September 3, 2013

Duck, duck, gooseberries!

By: Leanne Ely

Have you seen those little papery fruits in the plastic clamshells at the supermarket and wondered what they were? They’re actually gooseberries. The papery kind are one variety of 50 or so that are found from China to Canada and many points in between.

Enjoyed most often as a dessert ingredient for their tart flavor, gooseberries are related to the currant family, and they can be enjoyed out of hand as a non-sweet snack that is very low in sugar and high in nutrition.

Gooseberries are high in Vitamin C, fiber, bioflavonoids (these are naturally occurring pigments that have antioxidant properties) and potassium. Gooseberries, gooseberry juice, tart and yummy berries,

Berries are very good for us, so it’s important to eat lots of them. Spice things up a little by adding gooseberries to the mix if you’re lucky enough to find them!

Now it’s time for your Trick:

As gooseberries ripen, they change color. The pink and purplish colored gooseberries will be the least tart for eating out of hand or sprinkling on a salad. If you want to bake gooseberries into a dessert, choose greenish, unripe berries.

And your Tip:

Mix gooseberries with apples for a delicious, slightly tart pie.

And your Recipe:

Gooseberry juice drink

5 gooseberries, boiled for 3 or 4 minutes, drain, chop
1 cardamom seed
Sliver of fresh ginger
1 apple, cored and chopped

Using a high speed blender add gooseberries, cardamom seed, ginger and apple and blend to make into a smooth paste. Add cold water or water and ice until desired consistency. If you like you can strain out the fiber. If this is not sweet enough for you, you can add local honey for sweetness.

Variations: replace ginger and cardamom with 1/2 tsp powdered star anise and add in 1 tablespoon local honey.

Replace the apple, cardamom seed and ginger with 1/2 cup any type of other berries.


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  • Forrest

    Also, they are easy to grow. Very tough plant, it considered a weed bush in northern Wisconsin. I enjoy eating the prickly berries growing wild in fallow fields or open areas. Never saw any ripe darker berries. Birds must attack the bushes when that happens.