Blog By carausher on 7 August 2017

Why Golden Berries Should Be a Snack You Should Always Carry

Golden berries are bright colored superfood berries originating from South America. They are sweet, tart, and highly concentrated with nutrients and antioxidants. Compared to other small berries, golden berries are higher in their protein content and vitamin A. They are also much lower in sugar. To top it off, phytochemical screening has revealed an abundance of flavonoids in golden berries. Flavonoids are specific antioxidants that promote cardiovascular health and other benefits [1]. Golden berries contain linoleic and oleic acid, two essential fatty acids that aid in insulin sensitivity and fat oxidation [2].

Studies show that the health benefits of golden berries extend far beyond the above nutritional information. They are said to normalize blood sugar, and may offer potent liver and kidney benefits, possibly protecting against the “scarring” of liver tissue [3]. Golden berries even contain healthy fatty acids (oleic and linoleic acids), help to lower the amount of “bad” cholesterol in our bodies. These superfoods have even been found to be helpful in diabetes management, as they have some compounds that can slow the breakdown and intake of simple sugars from carbohydrates.

Enjoy golden berries dried and mixed into a trail mix, fresh in a green or fruit salad, or simply by themselves. They are commonly used in baking cakes and sweets. They’re a perfect example of a fruit that’s even better than candy. Curious to find some recipes to incorporate these nutritious berries in? Look no further! Here are a few of our favorite golden berry recipes for you to enjoy!

 

Farro with Pistachios, Mixed Herbs, and Golden Raisins from bon appetit magazine

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups farro
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
  • ½ cup pistachios
  • 1½ teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated peeled ginger
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ⅓ cup grapeseed oil or olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 serrano chile, sliced into rings
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped mixed fresh cilantro, mint, and parsley
  • ⅓ cup golden raisins

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°. Rinse farro under cold water. Cook in a large pot of boiling salted water, skimming surface occasionally, until tender, 20–25 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast pistachios on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop.

Whisk lemon zest, lemon juice, ginger, sugar, and ½ tsp. salt in a medium bowl. Whisking constantly, gradually add oil. Whisk until emulsified; season vinaigrette with salt and pepper.

Drain farro and rinse under cold water. Transfer to a large bowl and add chile, herbs, raisins, and pistachios; toss to combine. Drizzle with vinaigrette, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat.

Pitaya Pineapple Golden Perry Parfaits from Green Smoothie Gourmet

Ingredients:

Parfait –

  • 1 cup coconut yogurt
  • 1/2 cup pineapple compote
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granola
  • sliced white pitaya
  • golden berries
  • 1 tbs Baobab powder

Homemade Quinoa Granola –

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup popped quinoa
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp flax seeds
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup

 

Method:

To create the parfait jar, pour in the yogurt first, then the compote – fork-mashed pineapple with a bit of lemon juice and orange juice if you prefer it sweeter. I also added baobab powder to the pineapple for added energy, antioxidants and immunity protection. And top with granola and fruit.

Here is how to make the quinoa granola:

To prep the quinoa, soak 1 cup quinoa in 2 cups water with 1 tbsp lemon juice for 3 hours. This removes quinoa’s natural phytic acid (nature provides it to help survive growth), which can bind to the minerals in food and decrease their absorption.

(I realize this soaking step is a bit of a drag but that is why I suggest soaking as much quinoa as you can and storing it soaked, rinsed and dried and ready for anything in the refrigerator. I often have 3-cups prepared quinoa waiting in the refrigerator to use for recipes.)

Once the soaking is complete, rinse the quinoa well, and I leave mine spread on a cookie sheet for a few hours to dry and then I store in an airtight jar in the frig. Once rinsed though, for this purpose of popping, you can start right away.

To pop the quinoa, take 1/4 cup of prepared quinoa and add to bottom of a deep pan with a slidey surface – some people use a bit of oil, but I do not like greasy popped quinoa so I use a dry pan. Turn the heat fairly high on your stove and stand there for about 3-4 minutes, stirring the quinoa seeds around in the bottom of the pan with a wooden tool to keep the seeds from burning. You will see it begin to pop and brown. The trick is, don’t let it go from brown to black, but also make sure most are popped – the popped quinoa kernel is not the exploded type corn makes, but a tiny brown bubble.

To make homemade quinoa granola, toss together the flax seeds, popped quinoa, rolled oats, cinnamon and maple syrup, then spread on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven, 5-10 minutes at 350 degrees. Let is cool, store in an airtight container, and there you have it.

Kamut Berry Pilaf with Butternut Squash and Cauliflower by Martha Stewart Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup kamut berries (golden berries)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 head cauliflower, trimmed and broken into small florets, about 1 1/2 pounds florets
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch cubes, about 1 1/2 pounds
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small red onions, julienned
  • 4 shallots, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon Madras curry powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place kamut berries in a small sieve and rinse under cold running water. Transfer kamut berries to a medium saucepan and add enough water to cover by 2 inches; generously salt water. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer until tender, adding more water as necessary, about 2 hours. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, place cauliflower and squash on two separate rimmed baking sheets; drizzle each with 2 tablespoons olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to oven and roast until golden and slightly crisp, about 15 minutes for cauliflower and 30 minutes for squash.
  4. Heat remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onions and shallots; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, but not browned, about 15 minutes.
  5. Increase heat to medium-high and add mustard seeds, curry powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper; continue cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add sherry vinegar, stirring from bottom of pan to deglaze, and cook 2 minutes more.
  6. Remove from heat and add to bowl with kamut berries along with the lemon juice; stir to combine. Add cauliflower and squash; toss to combine. Just before serving, add parsley leaves and almonds; gently toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper; serve warm or at room temperature.

Don’t forget, you can simply carry a handful of these berries in your bag for snacking purposes – best in a trail mix with cashews, almonds, and hazelnuts. Here’s to healthy snacking!

 

Resources:

  1. El-Gengaihi SE, Hamed MA, Khalaf-Allah Ael-R, Mohammed MA. Golden berry juice attenuates the severity of hepatorenal injury. Journal of Dietary Supplements. 2013 December;10(4):357-69. doi: 10.3109/19390211.2013.830675.
  2. Choi JS, Koh IU, Jung MH, Song J. Effects of three different conjugated linoleic acid preparations on insulin signalling, fat oxidation and mitochondrial function in rats fed a high-fat diet. British Journal of Nutrition. 2007 August;98(2):264-75.
  3. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/golden-berries.html
  4. https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/health-benefits-of-golden-berries/