Ginger Orange Elderberry Syrup (Instant Pot and Stove)

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Stay healthy this cold and flu season with our homemade Ginger Orange Elderberry Syrup! It’s easy to make and it’s paleo and can be made low FODMAP as well.

photo collage of elderberry syrup and ingredients

We got snow the other day and it’s been chilly here (like 32 degrees chilly) even though it’s still summer!

I feel like our summer just went right into winter haha. At least the weather will warm up again a bit before it starts getting really cold. That’s Wyoming I guess!

Since we’ll be soon moving into fall and winter with increased cases of the cold and flu (oh boy….), we decided to finally jump on the elderberry syrup bandwagon (late as usual) and create a Ginger Orange Elderberry Syrup recipe.

Our elderberry syrup recipe has healthy ingredients in it like fresh ginger, fresh oranges, raw honey, and whole cloves that add nutritional benefits (like antioxidants and antibacterial compounds).

To make this recipe even easier for you to make (it’s pretty easy to make already!), we created this recipe with both stovetop and Instant Pot instructions.

jar of elderberry syrup with spoon

I also created a different recipe that is pretty delicious with cinnamon, black pepper, and turmeric in it for Sorey Fitness, so check out that elderberry syrup recipe as well for a flavor variation!

How to make elderberry syrup on the stove

We’re including 2 different cooking methods with this recipe for you! The first one is cooking the elderberries on the stove in a saucepan, the second one is how to cook it in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker.

Don’t forget: the full recipe card with both methods is available at the end of the blog post!

  • In a saucepan, combine the dried elderberries and the other ingredients except the honey.
  • Bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. The liquid will have reduced by over half.
  • Smash the elderberries a little bit.
  • Pour the elderberry juice through a strainer into a bowl or jar, pressing the elderberries to get more liquid out of them. You’ll have about 1 cup of liquid.
  • Allow the elderberry liquid to cool for about 10-15 minutes before whisking in the raw honey.
  • Once the honey is whisked in, pour the syrup into a jar or bottle and store in the fridge or freezer.
photo collage of elderberry syrup made on the stove

For our recipe, we made sure to cool off the juice enough (under 100 degrees F) before adding the raw honey to it to make sure that the honey is still raw and uncooked, preserving the healthy goodies like antioxidants and enzymes in the honey.

We use local Wyoming honey for our recipes since we bought a giant bucket of it several years ago, but I don’t use honey as much in my recipes anymore since I have IBS.

If you have IBS, I recommend swapping out the honey for maple syrup instead since honey is high FODMAP.

That only matters however if you’re already using a raw and unfiltered honey. If you buy honey from the store and it’s been precooked and filtered already, or if you use maple syrup, you can add it to the elderberry juice at any time and you won’t have to worry about temperature.

How to make elderberry syrup in the Instant Pot

If you want to make this recipe in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker (we use a Crock Pot Express), here are the steps for that as well.

Both of these methods are listed in the printable recipe card!

  • In an Instant Pot or Crock Pot Express, combine all the dried elderberries and the rest of the ingredients except the honey.
  • Close the lid and put the pressure valve into the closed position.
  • Cook on high pressure “Manual” for 5 minutes in the Instant Pot (or “Steam” on high for Crock Pot Express).
  • Once the cooking is done, turn off the “keep warm” feature if it automatically turns on and do a quick pressure release.
  • Once the pressure is fully released, open the lid and turn on the brown/saute feature and simmer in the pressure cooker for about 12 minutes.
  • Squish the elderberries a bit to release juice.
  • Press the berries into a sieve into a jar or bowl.
  • Allow it to cool for about 10-15 degrees.
  • Mix the honey with the juice and then store it in the fridge or freezer.
elderberry syrup in a pressure cooker

Pretty easy! If you do this recipe in the pressure cooker, it takes a bit longer since it has to come to pressure, but you don’t have to babysit the pressure cooker like you have to watch something on the stove.

How much elderberry syrup should I take?

Standard serving sizes for elderberry syrup are:

  • 1 Tablespoon for adults and older kids
  • For smaller kids, 1-2 teaspoons (1 Tablespoon = 3 teaspoons).
  • Avoid giving to children under 1 year if it has raw honey in it

Take 1 time a day for maintenance, but if you’re feeling under the weather or suspect you have the cold or flu, you can take it up to 3 times a day.

photo collage elderberry syrup made in pressure cooker

How to store elderberry syrup

If you plan on using your elderberry syrup right away, keep it in an airtight jar or airtight bottle in the fridge until it’s used up. Some posts I looked at had varying lengths of time: some people said it lasts for 6 months, others said 3 months.

But I personally think if you don’t plan on using your elderberry syrup within 1 month, I’d freeze it for later. I personally don’t trust that very many foods will last 6 months in the fridge.

Since we had several batches of elderberry syrup we made for recipe testing, we decided to freeze a few jars and keep a few in the fridge for daily use.

If you freeze elderberry syrup in a jar, make sure that you leave some headspace for the expanding liquids at the top of the jar so your jar doesn’t break in the freezer.

Make sure that if you want to thaw your elderberry syrup made with raw honey, you thaw it in the fridge or a warm (not hot) water bath to preserve the bacteria and enzymes in the raw honey.

homemade elderberry syrup

Do elderberries actually work for the flu?

So, does elderberry extract or syrup actually work?

I love natural remedies, but I am also not opposed to using prescriptions when needed for medical issues. We use medications regularly for things like my daughter’s asthma.

So sometimes when I hear about certain natural remedies, I’m always a little skeptical until I’ve had some time to research them and find out what the science says.

I wasn’t originally completely sold on using elderberries until I did a little digging of my own, and there are quite a few studies on elderberries!

