by Amy Medling, founder of PCOS Diva
I can’t believe this is my 7th year of sharing my Beyond the Food gift ideas on PCOS Diva. It has become a PCOS Diva holiday tradition, though I’ve been making homemade holiday gifts for as long as I can remember. (Be sure to scroll to the end to see links to my other BTF gift ideas.) For years, I made homemade candy and decadent food gifts, but since I started living a healthy PCOS Diva lifestyle, I had to shift my gift giving to non-food gifts that wouldn’t tempt me, because I always ended up eating the broken pieces. This year, I am giving my friends and family an immune boosting elderberry syrup to help fortify them through the hectic holiday season. Last winter, I went to a workshop put on by an herbalist, and we made elderberry syrup. The syrup is simple to make and inexpensive, when you compare to what is sold in the health food stores. This syrup will last for 3 months when stored in the refrigerator. I decided to make 20 ct.in 4 ounce jars for gift giving and still had a little left over for me and my family.
How To Make Elderberry Syrup Handmade Gift
It is important that you use organic dried elderberries for your syrup. I always purchase my dried spices from Monterey Spice Company. I’ve used this company for spices, including the mulling spices in the Winter Spiced Kitchen Spray, the Mulling Spice sachets I gave with bottles of wine, and the Chai Tea blend I gifted last year. I purchased 2 bags, but only needed one bag for the 20 jars.
You could use a variety of containers to fill with syrup, but I chose 4 oz. mason jars with one-piece silver caps from Specialty Bottle Company. They cost $1.02 each. I purchased 24 jars and filled them all.
I have been using Evermine for my gift labels and tags for years. I love how the “Garden Vines” design looked against the elderberry syrup. I ordered one sheet (24ct.) of the small rectangle (2″ x 0.875″), and they fit perfectly on the glass jars.
*Note- I am not an affiliate of any of these companies, just a fan.
I also included an ingredient card in the same “Garden Vines” design. I ordered one sheet (20ct.) of the square text label and mounted it on card stock.
Fills 24 4 ounce jars
You will need:
14 cups filtered water
3 cups organic dried elderberries
4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 large piece (about 4 inches) of fresh ginger, peeled and grated.
2 teaspoons allspice
4 cups honey
Cheesecloth or fine strainer
Combine water, elderberries, and spices in a large stock pot and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and simmer for 1 hour until syrup is reduced by about half. Cool for 15 minutes on stove and then strain through cheesecloth or strainer into a large bowl. You may need to strain a couple times to remove spices. Add honey while syrup is still hot. Fill clean jars. Refrigerate for up to 3 months.
For more non-food gift ideas, see my posts from years past below. Happy giving!
2013 Bath Salts
2014 Lavender Linen Spray
2015 Homemade Vanilla
2016 Mulling Spices (pair with a bottle of red wine)
2017 Kitchen Spray
2018 Chai Tea Mix
Amy Medling, best-selling author of Healing PCOS and certified health coach, specializes in working with women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), who are frustrated and have lost all hope when the only solution their doctors offer is to lose weight, take a pill, and live with their symptoms. In response, Amy founded PCOS Diva and developed a proven protocol of supplements, diet, and lifestyle programs that offer women tools to help gain control of their PCOS and regain their fertility, femininity, health, and happiness.