Elderberry syrup is a popular health item these days. You can buy syrup at the store or from local vendors, and I've even seen elderberry gummies (I'm planning on trying this in the future!).
What exactly is an elderberry? It's a medicinal plant commonly use to treat or prevent cold and flu. It's believed to help boost your immune system if taken daily and help shorten illness if taken every few hours while symptoms persist,
One thing to note about elderberries is the fact that if eaten raw, the berries can actually be toxic, which is why we cook the berries. So don't taste test the dried berries while you work.
As for dosage, I've heard different amount from different people. We give the kids no more than a tsp in a single dose and Andrew and I take up to 1 Tbsp. Please remember, I am not diagnosing or prescribing anything for you. I'm just sharing how we make our syrup and how we use it.
Now, bust out your Instant Pot for this recipe!
3 1/2 cups water
2/3 cup dried organic elderberries
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup organic honey (local preferred)
5-6 drops DoTerra OnGuard or Young Living Thieves (optional)
To make in your Instant Pot, place all the ingredients except the honey and essential oil (if using) in your Instant Pot. Place the lid on and make sure the valve is closed. Set to pressure cook for 9 minutes. When it's done, vent the pressure and then strain.
Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature and then stir in the honey and essential oil.
I then store the cooled mixture in mason jars in the fridge. This make enough for 2 16 oz jars.
Roasting your own chicken can be a cost effective way of feeding your family, as well as providing the basic ingredient for making bone broth after.
Truth be told, I never plan on making roasted chicken for dinner. I typically keep my eye out for whole organic chicken to go on sale at Kroger. These are usually the ones that have a sell by date of today or tomorrow. So when I see an entire organic chicken for just at $7, I grab 2 or 3 and spend a day roasting them just to freeze. I remove the meat form the bones and vacuum seal to use for a future meal (tacos, soups, casseroles, etc) and then freeze the bones separately to make bone broth with. This is my go-to roasted chicken recipe.
4-6 lb whole chicken (neck and giblets removed)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Rinse your chicken and pat well to dry. Combine the olive oil with all the spices and mix well. Rub half the mixture under the skin of the chicken, then rub the remaining spices on the outside of your chicken.
Place your chicken, breast side up, in an oven safe skillet or roasting pan. Place in the preheated oven and immediately reduce the heat to 375.
Roast for approx 20 minutes per pound.
Remember, don't throw out the bones! Save those for my bone broth recipes.
All the flavor, none of the oil! These are so super easy and a crowd pleaser.
12 chicken wings (drumettes and wingettes separated)
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 Tbsp baking powder
BBQ sauce (optional)
Make sure the wings are dried really well and place them in a bowl. Add the salt, chili powder, garlic powder, and baking powder, and toss to make sure the wings are evenly covered.
Lightly spray your air fryer cooking rack with non-stick spray and place the wings on the rack. Try to leave a little room between each wing to they don't touch. Set the fryer to 400 degrees for 20-22 minutes. When you remove the wings, let them cool a bit before eating.
To add extra flavor, toss them in your favorite BBQ sauce right after removing from the fryer.
Make a head and reheat on the oven at 350 degrees. These also can be frozen for longer storage, reheating at 350 in the oven straight from the freezer.
I am strongly convinced that if you don't like salads, you aren't making them right! A bowl of plain lettuce is not exciting for anyone, but if you add other fresh and wholesome ingredients, you have a meal that will keep you full for hours.
Enter my Berry Basil Chicken Salad. I typically have all the ingredients on hand for this salad so it's easy to pull together in a snap. This recipe also includes a serving of homemade Lemon Basil dressing, because I HATE vinegar. Loath it. It makes me feel ill just to smell it. So for the acidic portion of the dressing I use lemon juice.
You have two easy options when it come to the chicken in this salad: use leftover chicken you have on hand or chop up roasted deli meat chicken (I love boar's head for our deli meat). It's not a quick meal if you have to prepare chicken to go on top. I used Boar's Head roasted chicken in mine.
1 1/2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1/2 cup of mixed blueberries and sliced strawberries
3 oz of chopped chicken
1 Tbsp chopped pecans
Toss all ingredients together in a bowl with dressing (recipe below).
Lemon Basil Dressing:
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp dried basil
salt & pepper (to taste)
Confession: I make pumpkin muffins year round. The boys love them for breakfasts and snacks and they just freeze so well. I've adapted the recipe from 100 Day of Real Food to work for our family (gluten free!) and I added some chocolate...because everything is better with chocolate.
1 1/2 cups GF flour mix or white whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup mini dark chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan with 12 liners.
Whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in the eggs, honey, and melted butter and mix until just combined. Add in the pumpkin and chocolate chips and fold in until combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Once cool, store in an air tight container for 3 days or freeze to keep longer.
You can't go wrong with a fresh loaf of warm banana bread. Try this recipe out for a cleaner version sweetened with honey instead of white sugar. I make this with gluten free flour, but whit whole wheat can be used as well.
2 cups white wheat flour OR 1-to-1 GF baking flour
4-5 very ripe bananas (mashed)
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup grass-fed butter, softened
1 1/2 Tbsp almond milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
chopped pecans (optional for topping)
Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 9x5 loaf pan, set aside.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, & salt. Set aside In a separate bowl, cream together butter & honey. Stir in eggs, milk, vanilla, & mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten.
Pour into prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle top with pecans, if using.
Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
This recipe is a great budget friendly recipe that is packed with nutrients. Use the recommended Banza pasta to give you a punch of protein without meat. Use up whatever veggies you have left in your fridge. Pictured in my dish is zucchini, red and yellow bell pepper, red onion, carrots, and Brussels sprouts.
4-5 cups cut veggies (I like them cut into matchsticks/julienne)
1/4 cup Olive Oil, divided
1 Tbsp dried Italian herbs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
8 oz Banza Chickpea pasta
4 Tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the cut veggies on a baking sheet and toss with herbs, salt, pepper, and Olive Oil. Bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
While veggies roast, bring a pot of water (salt optional) to a boil. Cook according to box directions (7-9 minutes). Drain and rinse. Add a drizzle of olive oil to prevent sticking if necessary.
Toss prepared veggies with cooked pasta. Divide between 4 bowls and top each with 1 Tbsp of Parmesan cheese.