Elderberry gummies- the candy-like treat that’s actually good for you!
Any time I make elderberry gummies for cold and flu season, or just because, I’m always amazed that something sooo yummy can be so good for me.
Read on to find out why and how you can make your own healthy, immune-boosting, sugar-free elderberry gummies at home for year-round health!
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Why elderberry gummies?
So what are elderberry gummies good for?
Lots of families make elderberry gummies each year (or several times a year) because it’s a great way to ensure that their kids won’t complain about taking something that’s good for them. You have to be sneaky with keeping kids healthy sometimes!
Related: 25 simple recipes with hidden veggies
For me, though, I don’t have kids (yet) but I still make elderberry gummies… Since I’m a kid at heart and it’s just a fun treat that has the beneficial side effect of keeping my immune system up and running well!
Also, it’s hard to forget to take your medicine when it comes in the shape of a yummy gummy!
Homemade elderberry gummies are also a great choice because you’ll save money making them yourself! You’ll also be able to avoid all the nasty fillers, preservatives, and extra ingredients found in store-bought elderberry gummies.
The types of gummies you’ll find in stores like Walmart or Walgreens have ingredients like citric acid, sodium citrate, mystery “natural flavors”, carnauba wax, and vegetable oil. No thanks! Making your own elderberry gummies insures that you know the ingredients are wholesome, organic, sugar-free, and good for you.
Elderberry gummies are a fantastic way to make sure that you’re regularly getting all of the benefits of elderberries. Want to know more about those?
Benefits of elderberry
Elderberry is fantastic for lots of things, including:
- Sinus infections
- Cases of cold and flu
- High blood sugar
- Skin health
- And more!
Elderberry is a wonderful herb that’s very safe and great for almost anyone to take.
Looking at elderberry syrup vs gummies? Keep in mind that you’ll need elderberry syrup to make the gummies. But once you have the gummies handy, they’re the perfect “treat” immune-booster for kids (or picky husbands)!
Elderberry gummies are easy to eat (and safe for kids age 2 and older) and much less messy than taking elderberry syrup.
Both elderberry syrup and elderberry gummies last for a while, especially if you keep it in the fridge- I’ve never had any go bad!
Then again, we do eat them pretty quickly.
But if you’re looking for a shelf-stable option to keep on hand for a long time, you might be more interested in a more concentrated elderberry tincture (they also have a kid-friendly glycerin version!).
Elderberry side effects
You might have heard about some scary side effects of elderberry (thanks, pharmaceutical companies) but luckily, elderberry gummies are very safe to take.
(One caveat to that, is that if you forage for your own elderberries, make sure you ID the plant correctly since there are a lot of berry look-alikes, and ensure the berries are fully cooked before consuming them.)
Very rarely, people have also had allergies to elderberry. Start off with a small amount if you’re worried about potential allergies.
You might also want to talk to an herbal practitioner if you’re taking any drugs such as diabetes medications, chemotherapy, or immunosuppressants. There’s a chance that elderberry could interact with these medications.
Other than that, if you’re enjoying elderberry, you can’t really take too much. Elderberry doesn’t have any concerning side effects at any age- just make sure it won’t be a choking hazard for very young children!
Elderberry gummies are safe while pregnant and nursing, and might actually be a good idea to add to your pregnancy diet to avoid sickness, as well as taking it as an immune-booster during the last four weeks of your pregnancy to deter Group B Strep for your baby.
So what does elderberry actually do for your immune system?
Elderberry and your immune system
One thing that many people are confused about with elderberry is how it interacts with your immune system. There’s some misinformation out there that says that elderberry ramps up your immune system and can easily “rev it up” too much.
Thing is, they’ve mixed up gentle herbs with pharmaceuticals. Synthetic drugs do that to your immune system and it can be dangerous- elderberry, not so much.
In fact, elderberry is what we call “immunomodulating“, meaning it doesn’t ramp up your immune system, but rather brings it up or down to a safe, healthy level whenever you need it.
