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Frozen Raw Juice

Frozen Raw Native Elderberry Juice - $50/gal. 

Sold out until October 2020 at the earliest.

Sustainably grown following organic principles. As of 10/7/19, we increased our shipping and handling charges on bulk frozen raw juice orders of 2 gallons. We had to do this after calculating what was actually paid on average over the last 18 months for shipping and handling. Freight costs have edged up a bit, too. For those who buy one 2 gallon jug, we send it out flat rate shipping, and that also seems to work well for 4 gallons at current prices, i.e. order two jugs online. As a cooperative of American farmers growing elderberry, we value and care about our customers. 

This unprocessed, no water added bulk elderberry juice is sold as an ingredient. We assume further processing by the buyer - usually fermented or heated as described in the Sacred Blossom recipe below, and we encourage prompt use accordingly upon receipt, though packed to help keep it cold. 

Our sustainably grown bulk, strained raw elderberry juice separates from thawing elderberries before drying them. Thus, we do not "make” or press our juice. We "harvest" it from the tops of thawed 25 lb. berry pails before drying the berries. The frozen raw juice jugs ship separately as we pack insulation for each one to keep it cold. It comes 2 gallon at a time in a 2.5 gal jug. It's thick, roughly strained and still has bits of pulp and skin. Nothing is added to it. We recommend immediate use. It can be refrozen - especially if not completely thawed upon arrival.

Perfect for elderberry jelly and gummies / home winemaking or brewing. [Winemaker comment, “I need to mix it 50% with water, or it’s too thick.] See recipe for making syrup from raw frozen juice below.

Volume Pricing
To order more than 10 gallons, please contact Chris Patton by email first: 
info@midwest-elderberry.coop, or call 612-418-4624 (9am-5pm Central Time during the workweek please) with questions. You will be quoted with freight and billed in advance of shipping. 

Since it comes in 2 gal/jug, please order in multiples of two: 2,4,6,8,10, etc. Each gallon weighs 8.55 lb., on average measured a pH 4.3 BRIX 11. Each 2 gallon jug weighs 18 lb. total. 

Sacred Blossom Elderberry Syrup Recipe from Juice: 

1 Gallon Raw Elderberry Juice, 4 cups honey, 2 cups extra strong echinacea tea (optional).

Bring 2 1/2 cups of water to boil and add 1 cup of echinacea herbs.  Cover and cook on low for 8 to 24 hours.  Strain. (Optional: Use distilled water.)

Boil honey hard for 2 minutes, then add raw elderberry juice and bring it to 180°F.  Remove from heat. Add echinacea tea and honey.  Stir well. 

To preserve reheat to nearly a boil (165-175°F), then seal in jars. Set in a cold area if possible.

5 lb. dried elderberries approximately equals 2 gal. of raw juice
[Every person’s recipe and taste is a bit different. The above is one way. Another person, who had been making it from frozen berries or dehydrated berries, added a little more than 50% water to get it to about the way she was used to. She also increased her honey and herbs and ended up with a taste she liked better than her syrup made with berries.]

Are Raw Native Elderberries Safe? (Applies to Juice, too.)

Elderberry Flower Production and Cyanide Concern
Andrew L. Thomas University of Missouri Division of Plant Sciences, Southwest Research Center Mt. Vernon, MO.  This article gives a photo and graph rundown of a multi-year study investigating the whether native North American Sambucus (nigra) canadensis contains proto-cyanide glycosides in quantities sufficient to warrant specific processing requirements beyond clean harvest. 

Summary of Findings:

  • Picrate paper method was successfully used to assess the total cyanogenic potential.
  • A control test with two apple varieties showed high levels of cyanide in the seeds.
  • No cyanide was detected in commercial (processed) elderberry juice
  • Levels of cyanide detected in tissues of fresh berries were very low; lowest in juice & seeds and highest in stems & green berries.
  • Levels of CNG’s detected with LC-MS method were very low in all tissues and consistent with picrate results.
  • Detected levels pose no threat to American Elderberry consumers. Excluding stems, green berries and leaves in juice preparation is recommended.

[Click here to read the full article.]

This does not seem to be true for European Sambucus nigra elderberries, which have a history of production processes to neutralize the potential issues related to glycosides. That is why those imported ingredients are more processed and may also be part of the reason why native elderberries taste better than the European ones.

While the latest research at the university of Missouri (soon to be published) indicates that fresh/frozen, ripe elderberries do not have significant levels of glycosides, some few people seem to be strongly affected by consuming raw elderberries or elderberry juice, where it upsets their digestive system. Why they have a lower tolerance for elderberry is not clearly understood. Fresh and raw frozen berries that are fermented or heated so that the entire volume reaches 180° F, or more have not been associated with any health related incidents to our knowledge

© Midwest Elderberry Cooperative 2018