & juice of one lemon and one orange.
Then boil a litre of water in a saucepan and pour over the flower heads, zest, and citrus juice and leave to infuse overnight.
Once infused use a muslin cloth and drain the liquid into a fresh bowl.
Then heat the liquid again and add palm sugar (I used about 90g of palm sugar) but you can use more for extra sweetness.
Stir over a gentle heat, making sure the palm sugar dissolves fully.
Once the sugar has dissolved, simmer for a further 2/3 minutes.
Set aside to cool. Place in a sterilised bottle.
Serve with soda water and ice.
Elderflower teas and cordial were traditionally used in herbal medicine of Bulgaria and the ex-Yugoslavia region. Some of the benefits of this beautiful delicate plant are comprised of several essential vitamins. These include Vitamin A, B1, B2, B3 Complex and C. The flower is rich in bioflavonoids, which are commonly known for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Elderflowers are good for swollen sinuses (sinusitis), colds, influenza (flu) and bronchitis.
#elderflowercordial #foraging #elderflowerbenefits
Written by Tracey Fenner
Student of the Permaculture Design Course with Permaculture Kernow
Moving to SW France to start a Permaculture Farm shortly.
All photos taken by Tracey Fenner