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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Blackcurrant - 'Ribes nigrum' - fam: Grossulariaceae

The Blackcurrant, 'Ribes nigrum', is a woody shrub in the family Grossulariaceae, grown for its piquant berries.

The blackcurrant is native to northern Europe, and Asia. It was cultivated in Russia by the 11th century, when it was present in monastery gardens, and also grown in towns, and settlements. Cultivation in Europe is thought to have started around the last decades of the 17th century. Decoction of the leaves, bark, or roots, was also used as traditional remedies. 1

The fruit of blackcurrants can be eaten raw, but it has a strong, tart flavour. It can be made into jams and jellies which set readily because of the fruit's high content of pectin, and acid. For culinary use, the fruit is usually cooked with sugar to produce a purée, which can then be passed through muslin to separate the juice. The purée can be used to make blackcurrant preserves, and be included in cheesecakes, yogurt, ice cream, desserts, sorbets and many other sweet dishes. The exceptionally strong flavour can be moderated by combining it with other fruits, such as raspberries, and strawberries in summer puddings, or apples in crumbles, and pies. The juice can be used in syrups, and cordials. 1

According to Healthline 2, Blackcurrants have a high concentration of:

People use the whole blackcurrant plant, from the leaves to the seeds, for many conditions. The most common form is blackcurrant seed oil, but you can also make infusions, and teas, out of the plant’s leaves, fresh or dried. People take blackcurrant to help their:

  • blood flow
  • immune system
  • eye health
  • gut health
  • kidney health

Blackcurrant extracts are shown to reduce risk factors for metabolic conditions such as type 1 and 2 diabetes. 2

REFERENCES: Wikipedia 1 Healthline 2


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