Currants

Currants

Currants are on Dr. Sebi’s food list (Dr. Sebi’s nutritional guide).

What are Currants?

Currants are small, juicy berries that grow on shrubs in the genus Ribes. They are often used in jams, jellies, and baked goods due to their tart flavor and high pectin content. Currants are also packed with vitamins and minerals, making them a nutritious addition to any diet.

Scientific Name:
The scientific name for currants is Ribes spp.

Other Names:
Currants are also known as Red currants, Black currants, and White currants, depending on the color of the fruit. In some regions, they may also be called Gooseberries, although true Gooseberries are a separate species.

Habitat:
Currants are native to Europe and Asia, but they are now widely cultivated throughout the world. They prefer cool, moist climates and can be grown in both full sun and partial shade.

Description:
Currant bushes are small, deciduous shrubs that grow to a height of about 1-2 meters. The leaves are lobed and have a serrated edge. The flowers are small and greenish-yellow, and they bloom in the spring. The fruit is a small, round berry that grows in clusters.

Status:
Currants are a natural fruit species and have not been genetically modified.

List of Known Species:
There are several species of currants, including Ribes rubrum (Red currant), Ribes nigrum (Black currant), and Ribes sativum (White currant).

Wild species from which currants originate

Currants for consumption are typically cultivated. However, these cultivated currants derives from wild species of currants that have been hybridized.

List the wild species for currants

There are several wild species of currants, including:

  • Ribes americanum: Also known as American black currant, this wild species is native to North America and can be found in moist woodlands and along streambanks.
  • Ribes aureum: Commonly known as golden currant, this wild species is found in western North America and grows in dry and rocky habitats, such as foothills and canyons.
  • Ribes bracteosum: Also known as Stink currant, this wild species is found in western North America and grows in moist habitats, such as streambanks and seeps.
  • Ribes hirtellum: Commonly known as hairy-stemmed gooseberry, this wild species is found in eastern North America and grows in open woods and clearings.
  • Ribes lacustre: Also known as black currant, this wild species is found in northern North America and grows in wetland habitats, such as bogs and fens.

These wild species of currants are often used as ornamental plants or for wildlife habitat, and some may also have culinary or medicinal uses. However, cultivated varieties of currants, such as red and black currants, are more commonly grown for human consumption.

Currants
Currants (dried)

Benefits of currants

Mineral Content of currants

Currants are a good source of potassium and manganese.

Medicinal value (Currants benefits)

Currants have been used for centuries for their medicinal properties. They are believed to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, and may help to improve cardiovascular health and support the immune system.

Culinary uses

Currants are often used in jams, jellies, and baked goods. They can also be eaten fresh, although they are quite tart. Red currants are commonly used as a garnish, while black currants are often used to make juice, syrup, or liqueur.

Research Information

Research has shown that currants may have a number of health benefits. For example, studies have found that black currants may help to improve vision, reduce inflammation, and improve cognitive function. Red currants have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, and may help to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Currant Recipes

Currant Jam

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh currants
1 cup date sugar
1/4 cup water
Instructions:

1. Rinse the currants and remove any stems or leaves.
2. In a saucepan, combine the currants, date sugar, and water.
3. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the date sugar has dissolved and the currants have released their juice.
4. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil.
5. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened.
6. Remove from heat and let cool.
7. Transfer the jam to a jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Red Currant Sorbet

Ingredients:

1 cup red currants
1/2 cup date sugar
1/2 cup water

Instructions:
1. Rinse the currants and remove any stems or leaves.
2. In a saucepan, combine the currants, date sugar, and water.
3. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the date sugar has dissolved and the currants have released their juice.
4. Remove from heat and let cool.
5. Once cool, blend the mixture in a blender until smooth.
6. Pour the mixture into a container and freeze for 2-3 hours.
7. After 2-3 hours, remove the container from the freezer and stir the mixture to break up any ice crystals.
8. Return the container to the freezer and freeze for another 2-3 hours.
9. Serve the sorbet in small bowls or cups.

White Currant Salad Dressing

Ingredients:
1/2 cup white currants
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp agave
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:
1. Rinse the currants and remove any stems or leaves.
2. In a blender or food processor, blend the currants until smooth.
3. Add the olive oil, white wine vinegar, agave, salt, and pepper and blend until well combined.
4. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
5. Serve the dressing over a mixed green salad.

Currants vs Raisins

Currants and raisins are both types of dried fruit, but they come from different types of grapes and have slightly different flavors and textures.

Currants are usually made from small grapes that are native to Greece. They are dried, often with a black Corinth grape, and have a tart, tangy flavor. Currants are commonly used in baked goods, such as scones and muffins, and also in savory dishes.

Raisins, on the other hand, are made from larger, sweeter grapes that are typically grown in California. They are dried in the sun or in a dehydrator and have a sweet, chewy texture. Raisins are often used in baking, trail mix, and as a snack on their own.

Both currants and raisins are high in fiber and antioxidants, making them a healthy addition to your diet. However, if you’re looking for a sweeter flavor and chewier texture, go for raisins. If you prefer a tart, tangy flavor, currants are the way to go.

References

– United States Department of Agriculture. (2021). “Currants, European black (Ribes nigrum L.)” Retrieved from https://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?18438.
– Missouri Botanical Garden. (2021). “Ribes rubrum.” Retrieved from https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=277905.
– United States Department of Agriculture. (2021). “Currants, red (Ribes rubrum L.)” Retrieved from https://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?18440.
– Morton, J. (1987). “Currants and gooseberries: Ribes spp.” Fruits of Warm Climates. Miami, FL: J.F. Morton.
– Verheij, E. W. M., & Coronel, R. E. (Eds.). (1991). “Fruits and vegetables of Southeast Asian countries.” PROSEA Foundation.
– Reckziegel, A., & Pereira, A. (2015). “Ribes (currants, gooseberries).” Fruit Breeding. Springer, Cham. 539-560.
– Phippen, W. B., & Simon, J. E. (2000). “Anthocyanins in Ribes and Aronia berries.” Journal of Herbs, Spices & Medicinal Plants, 7(3), 71-84.

Author: sebifood

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *