Homemade Elderberry Syrup


Immune Boosting Super-Berry

Cold and Flu Season is just around the corner, and now is the prime time for boosting immune systems! This unassuming little berry grew wild in bushes near where I grew up, and one of our Fall traditions was making elderberry “Shrub” – a potent drink made from the juice of these tiny berries mixed with apple cider vinegar and cultured for a few months. The way we prepared it wasn’t very tasty at all, and I still sometimes have nightmares¬†memories about the daily dose we were required to take. ūüôā Since then, I’ve learned most people dilute what we were required to take as a concentrate, and it’s very tasty that way! Haha – someone should have told my mom that way back when.

Now that I’m a mom myself and have little people who have no qualms about sharing sippy cups and spoons with other children, being proactive in keeping their immune system strong is something I’m passionate about. Homemade elderberry syrup is one of the ways I do that, and my kids love it! Win-win for this mom!

Check out some of the amazing ways elderberries can contribute to your health!

Elderberry’s Virtues

  • One of the top antiviral herbs on the planet
  • When given within the first 48 hours of the onset of flu symptoms, it’s shown to decrease the length and intensity by four days!
  • HIGH in antioxidants. More than Goji berries, blueberries, cranberries and blackberries!
  • Anthocyanidin rich which are proven immune boosters.
  • Decreases duration of colds by an average of two days!
  • Helps maintain normal blood sugar
  • Natural diuretic. (Cleans out retained fluid.)
  • Eases allergies
  • Relieves constipation
  • Sinus Infection Aid
  • May help prevent cancer

There are SO many more benefits I could cover and Dr. Axe does a very good job at summing them up if you are interested in learning more.

I don’t have the benefit anymore of living near where these berries grow, but fortunately, the dried berries are very easy to find and so effective in making the syrup that is a wintertime staple supplement for my kids. Here’s an easy recipe to get you started.

Elderberry Syrup

Homemade Elderberry Syrup

2/3 cups dried black elderberries
3-1/2 cups water
2 Tbsp. fresh or dried ginger root
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 cup raw honey

Pour water into medium saucepan and add elderberries and spices. (Do NOT add the honey yet because boiling it will destroy the natural properties!)

Next, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half. Remove from heat and let cool enough to be handled. Mash the berries carefully using a spoon or a other flat utensil. Pour through a strainer into a glass jar.

Discard the elderberries and let the liquid cool to lukewarm. When it is no longer hot, add 1 cup of honey and stir well.

Once the honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a pint sized mason jar or 16 ounce glass bottle of some kind.

Standard dose is 1/2-1 tsp. for kids and 1/2-1 Tbsp. for adults. If the flu or cold does strike, take the normal dose every 2-3 hours instead of once a day until symptoms disappear.

Elderberry syrup is an effective way to ward off sickness as the cold and flu season approaches. Plus, it’s so easy to make with just a few ingredients. Furthermore, it eases allergies, helps maintain normal blood sugar, and may help prevent cancer. Have you tried this recipe, or something similar? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Primal Kitchen Products

Wholesome Mayo, Salad Dressings and Marinades

Avocado oil mayo Canada

Healthy Family Foods is proud to welcome into Canada this one-of-a-kind line of clean condiments. After meeting and visiting with Mark Sisson in California this past March and sampling his products, we knew this was a company we wanted to work with in the future.  We were not only blown away by their flavour, but even more by the quality of the ingredients.

As many are waking up to the realization of the dangers and detrimental health effect of vegetable oils and sugar laden products, one of the biggest challenges is the lack of options in the condiment world. Not all of us have time everyday to make our own mayo, salad dressings, and marinades, but in the world of clean eating, we all know these items are the very backbone of delicious cooking. Dishes begin to taste the same and the joy and variety are sucked out of our meals without them.

Not only are each of these sauces and dressings unbelievably tasty, but the integrity of their ingredients is truly mind blowing. Even the most demanding criteria will be satisfied:

  • Sugar Free
  • Soy and Canola Free
  • Cage Free Eggs
  • Dairy Free
  • Certified Paleo
  • Certified Gluten Free
  • Non GMO Project Verified
  • Whole30 Approved
  • Vegan (Mayo and Greek Vinaigrette)

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Primal Kitchen needed a healthy neutral tasting oil as a sub since their products are¬†free from Canola, soybean, safflower, and sunflower oil. They landed on avocado oil and it’s been a hit. Their award winning mayo and dressings have become a staple in my kitchen and I can use them liberally, knowing I am giving my body only the best.

Check out all our Primal Kitchen Products here.



Peanut Flour Recipe Roundup

What is Peanut Flour?

