A few weeks ago, my friend, Rachel Wolf, sent me a copy of her new book, Herbal Adventures. (You might know Rachel from her family’s small business, LuSa Organics.) I’d been eagerly awaiting it’s release for many months, having known she was working on this project. The book is geared towards children, but I think it’s great for adults too. It’s full of Rachel’s gentle wisdom and knowledge of wild plants and herbal remedies. There is information on foraging, plant identification, and then chapters on specific plants and how to use them. They aren’t obscure, hard to find plants, either. Many are common weeds that you might have in your backyard, or could easily obtain. Chickweed, nettle, dandelion, and plantains are among those featured.
The book is not only full of highly accessible information, but beautiful photography as well. My girls love it, and are eager to try out many of the recipes. Next summer, I suspect it will be their constant companion.
This week Beatrix made the elderberry gummies, perfect this time of year to help prevent illness.
Rachel offered to share the recipe with you, in addition to offering one of you a copy of Herbal Adventures (read on to the end for your chance to win!)
Elderberry gummies are a treat for children and adults alike. My kids can never get enough of these jiggly delights.
Tip: Always use dried elderberries for this recipe, as fresh yield weaker, watery gummies.
Active time: under 20 minutes
Total time: 2 hours
Yield: One 8×8 pan of gummies
½ cup (approximately 2 oz) dried elderberries
3 cups water
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, or ¼ cup orange juice concentrate
¼ cup grass-fed gelatin powder
¼ cup raw honey
Combine the water and dried berries in a medium pot.
Simmer over medium heat until the volume of water is reduced by 25 to 50 percent. The color will be deep and rich.
Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Add lemon juice, stir, then pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Press or squeeze berries to extract as much juice as possible. Compost or discard the solids.
Add additional water, if needed, to bring your volume back up to 1 ½ cups.
Whisk the gelatin into the still warm liquid by hand, then stir in honey. (Do not use an electric mixer or blender, which will compromise the texture of the finished gummies.)
Pour into an 8 x 8 baking dish or gummy molds.
Transfer carefully to the refrigerator and chill until fully set.
Cut and eat!
Enjoy these gummies as a snack or dessert. Eat a few 1 inch cubes per day as desired. Because these gummies contain honey, they are not suitable for children under 1 year of age.
Gummies are so delicious that they never last long! Store in refrigerator for up to 4 days.
You can purchase (affiliate link) Herbal Adventures here. And, one Small Things reader will win a copy!
For your chance to win, leave a comment on this post. This giveaway has ended, and the winner is Rosie, who commented “My girls would adore that book! They’re already hilariously into foraging, and don’t understand why their suburban friends don’t want to eat their weird herb concoctions when they come to visit ;)”