Functional eating is all about eating in such a way that nourishes the body every step of the way. With every bite, you are either choosing to build the body or break it down. The foods that we consume most definitely add to or deplete our health.
Functional eating comes with an understanding that eating serves very specific functions for all parts and procedures of the body, on a REGULAR and DAILY basis. This does not mean eating whatever packaged and processed nutrient depleted foods you want , and then quick searching the internet when you get sick for foods that will boost the immune system. It's about understanding these foods in the first place, and eating them regularly for health.
People are running to the internet right now looking up foods that will make the flu run and hide, but the point is, these foods should be eaten regularly and are what should make up the diet. "I have a sore throat, oh, I know vitamin C and Vitamin D are supposed to be really good", and so they run to the store and buy a bottle of each. That's not what I mean. It takes EATING, DAILY those foods that contain vitamin C and vitamin D. It takes knowing how to use the foods that contain what we need at the right levels that we need them. And it takes a little understanding of how to use foods properly and learning how to prepare them.
One of those functional foods that are literal plant based powerhouses for immune health, chock full of vitamin C, and are one of nature's plant based medicines are elderberries! (No, don't run out and buy a supplement of elderberry. Learn how to use elderberries in your diet on a regular basis).
Now, before I go on, there IS no magical food that's going to take everything away. And this elderberry syrup is not going to "heal" the flu you currently have, rather is a PART of a healthy diet. The point is to show the vast array of powerful foods that are naturally intended to be consumed for specific functions within the body.
Elderberry syrup is simple to make, and easily can switch out the sugar sodden pancake syrup you currently use. (Just because it's on the shelf at the store, and just because so many others use it is NOT an excuse. Just because it's available does NOT make it good for you). Besides being an excellent topping for this recipe, elderberry syrup can be used on pancakes, waffles, French toast, and more on a regular basis in your diet. It can be drizzled over yogurt or even ice cream, can be taken by the teaspoon daily as a supplement, can top a fruit salad. Let me know the ways you find to use it.
Elderberry syrup is also known to pack a powerful punch and build the body's defenses against the flu. I know many that use it as a defense against even the hardest bugs when their kids are sick.
I paired it with lemon "cake", with REAL lemon, also known to thin thick and congestive mucous. It tastes and feels like cake, but is healthy and soft, gluten free, refined sugar free, and absolutely delicious. Eat these functional foods and stay strong out there!
2 eggs (can use vegan egg options, like a flax egg)
1 cup yogurt
3/4 cup agave
1/4 cup coconut sugar
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup sunflower oil
Mix all until creamy.
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 cup gluten free flour blend
Mix until smooth and pour into a greased (bottom only) round or 9 by 11 rectangle baking pan. Bake at 350° for 30 -35 minutes. Watch, it will be dry if it's overbaked.
*This recipe uses honey. If using with young children and you are worried about using honey, simply heat the syrup in a small pan to pasteurize the honey before serving. Be careful not to boil, as overheating will kill the antibiotic properties of the food.
3 cups water, filtered, clean, pure
1 cup raw local honey
1 cup fresh or 3/4 cup dried elderberries
Place the berries with the water and bring to boil, then simmer for 30 minutes. mash and strain them. Stir in honey. Store in dark bottles, in a cool dark place or the fridge.
I like to serve the syrup over the cake, with or without coconut cream "whipped cream", and some blackberries. Enjoy the taste, and enjoy your health!