Elder Flower Muffins and Honey

My white elder bush is finally big enough for me to harvest the flowers. I am still waiting for the black elder to grow larger for the berries. It seems to struggle and break easily with any storm. Both bushes were hard to get established. I had failures in years past. Once it gets going Elder can easily take over. I saw them “groomed” in a Japanese garden. I am pruning them regularly into more attractive shapes. I did not grow up with elder. I am just recently using it as an herbalist. There is a quite a bit of “drama” around Elder which I discussed in the previous post. I had so many flowers this year, a lot of ideas, and as always too little time. I managed to dry a jars worth of flowers. A dehydrator is crucial for this as they go off and start to ferment quickly. I infused my first honey using fresh plants, I made a tincture and a syrup. I did not get to the fritters.

Elder Flower Muffins

Preheat your oven to 350

1/3 cup of walnut or vegetable oil

1/4 cup of sugar

1 TBSP of dried orange peel

10 drops of orange or tangerine essential oil

1 egg beaten

3/4 cup of yogurt

1 tsp of vanilla extract

1/4 cup sorghum flour

2/4 cup of almond four

1 cup of white rice flour

2 tsp of baking powder

1/2 tsp of salt

1/4 cup of dried elder flowers

Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the orange peel and tangerine oil. Stir in the egg, yogurt and vanilla extract. Set aside.

In a large bowl , mix together the dry ingredients. Add in the wet ingredients and stir until smooth.

Fold in the dried elder flowers.

Line your muffin tins with paper cups

Fill 3/4 full

Bake for 20 minutes or until just brown and fragrant

Serve with butter and elder flower honey or strawberry jam.

Fresh Elder Flower Infused Honey

This was my first infused honey. I had reason to fear the flowers would ferment but they did not. I only let them infuse for 2 days. That was enough to provide the distinct flavor. Fill 1/4-1/2 of a clean jar with fresh flowers (best to choose a jar with a wide mouth and straight sides. Pour in enough honey to just cover the flowers. Let the air bubbles escape. Add more honey and allow bubbles to escape. Keep filling and repeating the process until the jar is full. Tap the jar gently to release more bubbles. Let sit 24 hours. Top off with more honey the next day if need be. The fresh flowers will have floated to the top. You can push them back under the honey and release any bubbles with a knife or chopstick. Strain out the flowers after 2 days. Store in an attractive jar in a cool , dark place. This is a culinary honey to get the volatile oils and flavor. For a medicinal honey I prefer to grind dry herbs and whip them into my product. There is no straining of plant material and they store a long time. An infused honey can be served over ice cream or fresh fruit.

Have you ever made anything with elder flowers?

Published by blackbirdsbackyard

My backyard botanical pharmacy is located in Boulder Colorado. I began studying herbal medicinewhen I was 12 years old. In college I studied subjects like anthropology, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, After graduation I decided to go to midwifery school. I attended births and had a small practice until I retired early in order to be a mother full time. I have always had an herb garden, gathered plants and made my own healing formulas with plants. Over the last 30 years there have been many teachers and I have attended dozens of workshops. I am one of those people who is always reading, studying and learning. In 2019 I was called to practice as an herbalist professionally, using "plant spirit medicine" and bio-energetic ( 5 element)healing techniques. I feel that there is a big need in the community for my skills and talents. I hope to inspire others to start their own backyard pharmacies as a solution to species extinction and the healthcare crisis in America. Healing has also become a spiritual practice and way for me to feel balanced and connected with nature. I consult with clients in person, teach classes (adults and kids), give tours of my garden and offer apprenticeships. Health, joy, meaning, and support are everyone's birthright.

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