So-called ‘Superfoods’ have emerged these past few years and became increasingly more mainstreamed as people look for ways to eat healthier and live longer. They’re broadly defined as foods with health-promoting properties that may even help some medical conditions. While some are common and familiar to all (think kale, salmon, nuts, sweet potatoes, etc.), others are decidedly exotic and require a trip to the health food store or your nearest Whole Foods.
I myself have a bunch of the nutrients-rich powders such as Lucuma, Maqui, Camu, etc. to add to smoothies and was thrilled to see this recipe for a simple jam made of one very interesting superfood – the goldenberry.
Native to South America, goldenberries (also known as gooseberries, Incan berries, or ground cherries) have become a rising star of the superfoods world with benefits like inflammation-fighting bioflavonoids, a hefty dose of antioxidants, metabolism-friendly B-complex vitamins, and a whopping protein composition. Couple this with their at once sweet, tart, and citrusy flavors and their cute yellowish cherry tomato look and you’ve got yourself one very pleasing health supplement.
Dried, they pack even more flavor as the sugars condense and are begging to be added to your cheese platter, trail mixes or salads…or just eaten straight out of the bag as a snack. They’re also perfect for making jam as their intense and wonderful taste requires nothing else to shine, hence the simple use here of only white grape juice and agar agar (a tasteless vegetarian gelling agent). If you’re looking for a super healthy, sweet yet free of added sugar jam you’ll get hooked in no time.
This will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks but I doubt it can last this long, especially once you discover its multiple uses besides spreading it on a piece of bread (hint – it’s delicious added to Greek yogurt or a bowl of oatmeal).
Recipe from Superfood Kitchen
Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 4-5 hours
Makes about 1.5 cup
2 cups white grape juice
4 teaspoons agar agar flakes
1 cup dried goldenberries, finely chopped
a touch of stevia (optional)
In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix together the grape juice and the agar agar and bring to a simmer; stir constantly to prevent the flakes from sticking to the bottom and sides of the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the agar agar has completely dissolved and the juice is slightly reduced.
Stir in the goldenberries and remove from heat. Mix in a touch of stevia to taste, if desired (be careful, it’s already quite sweet), and cover the pot. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow the goldenberries to plump up. Uncover and transfer to a small blender.
Pulse a couple of times into a chunky mixture. (Alternatively, simply bruise the berries with the back of a spoon to release the seeds.) Transfer to a glass jar with a lid and refrigerate. After 1 hour, give the jam a stir to evenly distribute the goldenberries that may have sunk to the bottom with the rest of the jam (which will have begun to thicken). Return to the refrigerator to allow the jam to gel completely, about 2-3 hours. Will keep for several weeks, refrigerated.