homemade elderberry syrup gummies made without gelatin in a bowl next to a sprig of dried elderberries

Elderberry Gummies | The Kid-Approved Way to Boost Immunity (gelatin-free)

Are you a spoonful-of-sugar-helps-the-medicine-go-down kinda person? As if that sweet and fruity elderberry syrup isn’t delicious enough on its own, here’s how to make elderberry gummies! These easy gummies are a super fun and kid-approved way to take a spoonful of elderberry syrup every day when you’re feeling like you need a little extra immune support.

SEARCH THIS POST:
Gummy Bears, Meet Elderberry
First, We Need Elderberry Syrup
Elderberry for Cold Care & Immune Health
Making Gummies Without Gelatin
How to Make Elderberry Gummies
FAQs
Gelatin-Free Elderberry Gummie Recipe

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homemade elderberry syrup gummies made without gelatin in a bowl next to a sprig of dried elderberries

Gummy Bears, Meet Elderberry

Wouldn’t it just be the most wonderful if all of the candy out there in the world was made with healthy ingredients and still hit that sweet spot?!

While these elderberry gummies aren’t candy, they are kind of like a gummy bear. Not only are they sweet and fruity, but they’re also an ultra-fun way to get immune-boosting herbs into your everyday.


But First! We Need Elderberry Syrup

This elderberry gummies recipe starts with elderberry syrup. You can either make your own elderberry syrup, purchase it, or when all else fails, just use elderberry juice.

Making Elderbery Syrup

Making your own is so simple and I highly recommend it. However, I fully know that sometimes it’s just easier to pay someone else to make it.

If you do wish to make your own, at minimum, you’ll need either fresh or dried elderberries, water, and a sweetener like honey or granulated cane sugar. Although, many times elderberry syrup will contain other immune-boosting herbs and spices like cinnamon, cloves, astragalus, rosehips, and many others.

It’s so customizable to your health needs and specific tastes.

I’ve created a guide to making elderberry syrup where I include 3 different ways to make them. One is more classic with just cinnamon and ginger added, one is elderberry syrup with apple cider vinegar, and another is a super-duper immune-boosting formula with many other herbal superstars thrown in. You choose!

I think making elderberry gummies is such a nice way to use that elderberry syrup, especially if you’re in the habit of making large batches every year.

organic herbs and spices from mountain rose herbs

Purchasing Elderberry Syrup

Another option is to purchase elderberry syrup. Elderberry syrup has become so popular in the last couple of years that it’s not actually that difficult to find. If you have a natural food store or grocery co-op near you, I can almost guarantee that they’ll carry elderberry syrup year-round.

You might even have local herbalists that you can purchase it from. It’s not uncommon to find these folks selling their herbal goods at farmer’s markets and other local events.

Lastly, you can always purchase it online. If I want to make sure I’m purchasing a quality product, my go-to for all medicinal herbs and products is Mountain Rose Herbs. After years of purchasing herbs from them, I’m confident that they’ll always deliver high-quality products that are organic, ethically grown, and/or sustainably harvested.

Try these:

Just ensure that the elderberry syrup you purchase does not contain alcohol. And when purchasing your elderberry syrup from someone else, please make sure to make educated choices and purchase from a reputable source for your own safety.

Using Elderberry Juice

Alternatively, you could just use elderberry juice if you can find it. It’s pretty easy to find elderberry juice concentrates or juice blends like this elderberry and elderflower juice sweetened with agave.


Elderberry for Cold Care & Immune Health

Elderberry, the deep dark bluish-purplish berry of the elder tree, is a superstar of immune-boosting plant medicines. Studies have shown that the elderberry’s bioflavonoids (the biochemicals that give the berries their beautiful color) can actually prevent viruses from entering our cells. It can be a great preventative medicine when heading into cold and flu season.

In fact, that’s generally the recommended time to take elderberry, just when you start to feel a little something coming on. Doing so may help to prevent you from actually getting full-blown sick.

Although, if you miss that window, taking elderberry while you’re in the thick of it may also help to lessen the severity of symptoms, as well as the duration.

