Is red elderberry edible?

Is red elderberry edible?

Remove the seeds before processing

The unripe berries of both black and red elderberries are poisonous, but there is one big difference: the toxic ingredients in black elderberries dissolve completely when cooked, but not in red. The seeds still contain toxins, while the pulp is edible. Because of this, you need to remove the kernels from the red elder, which is best done by juicing. There are two ways to do this:

  • Juicing through a (steam) juicer
  • Juicing like in great-grandmother's time

also read

  • Picking elderberries - an overview of the most important rules
  • An overview of the most beautiful elderberry species
  • How fast and how high does an elder grow?

How to juice red elderberry without a juicer

If you don't have a juicer, you can get the coveted red elder juice in the following ways:

  • Pour about a hand's breadth of water into a large saucepan.
  • This is where the selected (only use ripe fruits!) And washed berries go.
  • You can also add a little sugar, but this is not necessary.
  • Cook the berries until they burst.
  • You can also help with a fork.
  • Hang a fine cloth or sieve over a bowl or something similar.
  • and let the elderberry juice drip in there overnight.
  • The poisonous seeds remain in the cloth.

Mix the red elderberry with other fruit

However, the taste of red elder is not for everyone. Berries and juice - and the jellies made from them - have a very tart taste, like cranberries. However, you can soften the aroma by adding equal parts of the juice of red currants, raspberries or apple juice to make jelly. Red elderberry jelly tastes very good on bread, but also with meat and cheese dishes.

Basic recipe for red elderberry jelly

To make red elderberry jelly you will need:

1 liter of juice (either pure or mixed with other juices)

1 kilogram of sugar

the juice of two lemons

Mixing in lemon juice makes sense as this improves the gelling ability. Elderberries are generally very difficult to gel. Boil the juice and sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the hot juice gels on the spoon. Now fill the still hot jelly into jars with screw caps, close them tightly and turn them upside down.


The jelly also tastes very good with 1 liter of elderberry juice and 300 milliliters of dry red wine as well as a little vanilla, cinnamon and cloves.