Sunday, December 4, 2011

Superfood Sunday: The Incan Goldenberry

Another nutrient-rich berry that grows in South America is the goldenberry, also known as the Inca berry or cape gooseberry.  The goldenberry is actually part of the Solanaceae or nightshade family, with a remarkable resemblance to the tomatillo.  When ripe, the fruit is a bright yellow/orange color, which reveals its antioxidant status.

Goldenberries are usually sold dried.  They have a sweet tart taste and are very chewy, making them a wonderful snack or addition to a trail mix.  Like tomatoes and other nightshade fruit, goldenberries have dozens of small edible seeds.  When dried, they are about the size of a large raisin.  I recommend getting them from a trusted organic supplier that ensures low-temperature drying to preserve the many nutrients found in this super berry.

The tart taste of this berry would have you guessing that they have a lot of vitamin C and you would be right.  In addition to vitamin C, goldenberries also have a lot of vitamin A, minerals and a good amount of protein.  The orange color is due to the class of antioxidants known as carotenoids, which are great for the immune system, the eyes, and fighting inflammation and free radicals.  Research also suggests that goldenberries have polyphenols (another group of powerful antioxidants) and may help fight diabetes.  Of course, the Peruvians used this medicinal fruit for a host of ailments.

Because it has a pleasant flavor, most people enjoy eating goldenberries right out of the bag.  However, feel free to add them to a berry smoothie, sprinkle on a morning granola or cereal or add to a trail mix for a day trip.  Don't miss these tasty, nutritious berries.  Enjoy and be healthy!

Mystic Merman

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