Superfood of the Month: Ground Cherries

Gooseberries | thewellnessscientist.com

 

Available all over the United States, ground cherries are from the Solanaceae or nightshade family sometimes found growing along roadsides. You may spy these cherry tomato-like fruits at farmer’s markets or as part of your CSA haul in the month of September.

Also known as: Gooseberries, husk cherries, Physalis peruviana

Storage and Prep: For best results, keep ground cherries in their husks until you are ready to eat them. Husked fruits can be stored in the refrigerator for five to seven days. Rinse with water before eating.

How to Use Them: You can pop them in your mouth and enjoy like cherry tomatoes, or try a new recipe. These are a little sweeter to the taste than cherry tomatoes (almost more of a tropical flavor). I love using them in homemade salsas and salads. You can also throw these in with fruits to make a delicious pie or tart.

Superfood properties: Ground cherries are loaded with fiber, as well as immune-boosting vitamin C. They are also a good source of vitamin A — a vitamin that plays a important role in bone growth. Vitamin A is also essential in maintaining healthy vision and slows down declining retinal function in people with an eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa.

Have you tried ground cherries? What is your favorite way to eat them?

Things I love to help keep my fruits and veggies fresh longer:

fresh-n-crisp

Fresh Crisp Fruit and Vegetable Freshness Extender, 3-Pack

All You Need to Know About Asian Superfoods, Part 3

Sharing the last of my Asian superfood series with you today, part 3 of 3.  Some of these were familiar to me… others not so familiar.  But variety is the spice of life, right? 🙂

And speaking of spice…

The first superfood on the list today is turmeric.  Turmeric is used for its anti-cancer properties, as well as an immunity booster and liver detoxifier.  If you are a fan of Indian food (namely curries), you may recognize turmeric as a key ingredient.

curry shrimp

Turmeric is said to be helpful in fighting the common cold, as well as other respiratory problems.  Researchers at the Cork Cancer Research Center in Ireland treated esophageal cancer cells with curcumin (the chemical found in turmeric which gives curry that distinctive yellow color)  and found it began to kill cancer cells within 24 hours!

Next is soybeans.  Soybeans are rich in protein, isoflavones (which have antioxidant benefits) as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (heart-healthy!). They also contain potassium and magnesium, which are necessary for our muscles to contract and relax.  Edamame are probably the most well-know type of soybean.  You can buy them in the frozen food section of most super markets.  Once thawed, they are a great addition to salads.  I love ordering steamed edamame as an appetizer when I go out for sushi.

soy beans, edamame

Last in the superfood series are two fruits — wolfberries (also known as goji berries) and pomegranates.

Wolfberries are rich in vitamin C and selenium, which both protect the heart and aid in cancer prevention.  They are also high in vitamin A – excellent for the eyes and skin.  You can usually find them amongst the dried fruits in markets like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.

Pomegranates are loaded with antioxidants, potassium, vitamin B and vitamin C.  My friend sprinkles pomegranate seeds on top of her fruit salads, which adds a very interesting visual appeal.  Pomegranate juices are readily available in pretty much every super market, making it super easy to get your superfood boost.  There is even a POM supplement now for those who want the benefits without the added calories in a juice.

 

I hope you found the Asian superfood series interesting and perhaps have added a new thing or two to your diet.  I find that variety keeps cooking at home a task that is enjoyable rather than draining.  If you missed parts 1 and 2 of the series, you can find them here:

Asian Superfood Series, Part One

Asian Superfood Series, Part Two