Characteristics of gooseberries
Gooseberries are berries that are small, round or oval in shape. They originated in Europe and are mostly found in the wilderness areas of North America, Europe and Siberia in the temperate climate. When botanically looking, Gooseberries are very closely related to currents and come under the family of Grossulariaceae. They are full of vitamins and the antioxidants and other nutritional ingredients with a lot of health benefits.
Ribesuva-crispa L is the scientific name of Gooseberries. It is among one of the four wild species of Ribes that grows in Northern Hemisphere. These berries grow best in places where winters are chilling and summers humid.
It is a fast-growing small deciduous shrub. Its height is about 4 to 6 feet with sharp thorns on its woody branches. After 2 to 3 years of a plantation, the plant starts bearing fruit. It has different shapes, taste, and colors. They can be oval, round, elongated or pear-shaped, white, green, purple, yellow, black or red-brown, tart or sweet.
Indian Gooseberries are known as amla. They belong to Euphorbiaceae family and have a scientific name Phyllanthusemblica. They have round or spherical shape and are light green in color.
PhysalisPeruviana or the Cape gooseberry which is also popular as Peruvian cherry in the United States is actually a native of the South American Andes area. These are the type of gooseberries that are very small and round in shape. It has an orange yellow color and is found inside a thin light husk.
Nutritional benefits of Gooseberries
- These berries have low calories. Blackcurrants have a high amount of anthocyanins and flavones. They are found to have numerous healthy lifestyle, nutrition that fights against inflammation, cancer, aging and neurological diseases.
- They have moderate anti-oxidant values. These berries have an oxygen radical absorbance capacity or ORAC that is similar to that of the red currents, and is extremely healthy to the body.
- The fruit is rich in vitamin C. Research shows that intake of fruits with high vitamin C helps the human body to develop a strong immunity against infections. It fights against the agents that create infections in the body and also help to remove extremely harmful oxygen free radicals from our body.
- They also contain a little amount of vitamin A that maintains the texture of mucosa and skin. It is also essential for your vision. Gooseberries are rich in flavonoid antioxidant and the vitamins present in them protect the human body against oral cancer and lung cancer.
- It also contains a certain amount of minerals such as calcium, copper, manganese, phosphorous, potassium and magnesium.
- Amla, the Indian gooseberry is an excellent source of Vitamin C.
The Preservation and Selection of Gooseberries
Fresh gooseberries appear in USA markets in July. You can get a fresh, ripe, firm harvest. It can be eaten with desserts or as a table fruit. For cooking makes use of unripe mature berries. You must avoid excessively soft berries, the ones that are shriveled or have bruises with juice leakage.
If you are not using them immediately, then refrigerate them to keep fresh for a few days.
Preparation and serving of Gooseberries
In Great Britain, gooseberries are a popular fruit. Handpicked berries from the wild can be eaten on your own.
If you bring them home, wash them properly in cold water and remove their stems. Fresh berries can be consumed raw without any preparations required because they are just similar to grapes or currants.
A few healthy meal tips of gooseberries
- Delicious, fresh, sweet gooseberries can be consumed as table fruit or a salad.
- Astringent or tart quality berries are used in poultry, meat dishes, and fish
- Berries are also used in agro-food industry for preparation of juice, jams, jellies, chutney or sauce. It is widely used for pickling in Indian subcontinent.
- They are used in ice creams, muffins and as pie fillings.
Rarely have we found intolerance or allergies to gooseberries. It is a berry that can be consumed by pregnant women as it is a rich source of iron. The health benefits of this berry are widely known and hence people try to include them in their diet.