Peanut Flour was a completely new concept to me until about four years ago when the original ‘Trim Healthy Mama‘ book brought this little known ingredient into the light. Since then I have been a devoted fan and it has never been absent from my cupboard. For one who loves the flavour of peanuts, its uses are so broad and fun!

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So why peanut¬†flour, many of you may ask? Why not just peanut butter? Think of peanut flour as peanut butter with the oil pressed out. This leaves you with a flour fairly low in fat, but still full of all the flavourful goodness, fibre, protein, and other nutrients found in peanuts. As followers of ‘Trim Healthy Mama,’ Keto, or LCHF diets are aware of, we are not scared of fat, but sometimes, too much too often isn’t in our best interests. While I still love and use peanut butter, I find the flour much more versatile, and even superior in things like smoothies, oatmeal, and sauces where it gives a thickening, creaming effect.

Recipe-Free Ways to Use

  • Try it mixed with greek yogurt and a dash of stevia for an amazing fruit dip!
  • Rehydrate it with a bit of water and MCT oil, and add sweetener and salt to taste for a fairly low-cal peanut butter sub. This is my favourite to spread on sprouted or sourdough toast with nature’s hollow jam or to spread thickly on slices of apple.
  • I love to take the original recipe of the ‘Fat Strippin’ Frappe’ from the THM Cookbook and use half peanut flour and half cocoa powder. I add a couple drops of caramel flavour and call it a snicker’s shake. SO delightful!
  • Carb-conscious bakers will be thrilled that they can use this as a flour in many recipes! Check out our recipe round up below for some great options!

We carry two different brands of peanut flour. THM’s brand comes in a resealable 1-lb plastic bag, and has a fairly light roast and fine consistency. Protein Plus’s flour come in both 1-lb and 2-lb vacuum sealed bags and have a darker, nuttier roast. The grind is still fine, but not quite as much as the THM brand. Both are exceptional quality, and the preference really depends on an individual’s taste buds!

Peanut Flour Recipe Roundup

All of these recipes are sugar-free, low carb, gluten-free, THM and Keto friendly and use our star – Peanut Flour!


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Top 8 Tips For Healthy Eating While Traveling

Top 8 Tips For Healthy Eating While Traveling

Recently, I was part of a 30-day challenge where I made a strict commitment to healthy eating, including no cheats. I discovered the biggest challenge was being away from my home and kitchen. Prep became really vital to my success and I learned to both streamline and make it simple.

It was sometimes hard, but half the battle was the mental challenge in getting a game plan together…. ¬†The satisfaction from knowing I was fueling my body with healthy food made it so worth the extra effort!

On the go options for health eating

#1 – Stay Hydrated

This seems like such a simple place to begin, but it’s easy to let slip without even realizing it. When we think of healthy eating, we often forget this also includes what we consume through drinking. It’s difficult to resist food cravings and tempting options when your body is even a little bit dehydrated. Sipping a yummy drink is fun and helps put cravings in jail and identify true hunger.

My favourite products to make this really fun are any of the True Lemon drink packs. The unsweetened crystallized citrus juice is great to add to sparkling water, and the sweetened packs are so easy to throw in a purse to add to a water bottle. When soda and sweetened tea options are all around you, beat the craving by being prepared!

If you have a bit more prep time, our Mango Madness, Niagara peach, and Sweet Watermelon oolong tea are a great option to make up iced! Many more of our teas are great iced, so be sure and check out our full selection.

#2 – Keep Veggie Centered When Possible

When on the go, it’s usually easy to find acceptable protein options, but neglect those good veggies. Salads are readily available at even most fast food restaurants. A little prep work at home can leave you with a week’s worth of washed and cut veggies. Try to keep a large container in your fridge of carrot sticks, cucumber slices, trimmed radishes, snap peas, celery sticks, bell peppers or jicama strips. I also like to buy plastic containers of pre-washed greens for a quick emergency salad. If an unexpected trip comes up, it takes 2 minutes to throw these in a baggie, and off you go!

#3 – Fast protein options

Grilling marinated chicken breast or pork loin is one of my favorite things to do in the summer. Typically, I grill a bunch and keep a large container in my fridge. These are then so easy to slice or shred and stuff in a wrap or top a salad. Canned chicken breast, tuna, and salmon also make super easy options for ‘need-it-now’ meals. Look for the kind with pull tabs or in pouches for on-the-go. Another awesome option is these single-serve collagen packs. These are so easy to stir into a cup of coffee or other beverage. Not to mention, they make a great protein addition when nothing else is available.

#4 – Snacky Proteins

Sneak protein in between meals too! I definitely have my favourite go-to’s for more of an in-between-meals protein centered option. Make this easy by having cheese sticks, homemade protein bars or balls, or nuts available. Our new sprouted and seasoned snack nuts are an awesome fast option! Yogurt with some peanut butter or peanut flour mixed in, apple slices, and bananas make other great options.

