RedCurrant or Red Currant
The Redcurrant (Red Currant) scientifically known as Ribes rubrum is a member of the genus Ribes in the gooseberry family Grossulariaceae. They are small, round fruits that bear a resemblance to grapes. These sweet, juicy berries are commonly used in jams, sauces, and various baked goods, or are simply eaten by hand as a snack.
Redcurrant has fiber which aids in weight loss and curbs cravings. It also keeps the digestive system healthy. Fiber also binds with cholesterol so it’s not fully absorbed into the bloodstream, preventing cardiovascular diseases. It’s also loaded with vitamin C. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant. It protects the body from oxidative stress. It also strengthens the immune system and keeps the teeth and gums healthy.
10 Nutritional Health Benefits of Red Currant Berries
1. Redcurrant Helps in Skin Health
Redcurrant is rich in B vitamins and Vitamin C which is beneficial for the skin. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that fights and even reverses free radical damage in skin cells. These vitamins also help with skin cell regeneration and promote healing from harmful UV ray damage.Nutrition Health Benefits of Red Currant
2. Redcurrant Helps Boosts Immunity
Red currants are rich in vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system, nourishing it to prevent the body from succumbing to viral and bacterial attacks. It prevents not only common colds but also gives the body the ability to fight against the formation of certain kinds of cancers. Vitamin C also plays an
antioxidant role in the respiratory tract, thus proving to be a source of relief for asthmatics. The vitamin C contained in red currants also contains anti-histamine properties, which prevent and reduce the effect of allergies.
3. Redcurrant Helps Relieves Constipation
Red Currant has fiber which promotes regular bowel movements by soaking up water in the lower digestive tract and physically cleaning and pushing out waste. It bulks up the colon and triggers bowel movements. Fiber prevents constipation, which is rampant in today’s society because of junk food that is refined and virtually fiber-free.
4. Redcurrant is Good For Your Heart Health
Red Currant has potassium which plays an important role in cardiovascular health. It acts as a vasodilator which helps prevent stress on the blood vessels thereby preventing hypertension and helps lower blood pressure.
5. Redcurrant Helps Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Red Currant is low in the glycemic index which means that they are not broken down easily and their sugar is slowly absorbed into the bloodstream which prevents sugar crashes, sugar cravings, and thereby helps regulate blood sugar levels.
6. Redcurrant Prevents Anemia
Anemia occurs as a result of deficiency of iron which leads to decreased production of red blood cells. Red currant has iron and copper which are essential for the formation of red blood cells. A deficiency of iron can lead to anemia, fatigue, and muscular weakness.
7. Redcurrant Strengthens Bones
Redcurrants are a good source of vitamin K, which helps in retaining calcium in the bone matrix. Sufficient vitamin K consumption may also reduce urinary excretion of calcium. Calcium is essential for bone growth and strength.
8. Redcurrant Aids in Weight Loss
Organic redcurrants are low in calories, with only 63 per cup. They are also low in fat and high in dietary fiber, making them an ideal weight-loss food. Fiber makes you feel full faster, so you eat less.
9. Redcurrant Helps Increase Metabolism
Red currant has magnesium which is essential in protein synthesis and also can help the body to activate the enzyme in the body. So it can improve the body’s metabolic processes.
10. Redcurrant Assists in the Prevention of Asthma
Asthma is usually characterized by difficulty breathing and occurs because the airway has swelled. Swollen airways restrict airflow causing breathing difficulties. Red currant has magnesium which helps relax the muscles. Magnesium is very useful to prevent asthma, even for people who have been suffering from severe asthma, can normalize breathing again with the help of substances/supplements that contain magnesium.
Red Currant Nutrition Value and Facts
Amount Per 100 grams
- Red Currant Calories 56
- Total Fat 0.2 g
- Cholesterol 0 mg
- Sodium 1 mg
- Potassium 275 mg – 7% RDA
- Total Carbohydrate 14 g – 4% RDA
- Dietary fiber 4.3 g – 17% RDA
- Sugar 7 g
- Protein 1.4 g – 2% RDA
- Vitamin C 68% RDA
- Calcium 3% RDA
- Iron 5% RDA
- Vitamin B-6 5% RDA
- Magnesium 3% RDA
Redcurrent plant grows up to 1-1.5 meters tall( 7ft). Its leaves are five-lobbed arranging themselves spirally on the stems. An established bush can produce 3-4 kgs of berries from mid-late summer.
The redcurrant leaves are known for their medicinal value. In the case of arthritis and all sorts of inflammations infusions of currant leaves can be applied. Redcurrant leaves are known to boast anti-inflammatory properties.
Red Currant Flowers
Red Currant flowers are inconspicuous yellow-green. The flowers hang slightly down to 4-8 cm raceme. At maturity, they are bright red translucent edible berries about 8-12 mm in diameter. Each raceme has 3-10 berries.
