These sunny yellow berries are rich in vitamin C and taste, with their juicy-tangy-sweet interiors and slightly crunchy texture. What else are they good for? Read on to find out!
Sometimes, when inspiration just isn’t coming my way, I head to the grocery store. Outside of the shower, it’s where I do some of my best thinking (raise your hand if you’ve ever had an “ah-ha” moment in the produce section). I love perusing what’s in season, and my small-town market never ceases to amaze me with what they actually have available. Fresh turmeric, baby ginger, dragon fruit… I have to admit I’m impressed (especially after the disappointing almond milk selection over in the cold cases). Yes, if I need ideas, I hit up the market, which is where I saw a little glimmer of yellow casually sitting next to the nearly-decimated blueberry selection this weekend (I swear most Mainers run on a combination of blueberries and maple syrup). The blueberries may be out, but golden berries were most certainly in stock that day, and you can bet I walked out of there with more than one box in hand. A welcome reprieve from traditional winter citrus in my flu-season arsenal, these sunny yellow berries are rich in vitamin C and taste, with their juicy-tangy-sweet interiors and slightly crunchy texture. What else are they good for? Read on to find out!
What are golden berries?
Also known as Peruvian groundcherry after its native Peru, golden berries are tart and juicy and more closely related to tomatoes and tomatillos than berries or cherries, which is apparent by their texture, similar to that of an unripe tomato. Often sold inside their lantern-like husks (called a calyx), golden berries are rich in nutrients and an excellent source of antioxidants. Often found dried, fresh golden berries occasionally show up fresh at the market and lend themselves easily to a variety of uses — so if you see them, be sure to grab a box before they’re gone!
What are golden berries’ benefits?
Rich in antioxidants, golden berries could support immune function and scrub free radicals from the body, which could improve the appearance of skin health and may reduce the appearance of wrinkles. These same antioxidants may also reduce overall inflammation, which may improve well-being and could positively affect cardiovascular health. A great source of vitamin C and carotenoids, golden berries could boost immunity, especially during these dark, cold winter months, and support healthy eyesight. Golden berries are also unique in that they contain withanolides, a compound also found in ashwagandha that could positively affect the endocrine system.
How do I use golden berries?
Because they’re not super sweet, golden berries are surprisingly versatile. The dried berries are delicious as a snack or tossed onto salads, and the fresh berries can be used in the same way. Additionally, try adding the fresh berries to baked treats, like crisps and crumbles, in savory salads and dishes like the one below, on top of smoothie bowls, in your morning oats, or simply popped one by one as a nutritionally dense snack.
Quinoa Golden Berry Salad
¼ cup quinoa
1 cup packed roughly chopped kale
Handful of golden berries, halved
Handful chopped green onions
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp freshly-squeezed orange juice
Handful toasted slivered almonds
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine quinoa, kale, golden berries, avocado and green onions in a bowl and toss to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil and orange juice to make dressing. Drizzle dressing over the salad and mix together well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
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