#5 – Healthy Sweets

Fruit is usually available, but when you are looking for an option that is more dessert-like, I love a good Lily’s chocolate bar or Smart Cake. The Peanut Butter Chocorite bars are another favourite that totally demolishes any craving for a Reese’s cup. Remember, we also have individual sweet blend and gentle sweet packs that are great for sweetening beverages, oatmeal, yogurt, or other things you may have access to while traveling.

#6 – Don’t Forget the Healthy Fats!

I found this one an easy thing to forget when away from home. Some of my favourite easy things for traveling were things like green or black olives in a small container, a whole avocado, hemp seeds, (the toasted seasoned varieties are awesome!) hard-boiled eggs, (also great protein) or a small container of olive oil. I have really fallen in love with the infused varieties often available at specialty stores. Imagine sage and mild mushroom drizzled over your salad or butter flavoured on your eggs! It makes something simple taste gourmet in a hurry! Again, nuts are another great option here!

#7 – Don’t be afraid to ask for substitutes at restaurants

I used to shy away from doing this, afraid of being a nuisance or inconvenience. However, food sensitivities and restrictions are so common these days. I soon discovered almost every waiter was more than happy to oblige my requests. It’s so so easy to ask for double veggies instead of rice or noodles, to hold the bread, chips, or croutons, or simply put a main dish option over a salad.

#8 – Move!

If laying on a beach relaxing is your idea of a great vacation, by all means relax up! However, exploring the area not only provides amazing experiences, it also makes your body happy by some good exercise! If on the road, even a quick 5-10 minute walk around a rest area has such a rejuvenating effect.

And that’s it! I’d love to hear your comments if you’ve found something particularly helpful with healthy eating when on-the-go!

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Why You Should Drink Loose Leaf Tea

We have around 30 different flavors of tea available in the store in five different varieties. You’ll find oolong, herbal, black, rooibos, and green tea blends in a delicious array of flavors to suit any taste. The fruit teas are perfect for summer iced tea and make a fantastic base for good girl moonshine as well. But tea isn’t just¬†a good beverage to relax with. It’s actually good for you too!

All of our teas are sourced from high-quality growers and blended for the best taste and nutritional benefits. That means that the tea we sell is some of the best you can get. So what does tea drinking do for your health? Here’s a few fun facts about why drinking tea is wonderful–and good for you!

Benefits of tea drinking may include:

Tea contains antioxidants.
Tea has less caffeine than coffee.
Tea may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Tea may help with weight loss by stimulating your metabolism.
Tea may help protect your bones.
Tea may keep your smile bright.
Tea may boost the immune system.
Tea may help battle cancer.

New to tea drinking? It’s not as hard as it might sound to brew a delightful cup! Learn how to steep the perfect cup of tea every time here.

If you require a little sweetness to your tea, you can add a few drops of liquid stevia. Whether you drink it hot or cold, you are sure to enjoy a delightful cup that’s to your health!

THM Recipe Round up for Spring

The calendar finally says SPRING and it has me thinking of all of my favourite things about warmer weather and spring days. Not the least among the list are the delightful cool desserts and all the wonderful berries that become available with warmer weather.

Even though in many parts of the country, Spring weather may not be obvious for a while longer, we thought we’d celebrate the changing seasons with a round-up of some of our favorite spring recipes that are not only delicious but good for you too!

These healthy recipes feature whole ingredients and use only healthy, THM approved sweeteners. And they feature some of our favorite warm weather treats–like ice cream and these amazing frosted strawberry lemonade drinks. Of course, it would hardly be spring without strawberry shortcake.

Even if it’s a little too cold for slushies and ice cream, you can still get in on the spring flavors with those warm glazed donuts or the gluten free scones!

Several of the desserts in this round-up came from one of our favorite cookbook authors, Briana Thomas. You can grab her book from the store and enjoy even more delectables!

Enjoy these amazing Trim Healthy Mama approved treats and happy spring!

10 Amazing THM Friendly Recipes for Spring

  1. Strawberry Delight
  2. Blueberry Poppyseed Lemon Cake in a bowl
  3. Berry Delicious Yogurt Pops
  4. Creamy Lemon Ice Cream
  5. Warm Lemon Blueberry Donuts with Cream Cheese Glaze
  6. Frosted Strawberry Lemonade
  7. Raspberry Coconut Fool
  8. Strawberry Shortcake
  9. Blueberry Vanilla Gluten Free Scones
  10. Lemon Cream Bars

What are some of your favorite healthy spring treats? We’d love to hear from you and try them out too!

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