This easy to make elderberry gummies recipe is vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and delicious! Kids and adults both love these little immune-boosting treats.
Why Make Elderberry Gummies?
No one likes to eat a spoon full of syrup. Elderberry gummies are a simple, easy way to introduce Elderberry syrup to my kids. Even my toddler eats them!
Benefits of Elderberry
Elderberries are high in antioxidants. They are also high in vitamin C. Elderberry has traditionally been used to support the immune system.
A 2016 study showed travelers using elderberry 10 days prior to air travel and 4-5 days after air travel had less severe symptoms and recovered more quickly than travelers who did not use elderberry.
Another study cites:
Sambucol Elderberry Extract and its formulations activate the healthy immune system by increasing inflammatory cytokine production.
My husband and I both notice a difference when we use Elderberry Syrup.
However, have you ever tried to get a toddler to take medicine? It’s not easy! As Mary Poppins would say, “a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down.”
That’s why I made this Elderberry Gummies recipe. It simplifies giving my little ones a daily dose of immune-supporting goodness.
How to make Vegan Elderberry Gummies
Making VEGAN elderberry gummies is much harder than I thought! To make this recipe vegan, I had to leave out the quintessential ingredient: gelatin.
If you didn’t already know, gelatin is made from animal skin, cartilage, and bones. There’s lots of commercial gelatin on the market and some gelatin is better than others.
If you want to use gelatin go with this grass-fed beef gelatin. It is pricey so consider going with the vegan alternative: Agar.
Agar is made from natural seaweed. You can get it here. If you’ve ever worked with agar, then you know it is tricky to get it to work how you want. I experimented with this recipe for quite some time before I got the consistency where I wanted it.
My recipe does include some extra sugar because my elderberry syrup was pretty bitter, but you can leave out the extra sugar if you’re concerned about it. I would just add a tad bit more agar.
Elderberry Gummies Recipe
- 1/2 cup Elderberry Syrup (I made mine with this recipe).
- 1/2 cup juice (I used this organic Pomegranate juice).
- 3 teaspoons unrefined sugar.
- 2 ¼ teaspoons Agar.
- Begin making this elderberry gummies recipe in a small saucepan, by combining juice, syrup, and agar.
- Stir well to mix.
- Turn on the heat and gently heat to a simmer.
- Add sugar and continue to heat for 5-10 minutes.
- When the mixture takes on a slightly thicker and less grainy appearance, remove from the heat.
- Using a dropper, measure mixture into gummy bear molds.
- Cool slightly on the counter, then transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely.
- After 30 minutes, unmold and place gummies in a storage container.
- Store in the refrigerator.
You can definitely leave out the sugar in this elderberry gummies recipe, but I find it really helps cut through the tart Elderberry. If you do leave it out, you may want to add some extra Agar (maybe 1/8 teaspoon more).
The choice of juice is up to you. I like the way pomegranate blends with Elderberry, but this recipe would also work with apple, grape, or cranberry juice.
If your elderberry gummies turn out too soft or too hard, you can always melt them down and start over. Add more juice if they are too hard or more agar if they are too soft. I will note it’s best to add little by little.
Did you try making this elderberry gummies recipe? Please share your thoughts and experience.
- Evelin Tiralongo. Elderberry Supplementation Reduces Cold Duration and Symptoms in Air-Travellers: A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Pubmed. March 2016.
- Barak V. The effect of Sambucol, a black elderberry-based, natural product, on the production of human cytokines: I. Inflammatory cytokines. Pubmed. June 2001.