This means that elderberry is it’s safe to use any time, not just when you feel like you might be coming down with something.
It might be a really good idea to use elderberry regularly through cold and flu season no matter how you feel- I’ve heard plenty of stories from mamas whose elderberry-eating kids are the only ones that make it through the fall and winter without getting sick along with all of their classmates!
Scroll down to below the recipe for more tips on elderberry gummy dosage.
Sugar-free elderberry gummies recipe
One of the most important things to look into for this recipe is where to buy elderberry.
You want to get all herbs from a place where you trust the sourcing, and you know that the herbs you’re getting will be organic and free from pesticides and toxins.
I’d recommend buying dried organic elderberries from Starwest Botanicals. They’re reliable, and they offer good prices for a huge variety of herbs.
This is where I do all my bulk herb buying for things like my echinacea tincture and the herbs I use for stress and anxiety.
What you need:
Elderberry syrup (you can buy it here, or if you want to save some monies, read this elderberry syrup post to find out how to make it yourself!)
Gelatin (make sure it’s free of additives, pasture-raised, and grass-fed- I love Great Lakes Gelatin) For a vegan gelatin option, try a 1 to 1 substitute of Agar Agar Powder.
Sweetener (optional, but especially useful if your elderberry syrup is unsweetened. I like using either xylitol or maple syrup)
Gummy molds (optional, but the animal shapes are what makes gummies fun! I use these ones that are made from food-grade silicone. They also come with a dropper which makes it super easy!)
See the recipe notes below for what to do if you don’t have a mold for your gummies.
Elderberry gummy recipe:
Enough waiting, here’s the recipe!
I promise that once you try this and see how easy it is, you’ll be making these healthy little gummies all the time- and probably eating them all way too fast!
Healthy, Sugar-Free Elderberry Gummies for Kids and Adults
These easy-to-make gummies are perfect for cold and flu season- they're healthy, great for the immune system, and you only need two ingredients to whip these up. Kids love them!
- 1/2 cup elderberry syrup
- 1 tbsp sweetener (optional- use if elderberry syrup is unsweetened)
- 2 tbsp gelatin
Put elderberry syrup in a saucepan over medium heat
Add gelatin (and sweetener, if using) and whisk until gelatin dissolves and the mixture is warm
Use a dropper to transfer the liquid into molds
Move molds to fridge and allow to cool until set (at least half an hour)
I put my gummy molds on cutting boards so that they stay flat and don't spill when I'm moving them.
If you don't have gummy molds, just pour the liquid into an 8x8" pan and cool in the fridge. After it's cool, use a knife to cut the gummies into small squares.
Elderberry gummy dosage
Elderberry is a great choice for anyone age 2 and older.
There aren’t really any strict guidelines for elderberry dosage, since you can’t take too much, and your gummies might be a different size than mine anyway so it’s hard to say exactly how many DIY gummies you need to take.
Just know that only 3-5 normal-sized elderberry gummies have a good amount of elderberry in them, so you don’t need to take handfuls of it! You can make your gummies last for a long time if you want to, or take extra if you or your kids aren’t feeling good.
Try taking elderberry daily when you’re around lots of sicknesses, or just when you feel like you need a boost.
It can be taken to either ward off sickness or to help you get over it quicker.
Think you’ll try making elderberry gummies? Let me know what you think of them in the comments below!
Do these have to be refrigerated?
I don’t refrigerate and it’s been fine but I also usually finish them pretty quick- maybe try refrigerating if you want them to stay fresh longer than 2-3 weeks?
Im going to attempt this for the first time. Im a bit confused, do i purchase the dry elderberry to make the gummy? Or is it in liquid form? Thank you 🙂
You can use either! But if you get dried elderberries you’ll need to make an elderberry juice or syrup before making your gummies- check out my post on how to make elderberry syrup if you need instructions on that =)