How to make Elderberry Lozenges

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Elderberry Lozenges: on the go immune support

Once you have your elderberry syrup on hand – everything is great, right? Well, you find out quickly that refrigeration is imperative – and shelf life (once opened if you have canned your recipe) is short. Enter: elderberry lozenges.

It’s a finicky challenge to be honest, even for someone (me) who likes to throw ingredients together and hope for the best. Lozenge-making isn’t for the weary or those prone to OCD tendencies, I assure you.

Elderberry Lozenge Must Haves:

What’s helpful to have on hand before you begin your adventure: a good candy thermometer, silicone molds (silicone is key), potholders, and some kitchen towels that you don’t care about too much.

Here’s the other deal – you need sugar in order to make elderberry lozenges. Because lozenges are just essentially … hard candy, when you get right down to it. In this recipe, I have chosen to use coconut sugar, but organic raw sugar would work as well. I avoided using fresh honey because bringing honey to this temp would essentially eliminate any of the positive benefits of the honey to begin with. It’s really not worth using – and paying – for something that you are essentially breaking down all the positive qualities, and rendering to just sugar. Might as well start with sugar to begin with.

Ok, now let’s prep your area:

You need to place your silicone molds on a heat-safe surface, ideally. I also like to place them on a few old kitchen towels, just to help with clean up. This is not a recipe for those OCDers out there; the process is a bit messy, and not really a fine science, to say the least. Have a nice heavy stock pot ready, because despite the total fluid volume of this recipe – it expands like the dickens when it boils, and no one has time to clean up after an elderberry volcano in the kitchen.

So now let’s chat about the ingredients we use here. We’ve covered the benefits of elderberries before, and you know why we need to include sugar – but let’s talk about the marshmallow root and cream of tartar. Cream of tartar helps to prevent crystallization of this high-heat sugar mixture. Marshmallow root is a great little ingredient that helps to naturally coat the throat and soothe any rawness or irritation. Cream of tartar is a readily available ingredient in every grocery store, and marshmallow root can be found at most health food groceries.

Set your stock pot on your burner, and add your ingredients. Stir well to help all the ingredients dissolve and combine. Set your timer for twenty minutes, and turn on your burner to high. The timer isn’t completely necessary, I have just found it is a great ‘heads up’ for about how long the mixture needs to come to the right candy-making temp.

Keep on stirring….

Stir the mixture from time to time, and once the timer goes off prepare for the temp-watching mania to begin. At about twenty minutes you should see the temp is a little over 210 degrees Fahrenheit. As this temp rises (should take another five minutes or so) you want to watch the temp and mixture closely to avoid burning. The mixture itself should go from foamy, to sticky, and the temp should be around 260 degrees when you really want to pull it off the heat. Most candy thermometers will have hard crack at 300 degrees, but this is too high for this recipe and results in a burnt mess.

elderberry lozenge molds

Remove from heat and immediately start scooping into waiting molds. Once you’ve emptied your mixture into the molds, set stock pot into the sink filled with water to dissolve any remaining, and now hardening, mixture. It really only takes a few minutes for the mixture to cool and harden, and when it does, go ahead and pop them out of the molds to cool entirely.

Use 2 Tbsp of powdered sugar or arrowroot in a large plastic bag. Add the cooled elderberry lozenges and toss gently to coat. Remove from the bag and place in small containers for availability on-the-go!

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