Long before Harry met Meghan, before they had a Lifetime movie, and before floral flavours became the biggest food trend of 2018 (thanks to the announcement of the royal couples’ lemon elderflower wedding cake), there was the humble elderberry.
Elderberries are full of antioxidants, as well as vitamins A, B and C. They are anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and have been used for thousands of years as folk medicine. In fact, when it comes to antioxidant power, elderberry is higher in flavonoids than blueberries, cranberries, goji berries and blackberries.
I’m all about immune boosting, especially living in Edmonton where the cold and flu season lasts about 10 months of the year. So, you can only imagine my excitement when I learned about Feel Good Syrup, elderberry syrup that is locally brewed. Their syrup is delicious, versatile, and I can’t quite imagine not having it in my fridge. You’ll see why.
Here are 5 things you need to know about Feel Good Syrup:
- Health benefits of the elder plant include naturally improving cold and flu symptoms, sinus issues, nerve pain, inflammation, chronic fatigue, allergies, constipation, and in some cases, cancer. When used within the first 48 hours of onset of symptoms, the extract has actually been found to reduce the duration of the flu, with symptoms being relieved an average of four days earlier. For more details on the medicinal use of elderberry, click here.
- Ingredients in Feel Good Syrup are elderberries, cinnamon, cloves, raw honey, fresh ginger and lemon juice. It is organic and has a reasonably long shelf life. The recommended serving size is one tablespoon 3-5 times a week for adults and one teaspoon 3-5 days a week for children over one.
- It can be a condiment. Drizzle it on top of ice cream or yogurt, or on top of pancakes, waffles, or French toast.
- The syrup is great in a glass of sparkling water or splashed in a cocktail. I fell in love with it while mixing the syrup into a gin and tonic. Another favourite is the mojito inspired drink I concocted one rainy afternoon, which I aptly call “The Feel Good Cocktail”. It is perfect for brunch, on a sunny afternoon, or whenever you just want a light and refreshing drink to brighten up your day (no one is judging).
The Feel Good Cocktail
1 oz Feel Good Syrup
1/2 a lime cut into wedges
2-3 fresh mint leaves
5 oz prosecco
Mineral water (ex: San Pellegrino)
garnish: lime wedge, frozen berries
Place the mint leaves in a wine glass. Use a muddler to lightly mash the mint. Fill the glass with ice.
Pour in the Feel Good Syrup and prosecco. Squeeze in some lime juice (I use two to three wedges, depending on how juicy the lime is). Fill the glass with mineral water.
Garnish with a lime wedge and enjoy!
- It can be used in baking. It pairs well with apricot, fig, honey, lemon, plums and other berries. The recipe below uses Feel Good Syrup; add in luxuriant cream, crisp pastry and sharp berries – it’s the best flavour combo. It would be rude not share….
Mixed Berry Filo Napoleon with Elderberry Syrup
½ cup butter, melted
1/4 cup shelled pistachios, chopped
10 sheets of filo pastry
1 cup frozen mixed berries (fresh will work as well)
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1 splash Feel Good Syrup
1 ½ cups mascarpone
1 ½ cups fat-free yoghurt
1 ½ cups heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Lay a sheet of filo on a clean work surface and brush it with a little melted butter. Top with a thin layer of pistachios, then a dusting of icing sugar.
- Lay another sheet of filo on top, and repeat with the butter, pistachios and icing sugar three more times. Finish with a sheet of filo and a brush of butter.
- Transfer to a lined baking sheet and carefully slice into six rectangles, using a sharp knife.
- Repeat steps 2 to 4 with the remaining filo sheets. Transfer onto the second baking sheet and carefully cut into six rectangles. You should have 12 rectangles.
- Place both trays in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and puffed.
- Remove from the oven, sprinkle with more icing sugar and leave to cool.
- Put the mixed berries, sugar and vanilla in a sauce pan and set it over medium heat. Stir in the Feel Good Syrup and remaining the butter. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Drain the juices into a new sauce pan. Set the berries mixture aside to cool and put the juice over a medium heat to simmer and thicken into a sauce.
- In a bowl, whisk together the mascarpone, yoghurt, lemon zest and juice, and 2 tbsps of icing sugar.
- To assemble your dessert, place a rectangle of filo on a plate, top with a few dollops of the mascarpone mixture and a layer of the drained fruit. Top with a filo rectangle.
- Repeat with a layer of mascarpone and fruit, then finish with the final layer of filo. Do the same with the rest, making four filo stacks.
- Drizzle with the thickened fruit juice and a dusting of icing sugar. Serve.
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