Sunday, June 23, 2019

Another Adventure - Black Currants

Some of you might remember last year I decided to make seedless black raspberry jelly, and it dirtied every piece of equipment in my kitchen.  It was left to strain overnight, and the next morning it lifted from the bowl in one jelled mass.  No sugar, no pectin, it jelled all alone. 
Well guess what!  Black currants are pretty similar in that respect.  I just wanted to juice them.  That's all...My juicer doesn't like little seeds.
Why do I bother, you ask?
Black currants, (Ribes nigrum) have a ton of health benefits!  The tart berries aren't well known in the US, due to most Ribes being banned for about 50 years due to a pine rust problem that has now been pretty much bred out of commercially available plants.  They need a little sweetening for most tastes.
They contain very high amounts of anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant found in elderberries, red grapes, blueberries, and other berries/fruit with that deep purple color.
FYI - smashing the heated berries will send hot berry bits and juice flying as they pop.
Grape-based drinks like wine and juice are known to help decrease plaque buildup in the arteries, but blackcurrant juice is far more potent.
The seed oil is very good for joint pain and stiffness. Glaucoma responds well.
The berries are very high vitamin C.  Both red and black currants have four times more vitamin C than oranges and twice the antioxidants of blueberries.
As little as 1 T of the berries can help with screen fatique for a couple of hours.
Slows blood clotting, so use caution if on blood thinning medication.
The leaves and berries also have diaphoretic, demulcent, and diuretic properties
Leaves can be made into tea - good for gout, painful joints, and sore throats..

The berries can be made into juice - jelly - syrup - tincture - dried - added to foods - etc.
I make a gallon of green tea every other day, and add lemon juice ice cubes to jazz it up.  Now I will use some black currant cubes!  It's perfect.  Delicious.

I also made a pint or so of tincture.  Because it was so wet, I used grain alcohol for the high proof.

It was another BIG mess, but I think it was worth it.

2 comments:

Reynaldo Robles said...

Excellent. Certainly, a super food. I have one question. Does It make a good combination if I mix it with lavender tea?

Tina Sams said...

I haven't tried that, but if you do, I'd love to hear how it is.

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