Red Currant Votivo
The redcurrant scent is popularly used for the women’s perfumes. Also, it is used for the red currant candle produce. More of its products include red currant hand cream, bar soap, and an auto vent clip. Mainly, in the USA it is sold as a package, Red Currant Votivo. Also, the red currant diffuser can be used in place of the red currant candles.
Click Here for more products under Votivo.
Growing Red Currants
Red Currants are usually grown as free-standing bushes, but they can also be pruned into single or double cordons or as fans against a wall. Currants do best in sun; soil does not have to be very good, but should be free-draining.
Red Current pruning is important: you need to establish a 6in ”leg”, so the long branches don’t drag on the ground under the weight of fruit, and you want about five branches, with space between them. Once well-established, pruning means cutting back the leading shoots by half in early spring, as well as any surplus shoots, especially those crowded in the middle of the bush.
Red Currant Varieties
The best-known varieties of red currant are ‘Junifer‘, ‘Red Lake‘ and ‘Jonkheer van Tets‘. All are fine, especially ‘Junifer’, as it is ready in early July, but ‘Rovada‘ and ‘Stanza‘ are also worth considering. ‘Stanza’ is particularly late-flowering, making it suitable for frost-prone districts. ‘Redcurrant Rovada‘ is the latest to mature, in mid to late August, and has very large currants on long strigs.
‘Blanka‘ is the heaviest cropper and has the largest currants among the whites, but also worth growing are ‘White Grape‘ and ‘Versailles Blanche‘ (syn. ‘White Versailles’), which matures earlier, in July.
Fresh Red Currants vs. Dried Red Currants
Fresh Red Currants can be used in baking similarly to when you might use blueberry or raspberry, such as in a muffin or coffeecake, a fancy mousse or even a simple fool. Fresh Red Currants are very perishable, so use them soon after purchasing. Keep refrigerated and wash right before using, patting dry very gently with clean paper towels. Frozen Red Currants can be stored and used at a later date.
As for dried Red Currants, they can be substituted in recipes that call for dark raisins or consider using half raisins and half-dried currants for a nuanced contrast in textures and flavors. They are like a petite raisin, so if a recipe calls for chopping raisins, which can be a chore since they are sticky, you could certainly try using currants instead. Use them whenever you want a little pocket of dried fruit sweetness, such as in our Cream Currant Scones.
Red Currant Jelly Recipe
Substitute for red currant jelly is Concord grape jelly or apple jelly. Also, seedless raspberry jelly or cranberry sauce can be used
- 2 pounds ripe red currants (still on their stems is fine)
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- Gather the ingredients.
- Wash the currants, but don’t bother removing them from their stems. You’ll get rid of the stems and seeds later with you strain their juice.
- Place the washed currants in a non-reactive pot (no cast iron unless it is enameled, and no aluminum). Add the water.
- Cook, stirring, over medium-low heat until the red currants have released all of their juice, about 20 minutes. While they are cooking, gently crush the fruit with a potato masher or the bottom of a wine bottle to help release the juice.
- Drain the red currants and their liquid overnight. You can do this through a dampened jelly bag, or by lining a colander with butter muslin or several layers of cheesecloth. Place whichever method you are using over a large bowl or pot (you can prop the colander up on long-handled wooden spoons placed over the bowl). Do not squeeze the jelly bag, muslin, or cheesecloth because that will result in a cloudy jelly. You want your final product to show off the jewel-like ruby red of the currants, right?
- The next morning, measure the red currant juice. You should have about 2 1/2 cups.
- Pour the measured juice into a large, non-reactive pot and add an equal amount of sugar. In other words, if you had 2 1/2 cups of juice you will add 2 1/2 cups of sugar.
- While the jars are sterilizing, bring the red currant juice and sugar to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar. Continue to cook until the mixture reaches the gel point.
- If the jelly is ready before the jars are sterilized, simply remove the jelly from the heat until the jars are ready. Reheat the jelly just back to a simmer before filling the jars.
- Ladle the hot, liquid jelly into the sterilized jars leaving 1/4 to 1/2-inch headspace. Process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Keep in mind that the jelly will still be hot and therefore liquid when it comes out of the boiling water bath. It will gel as it cools.
Once cooled, use it on toast in the morning, as an addition to your cheese plate, or with roasted meats.
Mainly, redcurrant is cultivated for jams and cooked preparations. However, it is often served raw. Also, it can be served as a simple accompaniment in salads, garnishes, or drinks when in season. Sometimes, redcurrant is used as a spice. Like in the United Kingdom, it is served with lamb, game meat and Sunday roast. Redcurrant sauce is a necessity for Christmas dinner in Britain.
However, in France, the redcurrant jelly is referred to as Bar-le-Duc or Lorraine Jelly. The jelly is used for cooking where the pips are taken off by hand with a goose feather. Redcurrants are also used in fruit soups and summer puddings. Often, this happens in Scandinavia and Schleswig- Holstein.