Elderberry has many other herbal actions too! The medicinal benefits of elderberry include:

  • Antiviral
  • Nutritive
  • Alterative
  • Antioxidant
  • Mild Laxative
  • Anti-Inflammatory

Plus, the berries are full of nutrition too. Elderberries are particularly high in vitamins A and C and are also potent in quercetin and other bioflavonoids that may actually help to reduce allergy symptoms.


Making Gummies Without Gelatin

Most gummies are made with gelatin, a colorless and flavorless by-product of the meat industry typically derived from the collagen of fish, cows, or pigs.

When water is added, gelatin turns from dry and brittle to gummy and gelatinous, making it an excellent binder, thickener, and maker of all things jiggly like Jell-O and marshmallows. It’s also often found in ice cream, candies like candy corn, cream cheese, and even margarine.

However, instead of gelatin, this recipe uses agar as the binder. Agar, like gelatin, is a colorless and flavorless food ingredient. But instead of being a by-product of the meat industry, agar is derived from red algae.

Agar (also called agar agar) has a long history of use in Asian desserts and can take the place of gelatin in most, if not all recipes, making it an excellent vegetarian or vegan substitute.

spring of blueish-black ripe elderberries with elder leaves

How to Make Gelatin-Free Elderberry Gummies

These elderberry gummies are quick and easy to make. The hardest part is waiting for them to set so that you can enjoy them.

Here’s a quick rundown of what you’ll need and how to make this recipe. If you’re ready to jump in, just skip ahead to the recipe card at the end of this post.

Equipment You’ll Need:

  • Silicone Mold (I used this super cute honeycomb patterend mold, however you could also go more traditional with this gummy bear mold.)
  • Small Saucepan
  • Measuring Cups & Spoons
  • Whisk
  • 2-Cup Glass Measuring Cup with Pour Spout
  • Sheet Pan (This is to set your filled mold on for stability. You could also use a small cutting board. Just make sure whatever it is that it will fit onto a flat surface in your refrigerator.)

Ingredients:

  • Elderberry Syrup (Make your own or purchase.)
  • Your Choice of Fruit Juice (I used cherry juice, but apple, pomegranate, and grape are also good options. Just make sure it’s 100% pure fruit juice.)
  • Agar Agar Flakes (You can often find this where you’d find the dried seaweeds in conventional groceries. Otherwise, it’s easy to find and order online.)

Method:

  1. In a small saucepan, whisk together all ingredients except the elderberry syrup and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  1. Simmer for about 5-6 minutes, whisking frequently to evenly distribute the agar. Then remove from heat, stir in elderberry syrup, and let sit for about 5 minutes.
  1. Set your gummy molds onto a sheet pan for stability. Give the syrup & juice a good stir before filling your molds. Then either pour mixture into a glass measuring cup with a pour spout or use a baster to carefully fill your molds. (While using the baster looks like it’d be fun, I find pouring to be so much easier!)
  1. Set sheet pan with filled molds into fridge and allow to solidify for at least 30-45 minutes.
  1. Once solid, pop the gummies out of the mold and store in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 1 week.

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FAQs

Where can I find elderberries?

Great question! If you’re lucky enough to live where elder grows, you can harvest them yourself! It’s a widespread plant and chances are good that it grows in your area.

Just be 100% of your plant identification and that the berries are 100% ripe when doing so. (Unripe berries may cause an upset tummy, diarrhea, and other unpleasantries.)

Another option is to purchase the berries from your local foragers (if they do grow in your region). You can often find these amazing folks hanging around farmer’s markets. And if they aren’t there, just start asking around.

Lastly, when all else fails, purchase them online. My go-to for high-quality herbs has been Mountain Rose Herbs for the last 10 years. They offer bulk organic elderberries in two different quantities.

What do elderberry gummies taste like?

This completely depends on the elderberry syrup and fruit juice you use to make your gummies. In general, elderberry gummies are fruity and sweet.

However, if you use an elderberry syrup made with apple cider vinegar or other herbs like cinnamon or cloves, your gummies will take on the flavor of the elderberry syrup contents. Likewise, elderberry gummies made with cherry juice are going to taste different than those made with apple juice.

What if I don’t have (or don’t want to buy) a silicone mold?

While silicone molds are pretty fun, you can always use a small lasagna pan lined with parchment. Just pour into the bottom and then once solid, cut the gummies into cubes or any other shape desired. Alternatively, use a muffin tin and slice the gummies into wedges after they’re solidified.

