Enjoy this delicious breakfast dish guilt free PLUS support your immune system!
In the last couple of years, it seems “flu season” has been chaotic. The season in which influenza usually reaches its peak is in December and February. However, this has well extended into the summer months with infection levels remaining elevated. What’s going on? Well that is neither here nor there. The point is, now more than ever taking care of our health is a priority and one of the best ways to do this is to support our built in fighters, our immune systems.
Why Elderberry Herb Makes Its Way Into Blueberry Pancakes
This is why Stephanie and I LOVE to find innovative ways to incorporate these power houses into our diet. Not only to make them tasty but also to utilize the incredible principle of the compound which is tremendous when it comes to your health ‘bank’.
Pros of This type of Blueberry Pancakes
I know what you’re thinking…..no way!
- Pancakes that are healthy for you.
- Friendly to gluten intolerance.
- They actually FLUFF and melt in your mouth.
- They build immunity AND….
- Kiddos LOVE them!?!
I can not tell you how good it feels to know you are not just eating “pancakes” but rather you are adding to the compound effect of daily herb intake and building your immune system and health bank with every bite. Wahoo!!!
Can’t wait to get started on making this delicious breakfast treat?
Want to learn more about these amazing pancakes? Read on….
So, what makes these so special? You may have already guessed it from the title……ELDERBERRY!
But first, before we get started with the recipe, allow me to share with you how I first learned about this wonderful herb. While pursuing my naturopathic education, I enrolled in a weekend retreat course that took place far from the university. Learning more about the native medicinal plants of Southern Oregon literally involved getting my hands dirty. It was rewarding to locate and recognize these medicinal plants in their natural environment. Using traditional methods past down from medical herbalists, they are harvested, handled precisely and turned into herbal remedies.
You won’t need to go on a trek in search of elderberries in the wilderness to make this dish, so don’t worry. Elderberries that have been dried are widely available online.
These plants are indigenous to Europe and do well in open spaces and wooded places. You can grow from cuttings in the early spring and are harvested in the late spring. Early fall is also a good time to pick elderberries.
People have been connecting for centuries through the sharing of recipes. Sharing recipes and cooking meals together is one of the things that brings us together as a family, friends, and even as a community.
When additional hands are engaged, recipes seem to taste better in some strange way. We didn’t want this process to end because we were in such wonderful company.
Even though these pictures are a demonstration of fresh harvested fully ripe berries that we were using to make elder syrup and wine, they still needed to be cooked to reduce toxicity and prevent nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Elderberry that has been dried still has to be cooked.
Crush time was my favorite! We could have used a food masher or food processor, but using our hands was highly therapeutic and fun. In addition, we had only limited kitchen supplies because we were in the woods.
Fresh elder berries juice will have a bright reddish-purple color. When they have dried and cooked, their color becomes dark purple to deeper black.
Elderberry is one of the many herbs that I can appreciate the most because of its several constituents that work together synergistically to enhance immune function.
- Key immune builder
- Contains high levels of vitamin C
- Contains strong antioxidants
- Syrup or extract counters infection and speeds recovery
- Improve resistance to infection
- Reduce tendency toward recurring colds, sore throats and coughs
- Safe for children
- Elderberry has two usable parts; the berries and flowers. In this recipe we are using the berries, which are not only amazing for making yummy syrups but also for providing flavonoids, lectins, vitamin C & A and anthocyanins.
You can learn more about elderberry in our herb library here.
Watch how we made this healthy pancake with elderberry sauce
Common questions about blueberry pancakes and elder syrup
Where can I get dried elder berry?
Most health food stores may carry dried elderberry like wholefoods, wild oats market, good harvest markets, LifeSource Natural Foods, etc. But getting them online may be the most accessible and convenient alternative. You can get them here.
What can I substitute with the elder extract?
No elder in your household, no problem. Another option would be to look in your fridge for some orange juice, concord grape juice, or blueberry juice.
What is the most important ingredient to a fluffy gluten free pancake?