The German prefer using redcurrants as additives with custard or meringue as a filling for tarts. Its sweet nectar is also used as an additive to soda water. The refreshing drink obtained from the two is referred to as Johannisbeerschorle. “Johannisbeeren” refers to John berry in German.
Most commonly found in Russia, the redcurrants are used in jams, preserves, compotes, and desserts. Also, Russians use the leaves of the redcurrants as traditional medicine.
Mexicans serve the redcurrants as a flavor for ices/frappe drinks and deserts ‘raspado’.
Red Currant Jelly Stool
This is a sign and symptom of intussusception. It is also described as stool mixed with blood and mucus. The symptom is referred to as Red currant due to the presence of blood in the stool.
“Intussusception is a medical disorder involving obstruction of the intestine. Mostly, it is observed in children.
- The calorie intake of currant: between 45 and 55 kcal / 3.5 oz (100 g) depending on whether they are bunch currants or gooseberries.
- Currant deserves a place in your day-to-day cooking. It is simply succulent either eaten as it is or added to your sweet or salty courses.
- Sweet-toothed persons love it in fruit salads, with their friends’ strawberries and raspberries. Making jam or seedless jelly, pies, clafoutis, muffins or crumbles all are supreme.
- And you can still choose to make ice cream, juice, coulis, syrup, and add it to French cream.
- For those who like sweet-and-sour pairings: heated in a pan, currants will pair with your meat (duck breasts, poultry, and roasts) and also foie gras.
- It gives taste to your sauces, hence its name “gooseberry”. The English would use it in their sauces when they ate roast geese.
- Add it to seasoning for your mixed salads.
- Sprinkle a few currant berries on melted cheese toasts.
- Use Currant coulis to sweeten cottage cheese for a refreshing dessert.
- These delicate and colored berries will decorate your main dishes and desserts.
Currant, beauty tips
Currant is also sought after in cosmetology. It has the power to cleanse, nourish and hydrate skin. It also fights premature skin aging thanks to its antioxidant properties.
Natural C+urrant face mask – Blend 3.5 oz (100 g) currant with olive oil and powdered oats. Spread resulting mix on healthy skin for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse with clean water.
To hydrate the skin – Blend currant and mix with cottage cheese. Apply to skin and rinse after 20 minutes.
Frequent Asked Questions on Red Currant
Are Redcurrants good for you?
Yes. Redcurrant contains Vitamin C and B for skin health. Also, they increase blood flow.
What are red currants used for?
Red Currant fruit has different types of uses. Most popularly known for being used with pork, lamb, or game. This is because they contain an acidic edge of the fresh fruits. It is the perfect flavor for the meat. Also, they are used as fruits.
Do red currants fruits on old or new wood?
They can be fitted in around the demands of other plants and designs. Also, they produce their fruit on new wood.
How do you identify red currants?
- Look at the shrub you suspect is a currant shrub. Should be about 3- 8 feet in height
- Note the patterns of the leaves on the shrub. (maple leaf and currant with visible veins)
- Break a twig or leaf from the shrub and smell it. (smell slightly skunky)
- Observe the berry clusters. (five or more berries each with colored flowers)
- Check the color and striping pattern of the berries. (visible stripes up and down/ red ripened berries and green when unripe)
- Consider the time of year. (early fall season in North America)
Are red currants and cranberries the same?
RedCurrant is a short deciduous shrub native to western Europe. It features five-lobed, maple-like leaves and bright red berries. Red Currant berries are more sour than black currant, but they can be eaten raw and are excellent for jams and sauces. This member of the gooseberry family is related to the wild currants and gooseberries of North America.
Quick Facts About RedCurrant
- Zone: 3a
- Height: 1.8 m (6 ft)
- Spread: 1.8 m (6 ft)
- Moisture: normal
- Light: partial shade, full sun
- Fall colour: orange to red
- Berries: translucent red berries
- Flowers: inconspicuous yellow-green flowers in spring
- Growth rate: fast
- Life span: medium
- Maintenance: low
- Suckering: none
- Pollution tolerance: medium
Cranberry produces attractive white flowers in late June and bears edible fruit that matures to a bright red colour in the late summer. This shrub, native to much of Canada, is fast growing, and its fruit can be eaten raw or cooked into a sauce to serve with various proteins.
Quick Facts About Cranberry
- Zone: 2a
- Height: 4 m (13 ft)
- Spread: 2.7 m (9 ft)
- Moisture: normal
- Light: partial shade, full sun
- Fall colour: red
- Berries: edible red berries
- Flowers: white clusters
- Bark: gray and rough with a scaly texture
- Growth rate: medium
- Life span: medium
- Maintenance: low
- Suckering: none
- Pollution tolerance: high
- In row spacing: 0.6 m (2.0 ft)
- Between row spacing: 5 m (16 ft)
- Other names: american cranberrybush, american cranberrybush viburnum, high bush cranberry, kalyna
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