The Golden berry, more commonly known as Cape gooseberry, Inca berry, or Peruvian groundcherry, is closely related to the tomatillo. It indigenous to South America, but has been cultivated in England since the late 18th century and in South Africa in the region of the Cape of Good Hope since at least the start of the 19th century.
The fruit is a smooth berry, resembling a miniature spherical yellow tomato, about the size of a marble. Like a tomato, it contains numerous small seeds. It is bright yellow to orange in color, and it is sweet when ripe, with a characteristic, mildly tart flavor, making it ideal for snacks, pies or jams.
Golden berries are well known for its blood purifying capacity. They are also known as a source of provitamin A, Vitamin B & C. Scientific studies of the golden berry show its constituents, possibly polyphenols and carotenoids, demonstrate anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It has also shown possible antidiabetes and antihypertension properties in some studies.
In folk medicine, golden berry has been used as a medicinal herb to treat cancer, leukemia, malaria, asthma, hepatitis, dermatitis and rheumatism, but efficiency is yet to be proven.
Golden berries are available the year around and are long-lasting. The fresh fruits can be stored in a scaled container and kept in a dry atmosphere for several months. If the fresh fruits are to be shipped, it is best to leave the husk on for protection.
Image by Emoke Denes available under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharel 2.5 Generic license
Goldenberry Glazed Acorn Squash with Pecans
1 cup raw pecans
4 acorn squash, halved lengthwise, seeds and membranes removed, then cut into rounds
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
¾ cup dried goldenberries, coarsely chopped
4 cups apple juice
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 sprig fresh rosemary (whole)
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. On a baking sheet, spread the pecans into an even layer. Toast until fragrant, about 6 minutes, and let cool. Chop coarsely.
3. Spread the squash rounds onto a couple of baking sheets in a single layer and brush cut sides of the squash with the coconut oil. Season with salt and black pepper, and bake until tender and lightly browned, about 35 minutes, flipping once, after about 25 minutes.
4. While the squash is baking, combine the goldenberries, apple juice, maple syrup, rosemary, and a pinch of sea salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has reduced to about a third and the goldenberries appear rounded, about 15-20 minutes. Keep warm to prevent the contents from solidifying.
5. When the squash is ready, transfer to a mixing bowl and add the pecans. Remove and discard the rosemary from the glaze and immediately drizzle the goldenberry mixture on top of the squash. Toss gently, and transfer to a serving bowl, drizzling any glaze at the bottom of the bowl on top of the finished dish. May be served hot or cold.
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