The wheat in flour makes up an important protein called glutenin or gluten (1) when mixed with water it causes the batter to be viscous and cohesive. Once the batter has been cooked the pancake becomes fluffy, elastic and chewy. However, this recipe calls for a wheat free, gluten free dough. The alternative is using other grains that is not wheat and does not contain gluten. Gluten is replaced with xanthum gum to provide stability in the network structure of baked goods. You can read all about Xunthum gum here (2). Also did I say that it makes it fluffy too…but let’s not give all the credit to Xanthum; I did noticed that adding apple cider vinegar made a difference to the fluff of this pancake.
Blueberry Pancakes with Elderberry Syrup
- 2 Tablespoon Dried Elderberry
- 1 Cup Filtered Water
- 1/4 Cup Elderberry Extract
- 1-1/2 Cup Frozen Blueberries Don't need to thaw blueberries
- 4 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
- 1 Pinch Salt
- 2 Teaspoon Cornstarch
- 1-1/2 Tablespoon Filtered Water
Gluten Free Batter Mix
- 1 Cup + 1 Tablespoon of Gluten free Flour Bob's Red Mill
- 1/2 Teaspoon Xanthum Gum
- 2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Himalayan Sea Salt
- 1 Large Organic Egg
- 1/2 Cup Coconut Milk I used Thai Kitchen Organic and Unsweetened seems to work good because it is viscous due to more of the milk than water in the can.
- 1/2 Cup Filtered Water
- 2 Tablespoon Coconut Oil, plus extra for oiling the pan
- 1 Cup Fresh Organic Blueberries
- 2 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
- In a separate pot add 1 cup of filtered water. This will yield about 1/2 cup at the end of the process. Place the elderberry in the pot and bring water to a boil (may take 5 minutes). Immediately turn down to a simmer for 30 minutes. Cover pot with lid.
- Remove the elderberry with a strainer and let the extract cool for a few minutes.
- Set aside ¼ cup of the elderberry extract to use in the sauce for later. At this point the extract is bitter but lots of all goodness medicinal properties. Feel free to add more to the sauce at the end if you prefer for a bolder elder strength. The remaining elderberry you can set aside in a jar and store in the fridge for future use. Try using it in our Super Immune Boost Smoothie here.
Elderberry Sauce Mix
- In a medium sauce pan combine the blueberries, elderberry extract, maple syrup and a pinch of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium to high heat, stir occasionally. If using frozen fruit it may take 10 minutes and 5 minutes for fresh fruit.Once boiling, reduce the heat to simmer.
- In a bowl combine cornstarch and cold filtered water. Dissolve the cornstarch by stirring thoroughly. Slowly pour the cornstarch mix into the compote while stirring. The compote should thicken in a few minutes. Do not overcook as the cornstarch will lose its thickening properties. Repeat this process as needed if you prefer a thicker consistency to the sauce.
- Combine all the wet ingredients (coconut milk, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, water, maple syrup) together in a bowl and mix well. Let it sit for 3 minutes.
- Thoroughly mix the dry ingredients (GF flour, Xanthum gum, baking powder) in a separate bowl. Whisk the dry into the wet ingredients until smooth consistency. Do not over mix and add additional water if batter seems too thick.
- Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat. Use coconut oil or in this video I used Miyoko’s Cultured Vegan Butter hint of salt flavor) is optional. You’ll hear a nice sizzling sound that means the pan is just hot enough for the butter. Pre-coat the pan in advanced for the first set of pancake. Add more butter as needed for the rest of the batch.
- Take 1/3 cup of batter into the pan and spread it evenly. You have the option to place the blueberries after the batter has been laid down or mix them with your batter prior to placing in the hot pan. I noticed that when blueberries are pre-mixed with the batter the blueberry juices are held better within the pancake batter. However, I like the presentation of placing my blueberries on top of the batter.
- Cook until batter rises, batter has turned from glossy to matted shine, tiny pores are created randomly and edges look slightly brown, approximately 3 min. Flip over pancake and cook for an additional 3 min. If using frozen blueberries pancake may take longer to cook.
- Eat with confidence and lather your pancake with the super immune booster elder sauce.
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- Add Filtered Water: Add more as needed after the dry and wet ingredients has been mixed if you want a thinner batter.
- Wheat Lovers: Use any of your favorite wheat flour in place of the Gluten free flour and remove the Xanthum gum.
- No Added Sugars: There are no refined sugars in the making of this recipe. If you don't want any sweetener at all avoid using maple syrup and instead use natural fruit juices in the elder sauce recipe.