It’s that time of year when many people are wondering: is that achy throat, dripping nose or sneeze a sign of sickness to come? Whenever I feel like I might be getting sick, I turn to Chicken Soup and Elderberry Syrup. Both have long histories of promoting wellness, with more and more rigorous studies proving their immune boosting and nutritious qualities. Chicken broth freezes well and elderberry syrup can be kept in the fridge for months. Keep some on hand all fall and winter to keep everyone in your household healthy!
Chicken Broth: Bone broths are healing and nutritious, and they’re very simple to make. Making broth does take a while – it’s the perfect activity for a cozy day at home. The warm steam will make your whole house smell delicious. You can use a chicken carcass or parts of the chicken that your local butcher would otherwise throw away. Feet are especially great for making sure your broth has plenty of gelatin! The pictures below show a broth I made with chicken necks and feet.
-Chicken bones with some meat and skin
-Onion, garlic, carrots and/or celery
-Sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley and any other favorite green herbs
-4 quarts of water
-Sea salt and pepper to taste
-Optional: 2 T. vinegar
This works great in a crock pot or on the stove. If you want to get even more minerals out of the bones, soak chicken parts, water, and vinegar for 30 minutes before cooking. Next, bring all ingredients – excluding the green herbs and seasoning – to a boil. I use the old limp veggies from the back of my refrigerator to flavor the broth, so the exact amounts and ingredients change every time. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 3 to 6 hours. Strain to remove solids. I compost the veggies because they loose most their flavor. Pick the meat off the bones. Put the broth back into your pot and add picked meat, green herbs, and any additional vegetables you want. Bring back to a boil and season to taste.
Elderberry Ginger Syrup: Elderberry season is over, so you may have to save this one for next year. It’s great to have in the back of the fridge at this time of year to help keep your family from getting sick.
-2 c. Elderberries
-3 ½ c. Water
-2 T. Ginger Root
-1 t. Cinnamon Powder
-½ c.+ Honey (to taste and preserve)
Bring all ingredients but honey to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered to reduce for about ½ hour. Cool slightly, smash, and strain. Add honey while warm. Refrigerate to store.