A fresh juice or smoothie with black currants adds tremendous nutrient value plus a proven disease-fighting compound.
Before I share my favorite black currant juice recipe, let's take a brief look at some fascinating history the amazing benefits.
A Little History
It is believed black currants originated in the northern climates of Europe and North Asia. However, it’s possible that the black currant is also native to the northern US. It is known that Native Americans such as the Blackfoot and Cree used both the root and the fruit of the black currant plant to treat menopausal and menstrual issues, to help enhance fertility and pregnancy, and assist with kidney problems.
Indeed, today it has been clinically shown that the black currant can in fact treat premenstrual syndrome because it contains the chemical gamma-linolenic acid.
The black currant is a member of the genus Ribes, which it shares with other berries such as the gooseberry, white currant and red currant. Dried currants are not black currants at all, but a small white grape.
Little is known of the origins of the black currant. In the written record, it is first mentioned in the 17th century by herbalists who described it as a cure for such ailments as lung and liver disorders, kidney stones and coughs. Due to its high content of vitamin C, it’s no wonder that it is often referenced as a treatment for colds and coughs in folk medicine.
Because they contain a high amount of vitamin C, during World War II the British government suggested the consumption of black currants, as other fruits containing vitamin C were scarce. Black currants became a popular fruit in Britain since they grew so well in the climate of the British Isles.
Black currants are prevalent throughout Europe and Asia. In the US, the growing of black currant plants was suspended by the government in the early 20th century due to their ability to transmit white pine blister rust which greatly affected the logging industry. It wasn’t until 1966 that this ban was lifted in certain states such as Connecticut and Vermont. Thus, black currants are somewhat difficult to find but are available in some supermarkets when they’re in season.
The black currant has long been added to fresh juices and smoothies around the world.
Amazing Black Currant Juice Benefits
The black currant is a veritable powerhouse of nutritional value!
They are rich in vitamins C, B, A and E. The minerals abundant in black currants include potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium and zinc.
As mentioned above, they also provide gamma-linolenic acid, or GLA which has been proven to help minimize the effects of premenstrual syndrome, menopause and may even reduce swelling.
Further, black currants provide an unusually rich source of amino acids, enzymes and anthocyanins (very potent antioxidants).
So the next time you juice or make a smoothie consider adding black currants - even in dried form - not just for their great taste but for their wonderful health benefits.
Easy Black Currant Juice Recipe
- 1 Apple
- 2 Carrots
- 1/4 cup Dried Black Currants
- 3-4 leaves of your favorite green such as Kale, Spinach or my favorite, Wheatgrass
- 1-2 tablespoons of your favorite seeds or nuts such as Pumpkin, Walnut, Sesame or Almond
- For a delicious smoothie add 1-2 cups of your favorite milk such as Oat, Rice, Almond or dairy
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 20 oz.
- I add greens to all my recipes for their incredible nutrient value, but only a few because they are bitter. Also, they are so powerfully nutritious that too many can upset your stomach.
- I mention wheatgrass as my favorite green because it is the most nutritious of all greens, so instead of 3-4 leaves I suggest a 1" thumb thickness as a measure of the quantity I suggest for each recipe.
- The lack of added sweeteners in my recipes even for smoothies where added sweeteners are the norm, is by design! I share a growing concerned about our over-consumption of sugar whether it's processed or popular all-natural alternatives such as maple syrup, agave, honey, coconut sugar, etc. - it's all sugar!