What is Redcurrant?
These shiny little berries grow low on bushes, hanging from the branches like rows of miniature gems. Their flavour is a little tart but they’re still sweet enough to be eaten raw, so long as they’re sprinkled with plenty of sugar. The redcurrant (Ribes rubrum) is a member of the genus Ribes in the gooseberry family Grossulariaceae. They have a high vitamin C content, and go well with both other berries and fruits, such as raspberries, strawberries and melon, as well as goose, venison and lamb (hence the familiar lamb accompaniment, redcurrant jelly).
The tart flavor of the redcurrant fruit is slightly greater than the blackcurrant; however, they have the same approximate sweetness.
Health Benefits of Redcurrant
Hair and skin: Adequate vitamin C intake does not only improve the immune system, can also create and maintain collagen, an essential protein found in hair and skin.
Energy production and antioxidant defense: One cup of redcurrants contains 10 percent of the mineral manganese, which is an essential cofactor in some enzymes important in energy production and antioxidant defenses. For example, some enzymes disarm free radicals produced within the mitochondria (the energy production factories within our cells), which require manganese.
Improve digestive health and fight constipation: The daily recommended dietary fiber intake for men and women are 38 grams and 25 grams, respectively. Fiber aids prevent constipation, making one’s bowel movement easier to manage. Fiber can also scrape cholesterol out of the arteries and blood vessels.
Uses of Redcurrant
Redcurrants are usually cultivated for jams and cooked preparations, but can be used for salads, garnishes, or drinks.
These pretty, bright red, juicy berries with their tart, sparkling flavour. Use them to decorate cakes and puddings – dip them in lightly whisked egg white then roll in sugar to give them a frosted effect.
They can also be frosted with egg white and caster sugar and used as a decoration for puddings or cocktails.
Nutritional value of Redcurrant
Red currants are fat-free, cholesterol free, low in calories. Great source of vitamin C and antioxidants.
Fresh redcurrants are also rich in many essential vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and thiamin (vitamin B-1). These vitamins are essential in the sense that human body requires them from external sources to replenish and required for metabolism.
Red currants carry small but significant amount of vitamin A, and flavonoid anti-oxidants such as beta-carotene, zea-xanthin and cryptoxanthin levels. 100 g fresh berries provide 230 IU of vitamin A. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties.