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Herbal Cran-Elderberry Sauce

Herbal Cran-Elderberry Sauce

Sprucing Up Your Holidays, The Herbal Way

This simple herbal rendition of a classic holiday dish is the perfect way to spruce up your table this year, bringing some herbal and immune support to your meal. Featuring elderberry, thyme, and ginger - the herbal additions to this beloved dish add immune-boosting herbs to an already vitamin-c packed sauce. Elderberry is well-known for its use during cold and flu season, and is a supportive and tasty choice for bringing extra support to your social gatherings and soirees. To learn how to make this berry-forward and spiced-up version of cranberry sauce, see below.


1/2 - 1 cup water

1 bag (1-lb) fresh cranberries

3 slices of fresh ginger (1 slice minced)

1-2 springs fresh thyme (minced)

1/2 - 1 cup honey (or raw cane sugar)

1 stick cinnamon

1-2 2-inch pieces of orange zest

1/4 cup dried elderberries

Optional Additions: cloves and cardamom


Add 1-cup water to a medium saucepan with cinnamon stick, 2 ginger slices, orange zest, elderberries (and cloves and cardamom if using). Simmer very gently for 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat and strain, set aside. Return saucepan to the stove and add fresh cranberries, 1-cup elder decoction (add water if your decoction measures out as under 1-cup), sugar/honey, and remaining slice of minced ginger. Cook on medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes, until cranberries begin to pop and then fully cooked and broken down. During the last few minutes of cooking add the fresh minced thyme and stir to incorporate. Remove from heat, and voila! herbal-cran elder sauce! Cool to room temp and store covered in the fridge (up to 3 days) before ready to use. Bring sauce to room temp before serving if not serving freshly made.

Botanical Benefits of Cranberries + Elderberries

Elderberry is a classic immune-supportive herb with a large body of research behind it suggesting its use in helping to ward off or shorten the duration of a cold/or flu. The bright purple berries of this medicinal plant are both antiviral and rich in antioxidants, making them a superb addition to many immune-boosting routines. Typically served as a syrup, this cran-elder version highlights the way this berry is traditionally used and incorporates it with the vitamin-c rich properties of cranberry. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant for our bodies, and also a big supporter of the immune system. Pairing the two together and you have yourself an immune-boosting sauce!

Looking For More Herbal Holiday Recipes? Check out the EBH "Spruce Up Your Holidays" E-Recipe Book for more herbal-inspired holiday favorites!

Note: The information on this site has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and is for educational, historical, and research purposes, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this site should not be used as medical advice. If you have a medical concern please seek out a qualified health care professional, and always consult your physician before adding herbal supplements into your diet, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or on medication.

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