How to Make Elderberry Extract (or How to Make Elderberry Tincture)

Be sure and check out our GIVEAWAY while you're here.
Last year when we lived on the farm we found a large elderberry tree that had LOTS of fruit on it. We harvested a bunch (learn how you can too!) and have since been enjoying finding new ways to use the berries. One thing I did right after harvesting the fresh berries last year was make elderberry extract (or elderberry tincture).

It's incredibly easy, and super delicious. I use it to help make my elderberry syrup last longer (recipe coming soon). It's also delicious to add to cider in the fall and winter. Mmmmm. Delicious.

Here is the very simple recipe:

How to Make Elderberry Extract


Directions: fill glass bottle half way (or more) full with fresh elderberries (or 1/3 for dried). Slightly mash berries (optional). Fill bottle rest of the way with alcohol. Allow to sit in a dark place for at least 6 weeks, shaking occasionally. Make sure that berries are fully covered by alcohol. When ready to use, strain out berries. Enjoy. Stays good 1-2 years (though it never lasts that long at our house...).

Step-by-step directions: 

Pour berries in your glass jar, either to half or more (this is not an exact science, obviously...)
Slightly mash berries (if fresh). (This is an optional step.)
Leave in a dark place for 6 weeks, stirring occasionally. Here is the freshly steeping tincture pictured with my homemade vanilla extract which is also super easy to make. 


Wanting to learn more about foraging in this area? I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Northwest Foraging: The Classic Guide to Edible Plants of the Pacific Northwest is a great beginning/intermediate guide to edible plants in our area. It has lots of pictures which make identification easy, and it has a lot of great ideas for what to do once you've found your delicious wild edibles, too! Check it out!

Too busy to make your own tincture? Nature's Answer Alcohol-Free Sambucus Black Elder Berry Extract, 8-Fluid Ounces is a great alternative, especially if you are wanting an alcohol free version for the kiddos. 

Looking for a good source of elderberries? While harvesting your own elderberries is absolutely wonderful, it's not an option for everybody. These Organic Elder Berries from Starwest Botanicals are a great source of these delicious and medicinal berries. 

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Natural Family Friday 8/29/14

Natural Family Friday - weekly linkup and blog hop for natural and real food bloggers


Welcome to†Natural Family Friday†where we feature information, how-to articles, and recipes that help our families live a bit more intentionally. Our goal is to help every family†take steps†toward creating a natural, Eco friendly home, utilizing natural remedies, eating healthy foods, and practicing positive, attachment based parenting. If youíre a blogger, we invite you to share one of your articles or recipes that will help readers and fellow bloggers.

Your Hosts

The following blogs host Natural Family Friday every week. You are welcome to linkup at any of these blogs each week. If you linkup at one blog, your link will be displayed on all blogs!

This Week's Featured Articles:

Every week we feature the top 3 posts from the previous week's linkup. Make sure you vote for your favorites this week!
  1. Chunky Monkey Cookie Dough Bites from Healthy Helper
  2. Kale Blueberry Vanilla Smoothie from Homestead Mania
  3. Orange Oil Cleaner from Country Mouse Tales

Natural Family Friday Linkup

Here's what to link to...
  • Healthy Recipes
  • Natural / Green Living Tips
  • Attachment Parenting Info
  • Organic Gardening Tips
  • Natural Health and Remedies

Natural Family Friday Rules:

  1. Please only link to posts that are relevant to natural living. No giveaways, product promotions, diets, religious posts, etc! These will be automatically deleted.
  2. Recipes must contain only real food ingredients. No†artificial sweeteners, food additives, etc.
  3. Please update your post with a link back to this post†(not our homepage). Something like ìThis post is featured at Natural Family Fridayî will suffice.
  4. Please link to a blog post, not your blogís homepage.
One more thing.†Follow us on Pinterest†where we will pin our favorite submissions to the†Natural Family Friday pin board.

Don't forget to spread the word :)

Pin it:

Natural Family Friday - weekly linkup and blog hop for natural and real food bloggers

Now for the Links!

Beef Heart Kebobs

Be sure and check out our GIVEAWAY while you're here.

If you had asked me when I was seventeen what one of my favorite foods would be when I was twenty-seven, never in a million years would I have told you beef heart...

But here we are today. And it's true. Honestly, this recipe is the only way I've ever prepared beef heart because it just that good. I'm sure there are other delicious ways to eat it that I will get around to trying, some day...

So what does beef heart taste like? You might ask... Frankly, it tastes like the most delicious steak you have ever had. As long as the kebobs aren't overcooked, you can't even taste that organ-y flavor most people think of when they think "offal".

This recipe is my variation on Sally Fallon's in her book, Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats. I've changed the way the meat is cut, the spices as well as the cooking time. But credit is due for the inspiration.

This is one of our family's favorite meals to take camping. We marinate it the night before and then cook it up for dinner. We haven't met a friend yet who didn't love this recipe, no matter how skeptical they were before they tried it. There is something about the tanginess of the vinegar, mixed with the spices and the flavor the grill adds... mmm... I'm hungry just thinking about it! 

All that to say, if you give it a try, I know you'll like it! Just make sure not to overcook the meat. 

Beef Heart Kebobs

  • 1 beef heart
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil (where to find)
  • 1 cup raw apple cider vinegar (where to find
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1.5 tsp Celtic sea salt (where to find
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • cutting board
  • large knife
  • bag or bowl with lid for marinating
  • metal skewers (where to find)
  • vegetables for roasting (optional)

Directions: Remove any hard, fatty bits from beef heart. Cut into 1/4-1/2 inch cubes. Place in container for marinating. Pour over olive oil, vinegar, spices and garlic. Mix well. Place in refrigerator and marinate for 24 hours. Stir or shake every few hours if possible. Place kebobs on skewer sticks along with whatever veggies you would like to grill. Grill about 4 minutes to a side, or until meat turns a slightly darker brown. Enjoy!  

Step-by-step instructions: 

Remove any hard bits from the heart. Fat, gristle, tough membrane, etc: 
Cut heart into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces:
Place heart and remaining ingredients in a bag or bowl and mix thoroughly. Marinate for 24 hours, stirring occasionally.  
Place on skewers with optional vegetables. Enjoy with wine, of course. 
Grill for 4 minutes a side or until meat turns a slightly darker brown. Better to under cook than over. Serve with sauerkraut. Best enjoyed out of doors with friends. 

Waste not want not?

Wanting to learn more about how to use up those "odd bits" you have in your freezer? 

Check out these books I use and love!

 Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal by Jennifer McLagan is the only book I have found that covers such a wide variety of animals and bits. The recipes are delicious, the pictures are stunning, and McLagan throws in a bit of humor, history and lore to boot. This book is a great addition to any real foodie's kitchen!

If you don't eat pork, then ignore this second recommendation. If you do, buy it today! This book is amazing. Beyond Bacon: Paleo Recipes that Respect the Whole Hog was written by the dynamic duo Stacy Toth and Matthew McCarry of the blog Paleo Parents. It has a variety of gourmet recipes for every part of the pig. It contains beginner to advanced level recipes, from breakfasts to desserts, all utilizing the bits of the pig that our grand grandmother knew how to prepare, but we've forgotten. 

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