Flu tonic

I have a recipe that I call my “flu/cold tonic.” I am wondering if it can be canned for longer storage.
Juice of 6 fresh lemons
1 bulb garlic
2 tsp. ginger powder
2 Tbsp. honey
3 cups pineapple juice
¼ tsp cayenne powder
Blend all ingredients thoroughly and store in a glass jar. Take 1 cup 4 times a day until the symptoms are resolved.

Shellie Gades
Evansville, Minnesota

Sorry, but as it’s a mixed recipe (citrus and garlic), I really can’t say for sure. What you might do is to can up all of the juices together then add the spices, garlic, and honey at a later date. Sounds like a good cold remedy to me! — Jackie

Storing freeze dried and dehydrated foods

I recently ordered the Meals in a Jar book by Stephanie Petersen and the stated shelf life for some of the recipes are as little as 5 years… I was hoping they would last longer. How long do you think meals in a jar made up with freeze dried ingredients prepared properly with a oxygen absorber should last? Thank you so much for any thoughts!

Crystal Misiak
Millboro, Virginia

Most freeze dried and dehydrated foods will last for decades if stored properly — out of direct light, sealed well in airtight containers, and kept relatively cool (the cooler, the longer they’ll last). Mixed recipes should last equally long unless they contain ingredients such as nuts or whole grain flours that go rancid fairly rapidly. I would expect the mixes to last much longer than five years but not having seen the recipes I can’t say with absolute certainty. — Jackie


  1. Rick,

    Thanks for the tip. Luckily, black elderberries grow on our place….if I can beat the birds to them!

  2. We have a winery in the area, that specializes in elderberry wines. They sell the juice for just this reason, but it isn’t inexpensive, but better then being ill.

  3. Jackie, I have been using canned black elderberry juice for a number of years as a flu/cold remedy. It was recommended to me by a health food store. It is available bottled online, but I pick and can my own for free. I take a table- spoon full every waking hour at the first indication all may not be well if either of these ailments is making the rounds……I found online that the Israeli medical community has found this juice effective for all known strains of flu. I have used it often and usually within 2 days I am symptom free….However I am not asking that anyone else follow my example….. simply stating my experience…..It is past the elderberry season here, but as they grow over much of the country, if I were ever to move I would keep an eye open for black elderberries. Rick

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