Red currants are in season but many people in North America are not familiar with these berries and pass them up at farmers markets because they have no idea what to do with them. I grew up with them and have a healthy appreciation for this tart little berry, as do many Europeans, but I’ll be the first one to admit that it’s an acquired taste and not everyone’s cup of tea. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a collection of videos on YouTube documenting people’s reactions to trying red currants for the first time.
Still, they are an under-appreciated berry that is chock full of all kinds of goodness. Just a 100g of these bright red berries can provide an adult’s daily recommended intake of Vitamin C. That’s 4 times as much as oranges! They’re also rich in fiber, magnesium, potassium and iron. How do you like ’em now? 😉 To learn more about the health benefits of red currants, visit this page, this page and this page.
So. What do you actually do with red currants? For those not keen on the tart flavour, I have rounded up some tips and recipes on how to include these in your diet in a rather spectacular (and much more palatable) way. Happy kitchen adventures!
Red currants will keep fresh in the fridge for about 3 days but make sure you skip the washing before storing. Wash them only when you are ready to eat them.
Freezer. These berries are fantastic for freezing. Pick off the stems, wash, dry (pat with a paper towel or try your salad spinner), and spread in a single layer on a baking tray to freeze. Once frozen (doesn’t take long), transfer to a Ziploc bag and use for baking or smoothing whenever the mood strikes.
Cooked. Red currants are great for jellies to use with meat. Think cranberry sauce but better. Scroll down for some recipes to try.
Red Currant Tea Cake (tried it – amazing! But small. Double the recipe for a full-size cake)
Red Currant Yogurt Cakes (tried it – amazing. Don’t fill the cups more than halfway)
Red Currant and Raspberry Sorbet (tried it – best sorbet result ever!)