Have you heard of Elderberries? It kind of sounds like a fantasy fruit, doesn’t it? I can assure you it is a real berry.
When we first moved to our country home, we had several elderberry trees growing on the property. Unfortunately, the years and Pennsylvania weather took them, but I’d really like to find some and replant them. Stick with me, and I’ll tell you just why I love this berry so much.
While it may not be a fantasy fruit, it does have superpowers.
In fact, this luscious fruit is known for its medicinal benefits in improving immune system function. That’s why I include it in my go-to smoothie recipe for when I’m feeling under the weather. And I drink this smoothie when everyone around me seems to be catching a cold, and I want to give my immune system a boost. It’s my secret weapon, and today I’m sharing it with you.
Benefits of Elderberry
Elderberries have some pretty impressive properties that make them a potent food for boosting your immunity. Elderberries have been a staple in traditional medicine for treating viral infections, including the common cold and flu. Why? Because this particular berry acts as a catalyst for immunity as well as contains high levels of vitamin C and necessary dietary fibers. It’s great for helping your body’s natural ability to overcome inflammation by protecting your cells from free radicals that would otherwise damage healthy cells.
In addition, elderberries can help to improve your immunity when taken as a preventative measure, can reduce your cold symptoms, and can shorten the duration of your cold or flu. How great does that sound?
Plus, drinking this ‘magical’ drink is a natural way to boost your immune system – no drugs or medications required.
This smoothie contains a number of powerful ingredients to nourish your body and boost your immunity. It has lemon, which is not only jam-packed with vitamin C, but is also well known for fighting off infections and preventing and treating the growth of bacteria.
Additionally, this smoothie has honey, which we already know helps soothe a sore throat. But did you know that honey, in its raw form, has also been used for hundreds of years to treat infections and aid in wound healing? Yup, it’s true!
My recipe calls for manuka honey, which has even more antibacterial properties than the typical honey you find at your grocers. This kind of honey can also improve oral health, ensuring your mouth has just as much good bacteria as it does bad. And manuka honey helps our digestive systems – gut health is vital for keeping our immune systems strong.
You may need to visit your local health food store to find manuka honey, but don’t worry if you can’t locate some. Organic raw honey will work just as well in this recipe.
Substitutions and Variations
If you don’t eat or are sensitive to dairy, you could try substituting the Greek yogurt with coconut yogurt or lactose-free yogurt. These are vegetarian, vegan, Whole30, and gluten-free options.
While this recipe calls for honey, you can substitute it for another sweetener like Agave nectar, molasses, maple syrup, or stevia according to your preference. Remember not to overdo it with the added sweetness. A little goes a long way.
If you want to skip the added sugar altogether, use a well ripened-banana and a dash of vanilla extract. The riper the banana, the sweeter it tastes. For variation, you could use your favorite frozen fruit, such as raspberries or cherries.
If you have any leftover smoothie that you can’t drink right away, you can make popsicles! Just put them into popsicle molds and stick them in the freezer. These are especially good for children.
Don’t have popsicle molds on hand? No worries! Pour the remaining smoothie into an empty ice cube tray. When they’re ready, you can add a couple of little frozen cubes of goodness to your next smoothie or add a cube or two to warm oatmeal.
For another DIY option, pour the leftovers into small wax-coated paper cups, cover with plastic wrap secured with a rubber band, then insert a popsicle stick and pop it into the freezer. When it’s ready, remove the plastic and cut away the cup. If you have kids, this can be a fun activity to do together.
Now, are you ready to see the recipe?
A Delicious Way to Boost Immunity
This recipe is a delicious way to get a blast of powerful nutrients and immune-boosting benefits all in one. But don’t wait until you start to feel a cold coming on to drink it. Whip up a batch every so often to help keep your immune system functioning at its best.
Have you used medicinal herbs in a recipe before? Let me know in the comments.
If you try this recipe out, let me know what you think in the comments