What is the best way to store elderberry gummies?

Store your elderberry gummies in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use them within 5-7 days. The longer the gummies sit in the fridge, they’ll start to release a little water. I recommend storing a week’s worth in the fridge at a time. Freeze the rest until needed. (You can even freeze them right in their molds!)

Should I take elderberry gummies daily?

Elderberry gummies are generally well-tolerated when taken daily and even when taken multiple times a day. The elderberry gummies that you make from elderberry syrup are generally made from the whole fruit and do not contain concentrated extracts that might not be the best for daily use.

Also, elderberry gummies generally contain such small amounts of herbs that they can be considered more of a gentle immune-system tonic.

And furthermore, it’s not well-known whether or not it’s safe to consume elderberry for long periods of time. However, Sambucol, an elderberry product company, says that elderberry products from reputable sources that are made with ripe fruits harvested in areas free of chemical sprays are generally safe to take daily.

Can elderberry gummies make you sick?

An excessive amount of elderberry may cause stomach upset, diarrhea, or other unpleasant gastric symptoms. These are the only well-documented side effects of over-consumption.

Can you take elderberry gummies while pregnant?

At present, there is not enough clinical research to say with 100% certainty that elderberry and herbal products made with elderberry are safe during pregnancy. A quick roam around Google will reveal mixed answers.

However, elderberry is generally regarded as safe for all, even babies (generally over 1-year-old) based on hundreds, if not thousands, of years of use. Modern science always takes some time to catch up.

Nonetheless, always check with your licensed healthcare practitioner and/or a practicing clinical herbalist when using herbs in pregnancy.


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Elderberry Syrup Gummies (gelatin-free)

Course: Herbal RemedyDifficulty: Easy
Prep time

15

minutes
Setting Time

30

minutes

These elderberry syrup gummies are a fun way for you and your kids to take a spoonful of immune-boosting elderberry every day during cold and flu season. If using elderberry syrup made with honey, I prefer not to heat the honey any more than is necessary and add the syrup in after juice is removed from the heat.

The quantity yield will depend on the mold you use. This recipe makes about 1 cup (16 fl. oz.) of the liquid gummy mixture.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup alcohol-free elderberry syrup or elderberry juice

  • 1/2 cup fruit juice (apple, cherry, pomegranate, & grape are great options)

  • 2 slightly heaping tablespoons agar agar flakes

Directions

  • In a small saucepan, whisk together all ingredients except the elderberry syrup and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  • Simmer for about 5-6 minutes, whisking frequently to evenly distribute the agar. Then remove from heat, stir in elderberry syrup, and let sit for about 5 minutes.
  • Set your gummy molds onto a sheet pan for stability. Give the syrup & juice a good stir before filling your molds. Then either pour the mixture into a glass measuring cup with a pour spout or use a baster to carefully fill your molds.
    *While using the baster looks like it’d be fun, I find pouring to be so much easier and less messy.
  • Set sheet pan with filled molds into the fridge and allow to solidify for at least 30-45 minutes.
  • Once solid, pop the gummies out of the mold and store in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 1 week.*

Notes

  • * How to store your gummies: The longer the gummies sit in the fridge, they’ll start to release a little water. I recommend storing a week’s worth in the fridge at a time. Freeze the rest until needed. (You can even freeze them right in their molds!)
  • How many gummies does this make? Your gummy yield will depend on the molds you use. I used a honeycomb silicone mold and got 19 gummies approximately 1 tablespoon (0.5 fl oz) in size, which you could cut into halves. Gummy bear molds are much smaller in size and will yield more gummies.
  • Don’t have silicone molds? While they’re pretty fun, you can always use a small lasagna pan lined with parchment. Once solid, cut the gummies into cubes or any other shape desired. Alternatively, use a muffin tin and slice the gummies into wedges after they’re solidified.

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how to make homemade elderberry syrup gummies without gelatin

DISCLAIMER: The information given in this article is intended for educational purposes only. Always consult with your healthcare practitioner before consuming certain herbs & medicinal foods, especially if pregnant, nursing, or taking any prescription medications.

Find Organic Herbs & Spices at Mountain Rose Herbs

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