The enchanting golden berry, also known as the Incan or Aztec berry or Cape gooseberry, is a newly discovered “superfood.” Traditionally used to make chicha a fermented drink popular in Central and South America, golden berries offer a cornucopia of health benefits.
Rich in nutrients including beta-carotene, bioflavonoids, fiber, protein, and vitamin A, golden berries are a superfood that has it all. From their amazing antioxidant powerhouse to their anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine properties, golden berries are one of Mother Nature’s most powerful little fruits.
Widely used in folk medicine for treating diseases such as malaria, asthma, hepatitis, dermatitis, diuretic diseases, and rheumatism, golden berries are sure to become a firm favorite.
Golden berries are pumped full of antioxidants, makings them an ideal nutritional supplement for preventing chronic diseases including some cancers. Antioxidants in golden berries can neutralize free radicals, the damaging by-products of cellular metabolism that causes healthy cells to mutate into cancerous ones. This is what makes golden berries a “superfood”. Including them in your diet provides a range of health benefits including:
- Anti-Inflammatory: Antioxidants help reduce inflammation. If you suffer from arthritis, gout, chronic pain, or muscle aches, the berries’ anti-inflammatory compounds can soothe these conditions and improve your overall health.
- Healthy Cholesterol: Golden berries’ oleic and linoleic acid lower the LDL (bad) cholesterol and re-establish your cholesterol balance to ensure a healthy heart
- Cancer Prevention: Withanolides are unique organic compounds. Quite rare, these powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents can induce apoptosis or automatic cell death, slowing down or even reversing the spread of cancerous cells throughout the body.
- Diabetes Control: Some e compounds found in golden berries can slow the breakdown and intake of simple sugars derived from carbohydrates, helping regulate insulin receptors and conferring an effective preventive method and treatment for Type II diabetes
- Liver & Kidney Health: One of the withanolides in golden berries has been associated with reduced liver scarring and a reversal of liver degradation. Golden berries help optimise kidney health by helping to eliminate toxins by stimulating urination and flushing out excess fats, salts, and toxins from the lymphatic system
- Immune System: High vitamin C content promotes resistance to infections and inflammations while nitric oxide impeding the metastasis of tumour cells
- Vision Health: High carotenoid content boosts eye health by eliminating oxidative stress on the ocular system, preventing the development of cataracts and slowing the onset of macular degeneration, keeping your vision in top working order as you age
- Weight Loss: Low-calorie content combined with a large percentage of your daily nutrients can help you lose weight.
Golden berries are not gooseberries as the name Cape gooseberry suggests but are actually closely related to the tomatillo and the Chinese lantern. It is distantly related to tomatoes, potato, eggplant and other members of the nightshade family. Here are some more fascinating golden berry facts:
- Golden berries come wrapped in a paper lantern about the size of a marble
- Indigenous to the Andes Mountains, they are currently grown in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile
- They have since travelled to Australia, New Zealand, India (known as ras bhari), Thailand and Egypt
- Golden berries have been cultivated in England since the late 1700’s and in South Africa since roughly the 1950’s
- The name Cape Gooseberry refers to the paper wrapper surrounding the berry like a cape. The name is most common in South Africa, UK, Australia and New Zealand
- In French, the golden berry is known as amour en cage (love in a cage), again in reference to its paper wrapper
- The golden berry’s Latin name is Physalis peruviana, consequently, the fresh fruit is known as physalis in Britain, while the dried berry is sold as goldenberry
- Uvilla is a Spanish word meaning “little grape”. In Ecuador and Peru, uvilla refers to the golden berry
- In Colombia and Costa Rica, the golden berry is also known as uchuva
- Other names for the golden berry include Pichuberry (named after Machu Picchu), Incan Golden Berries, Aztec berry, ground cherry and poha.
Organic vs. Conventional
Conventionally grown golden berries require the use of pesticides. Unfortunately, these chemicals tend to permeate the skins and work their way into the food chain. These are potentially damaging to both our physical health and the environment. Organic cultivation does away with pesticides and other potentially harmful farming practices. By going organic, you are not only making a healthy choice but also supporting more sustainable farming.
Storage Tips & Shelf Life
Golden berries will retain all their flavor, color, and nutrition if refrigerated, so cool storage is the perfect way to keep your golden berries and avoid exposure to heat and direct sunlight. They can be kept even longer if frozen.
Enjoying Your Organic Golden Berries
Organic golden berries can be enjoyed as they are, or ground into a smooth paste, known as chocolate liquor an important ingredient in the delicate art of chocolate making. Organic cacao nibs also make a great addition to a host of recipes:
- Jazz up your breakfast oatmeal by adding a teaspoon or two of golden berries or add them to your breakfast shake
- Dried golden berries add a colourful zing to cereals
- For a deliciously elegant dessert, layer yoghurt and golden berries in wine glasses and top with crystallized ginger
- Delicious added to cookies, cakes, macaroons, muffins, and bread
- Tasty addition to breakfasts with muesli, oatmeal, and granola
- Brilliant tossed in fruit and nut-based salads
- Goes well as a pie and tart filling and in wine or port-based desserts, crumbles, compotes, rice puddings, sorbets, gelato and ice cream
- Mince and add them to a chutney or simmer into a jam
- Dried golden berries add nutrition to energy bars and trail mixes
- Pairs well with honey, yoghurt, and egg custards
- Mince and add to a chutney or simmer into a jam
- Blended or macerated into cocktails
- Combine into a dipping sauce or glaze
|Ingredients||Organic golden berries|
|Allergens||Packaged in the same facility as milk, peanuts, sesame, soy, tree nuts|
|Country of Origin||South America|