Red currant or redcurrant (Ribes rubrum) is a part of the genus Ribes in the gooseberry family. These berries may be very small, but they are tiny powerhouses of essential antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that are key to feeling great, looking youthful, and keeping nourished and healthy. Red currant is sweet yet immensely tart berry, with a similar flavor to blackberry. Compared to some other berries, red currants aren’t that popular as they are really tart to consume by themselves.
About Red Currant
Red currant is available late spring through the early winter months. These berries are also available from South America in winter.
Red currants (Ribes rubrum) are one of the 150 species within the Ribes genus that also includes gooseberry species, White currants, and Blackcurrants. The word “berry” has 2 meanings: one based on the common commercial identification, the other on the botanical classification. Gooseberries, Black currants, and Red currants are real berries because their seeds are held within the fruit that is defined as epigynous berries.
- Nutritional Value
Red Currants are known as “super fruits” because they have naturally high antioxidant capacities due the pigmented polyphenol, called cyanidin. The research found powerful medical properties of pigmented polyphenols that are principally found in the seeds and skin of berries.
Red currant can be consumed fresh, dried or cooked. These berries can also be frozen for long term preservation and usage. They are mostly used for making jams, and juices.
All cultivated currant species have European and Asian ancestry. Red currants are native to parts of Western Europe (France, Belgium, Germany, northern Italy, Poland, Sweden, the Netherlands, northern Span, and Portugal).
These plants grow wild and they are cultivated both domestically and commercially and for their amazing berries. Red currant plants grow in several climates within the Northern hemisphere and these berries are able to flourish in humid to wet and well-drained soil. Once established these plants need little irrigation to survive 1 .
Red Currant Health Benefits
These berries have many impressive health benefits significant for our overall well-being:
- Boost your Blood
These berries are rich in iron that is commonly known to be crucial for the formation of red blood cells, which constitute 41 – 46% of the entire composition of blood. Red blood cells are highly significant as they perform the work of transporting blood and some other nutrients to numerous cells and organs in the human’s body. Moreover, lack of iron could have many consequences that can be avoided by consuming iron-rich foods, including berries like red currant.
- Beautiful Skin
Almost all berries, including red currants, have nutrients that are especially beneficial for skin. Red currant, in particular, is rich in Vitamin C and B vitamins. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant which fights and reverses free radical damage in skin cells. Along with B vitamins, it promotes healing from harmful UV ray damage and helps with skin cell regeneration. This makes red currants a fantastic food to add to your diet.
Red currants have a great content of fiber. Fiber is a crucial part of a well-balanced diet. It can help bulk up the colon and activate bowel movements. Fiber can prevent constipation that is rampant in today’s society due to the junk food, which is refined and practically fiber free. Here you can find some great remedies for constipation: LINK
These berries contain potassium that is a heart-healthy mineral. Potassium plays a significant role in cardiovascular health. It can also prevent hypertension and lower blood pressure. Plus, potassium is a perfect mineral for kidneys and other body organs and is well-known to reduce the risk of strokes, too.
- Strong Immune System
As we mentioned before, red currants contain Vitamin C that strengthens the immune system and therefore, prevent the body from succumbing to bacterial and viral attacks. These berries have a great content of this vitamin and can prevent not only common colds but also can give the body the ability to struggle against the formation of some types of cancer. Plus, Vitamin C plays a significant antioxidant role in the respiratory tract, therefore, proving to be a good source of relief for asthmatics. The vitamin C contained in these small red berries also contains powerful anti-histamine properties, which reduce and prevent the effect of allergies. Find how to get rid of allergies: http://yourhealthtube.com/allergy-find-right-remedy/
Red Currant Nutrition Facts
|Nutrient||Health Benefits||% Daily Value|
|Potassium||Stabilizes blood pressure and promotes cardiovascular health.||7%|
|Protein||Building blocks of life, significant in the maintenance and growth of each cell in the body.||2%|
|Vitamin B6||Necessary for new skin cell formation.||5%|
|Vitamin C||Prevents free radical damage in body cells. Strengthens the immune system.||68%|
|Iron||Significant for the formation of red blood cells.||5%|
|Magnesium||Needed for detoxification, energy production, and transmission of nerve impulses.||3%|
|Calcium||Important in the formation of strong teeth and bones.||3%|
This table shows nutrition per 100g of red currants. Data sourced from USDA. 2
Where to Buy Red Currant?
You can buy fresh red currant from local farmers or markets, mostly in summer. However, you can always buy red currant berries in supermarkets in frozen or dried form. There are also many online stores that sell red currants.
Because currants act as a host to blister rust, their cultivation in the USA is discouraged, and in areas of infection, the wild species are quite eradicated. In general, Native Americans used dried red currants in making pemmican, however, the dried currants of commerce are resin.
Currants are finest adapted to USDA Hardiness Zones 3 through 5, even though in California these berries are fairly productive in the coolest parts of the coastal northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Check out an amazing red currant recipe on the next page!
Redcurrant Recipe Idea: Summer pudding
This is my personal favorite recipe with berries. This recipe is a classic British dessert. It is an ideal summer recipe because it includes redcurrants, raspberries, and blackcurrants. As you can see on the image of this article the redcurrants from our garden are ready to be eaten. So, let’s begin! Here is one of the most refreshing summer recipes:
- Serves: 6-8
- Time for preparation: Takes 20 minutes to make, 2-4 minutes to cook, and overnight soaking.
Nutritional facts per serving (for 8 servings):
Calories: 131 kcals
Fat: 0.7g (0.2g saturated)
Protein: 4.3 g
Carbohydrates: 28g (11.9 g sugars)
- 900g mixed fresh blackcurrants, redcurrants, and raspberries
- 7-8 slices firm sliced white bread (crusts removed)
- 3-5 tablespoons caster sugar (this depends on tartness of the fruit)
- double cream to serve
Remove the blackcurrants and redcurrants from their stems and wash, removing any blemished or squashed ones. Place in a pan together with the raspberries over a low heat.
Put some of the sugar (begin with 2 tablespoons, then put more to taste). Next, add a splash of water and simmer gently for about 3-4 minutes till the currants start to release their juices. Then, remove the pan from the heat.
Place one of the slices of white bread aside and then slice each of the rest into 2-3 fingers. Next, cut a circle out of the slice of white bread the same size as the bottom of a 33.814 ounce /1-liter pudding basin, and place it in the bottom of your basin.
Then, use the bread fingers to line the sides of the basin and push them together so there are no any gaps, and reserve some bread fingers for the top of your pudding basin. After that, fill the pudding basin with the juice and fruit (reserve some juice in a small bowl) and then top with the reserved white bread.
Next, place a small plate on the top of the filled basin and put a weight on top. A little amount of juice might escape so it is better to set the pudding basin on a tray or plate to catch the spills. Then, chill in the refrigerator overnight.
The next day, remove the plate and weight, slide a sharp knife around the edge of the pudding bowl to loosen. You should be careful not to cut the bread. Put a plate on top and turn upside down the pudding and give it a sharp shake in order to dislodge it. You can use the reserved juice to brush some patches where the juice has not soaked through. In the end, serve with double cream.
It is best to use more raspberries than blackcurrants and redcurrants, however, this ratio depends on how tart you like the pudding – so, taste the fruit first and then decide on the balance.
Red currant is an amazing berry that can offer you various health benefits. Try to include these nice small berries in your diet. Next time you purchase redcurrants, you can add them to your sauces, juices, or smoothies, to make the most of this beautiful fruit. Red currants are superfoods that are widely used for making: jellies, purees, and juice. Cultivars are selected for the size of the berry, productivity, and clearness of juice.