The science actually has a lot to say about elderberries and their health benefits, especially when it comes to the cold and flu viruses. Elderberries seem to be a pretty well-studied nutritional supplement, and there is plenty of great information out there.

jar of homemade elderberry syrup

Here are a few scientific studies that demonstrate how elderberries work.

  • Black elderberry effectively treats and reduces upper respiratory symptoms (source).
  • Elderberry supplementation reduces cold symptoms (source).
  • Elderberries seem to be effective in inhibiting pathogenic bacteria and influenza (source).
  • The high quality and stability of elderberries make it great for food and medicinal use (source). 
  • Elderberry seems to inhibit Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) (source)
  • Elderberry demonstrates In vivo inhibition of viral replication and increased immune response (source)
  • Taken by mouth, elderberries may protect colon cells from oxidative stress (source)
  • Acts very similar to Tamiflu against influenza, might work on H1N1 (source
  • Prevents replication of the influenza virus and reduces influenza symptoms (source).
  • Flu symptoms resolve quicker with elderberry use (source). 
  • Elderberry extract reduces inflammatory cytokines (source)
  • Elderberry might protect the immune system when given to cancer or AIDS patients along with with their chemo or other treatments (source).
  • Elderberries may have anti-cancer properties (source).

There is also plenty of anecdotal evidence out there, too, so it’s a good idea to give it a shot if you haven’t tried it!

Making this recipe was the first time I had actually made elderberry syrup. I’ve always had dried elderberries in my cupboard and made tea with it when I didn’t feel well, but making the syrup is a great way to keep it on hand in the fridge for everyday use.

elderberries and orange slices and ginger in a saucepan
We added a few lemon slices as well to our first batch

Who should avoid elderberries

While elderberries have been recognized as generally safe for most healthy people, some people shouldn’t take elderberries.

Here are a list of people who may not want to take elderberries:

  • If your elderberry syrup has raw honey in it, don’t give it to children under 1 year old.
  • People taking immunosuppressive medications for conditions like autoimmune disease. Elderberries increase the immune system response, so it will counteract immunosuppressant medications.
  • Pregnant and lactating women should check with their doctors first before taking elderberries just to be safe since elderberries aren’t well studied in these populations.
  • Elderberries can have a laxative effect, so if you have severe IBS-D or IBD, you might need to take smaller doses or test to make sure that it doesn’t cause diarrhea.

If you have IBS, honey in elderberry syrup is high FODMAP, so you’ll probably want to use maple syrup in your elderberry syrup instead of honey.

Where to buy elderberry syrup

If you can’t or don’t want to make your own elderberry syrup, you can buy elderberry syrup online and in a lot of healthy living stores (like Whole Foods and local health foods stores) and even places like Walmart if you buy a common brand like Sambucol. 

dried elderberries, orange, and ginger on a counter

Elderberry syrup has gained popularity over the past few years as a great option for warding off the cold and flu, so it’s become more widely available in physical stores and online stores. Just make sure that you’re buying from a reputable brand with natural with organic ingredients when possible. 

When looking for store bought elderberry syrup, make sure that it’s made with simple and healthy ingredients that you can easily recognize. Avoid products with artificial ingredients, flavors, and sugars unless you’re diabetic and need to avoid caloric sweeteners.

If you have IBS, make sure to avoid elderberry syrups that contain sugar alcohols, like sorbitol, which are high FODMAP and can cause digestive upset.

Ginger Orange Elderberry Syrup (Instant Pot and Stovetop)

Stay healthy this cold and flu season with our homemade Ginger Orange Elderberry Syrup! It's easy to make and it's paleo and can be made low FODMAP as well.
Makes about 1-1/2 cups of syrup, which is 24 Tablespoons
Paleo, low FODMAP option; Free of dairy, tree nuts, peanuts, soy free
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: diy, sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: elderberry syrup, instant pot elderberry syrup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Cooling time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 42 minutes
Servings: 24 servings
Calories: 42kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

Stovetop Instructions:

  • In a medium saucepan, combine the elderberries, orange slices, ginger slices, cloves, and water.
  • Bring to a boil over medium heat (it takes about 8 minutes or so), then lower the heat a little (it should still be about medium/low heat), simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
  • The liquid will have reduced by over half. Smash the elderberries a bit to release more juice.
  • Pour the elderberry mixture through a strainer into a bowl, pressing the elderberries and oranges a bit to get more liquid out of them. You'll have about 1 cup of liquid.
  • Allow the elderberry juice to cool for about 10-15 minutes before whisking in the raw honey.
  • Once the honey is whisked in, pour the syrup into a jar or bottle and store in the fridge or freezer.

Instant Pot instructions:

  • In an Instant Pot or Crock Pot Express, combine the elderberries, orange slices, ginger slices, cloves, and water.
  • Close the lid and put the pressure valve into the closed position.
  • Cook on high pressure "Manual" for 5 minutes in the Instant Pot (or "Steam" on high for Crock Pot Express).
  • Once the cooking is done, turn off the "keep warm" feature if it automatically turns on and open the pressure valve to quick release pressure.
  • Once the pressure is fully released, open the lid and turn on the brown/saute feature and simmer for about 12 minutes until the liquid is reduced by half.
  • Follow the rest of the directions for the stovetop method.

Nutrition

Calories: 42kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 214mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 37IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg
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2 thoughts on “Ginger Orange Elderberry Syrup (Instant Pot and Stove)”

  1. Love the addition of the fall flavors to this! Elderberry syrup already tastes surprisingly delicious (and I’ve heard of many benefits), I’m sure the orange and ginger will be the icing on the cake!

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