Tart, sweet elderberries are commonly used to make elderberry wine, jams and syrups. But dehydrating these small fruits for later use is a great way to flavour cereals, desserts and sauces. Elderberries grow from small shrubs with leaflets and twigs that contain cyanide. Ingesting large portions of the leaves, seeds or flowers from the elderberry plant can be toxic, though the berries themselves are not harmful. Elderberries are crisp when dehydrated, making a crunchy, light snack.
Set the temperature to your oven or dehydrator to 100F.
Wash the berries in a colander with cool water. Lay the berries on a layer of paper towels and gently pat them dry.
Remove any stems, twigs or leaves clinging to the berries.
Place the berries in a single layer on a dehydrator pan or baking tray. Dehydrate the berries for 8 to 10 hours until dry and crisp. Remove the pan from the appliance with potholders. Allow the berries to cool for 2 hours before storing in an airtight container.
Because elderberries are small, check the level of dryness after eight hours. The berries burn if they get too dry.
Use caution when working around a hot oven or dehydrator.