Currants

By EAT SMARTER
Updated on 20. Apr. 2020
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​Currants are a beautiful, versatile and nutritious berry. Read below to learn more about them.

Currants…

  • ...are great for your eyes and skin. 100 grams of red currants contain a good 4 micrograms of vitamin A while black currants contain 14 micrograms. Vitamin A supports healthy eyes and skin.
  • ...help keep your blood healthy. 100 grams of red currants contain up to 1.3 milligrams of iron and has a ton of vitamin C, which helps the body to most optimally utilize iron.
  • ...protect your cells. Currants are particularly rich in secondary plant compounds, especially flavonoids. These natural plant dyes combat harmful free radicals, many of which are carcinogens. These flavonoids also keep the cells elastic and can thus help prevent cardiovascular diseases. Black currants also contain a particularly large dose of these useful substances.
  • ...strengthen your bones and teeth. Black currants contain relatively high levels of phosphorus and calcium, which help to strengthen bones and teeth.
  • ...help keep you young longer. Currants’ high content of antioxidants, nutrients and minerals can effectively protect skin against early aging.
  • ...pack a big dose of vitamin C. Currants contain up to 189 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 gram serving - more than three times as much as lemons. Red and white currants have a much lower content, at around 35 milligrams per 100 gram serving, still a good third of the daily vitamin C requirement.
     

What You Should Know About Currants

No matter the variety, all currants grow in clusters, and have countless small seeds in their flesh. There are three main groups of currants, which are separated by color: currants can be light to dark red, almost white or midnight blue to black. Each different color of currant has a slightly different taste and is suitable for different types of preparation. Probably the most famous delicacy made from blackcurrants is cassis, a dark and fruity-aromatic liqueur originating from France.

Origins

Currants originate from Northern, Central and Eastern Europe as well as parts of Asia.

Seasonality

Red and white currants are harvested from mid to late June, while black currants ripen about a month later.

Flavor

Red currants are generally sour, while black currants have less acidity and are a bit more tart their rather tart and slightly bitter aroma. White currants are the rarest currant and taste similar to the red variety, albeit sweeter.

Our Favorite Recipes With Currants

Find all our currant recipes here.

How Healthy Are Currants?

Whether red, black or white, all currants are healthy. However black currants are the most nutritious of the three, with almost twice as much fier and around three times as much vitamin C (up to 189 milligrams per 100 gram serving), as their red and white siblings.

Red and white currants cannot compare with the black ones when it comes to vitamin A content either. Black currants contain four times as much of the vitamin as red or white currants. 
 

If you have a sensitive stomach, the currant’s thick skin might lead to some mild discomfort. This can be avoided by simply puréeing the currants finely and passing them through a sieve.
 

Currant Nutritional Info (100 g)  
Calories 35
Protein 1 g
Fat 0.5 g
Carbohydrates 5.4 g
Fiber 2.7 g


Shopping and Cooking Tips

Shopping

When buying currants, make sure they are plump, with undamaged skin. You can also tell quality and freshness by the leaves-- if they are still green and not wilting, the currant is fresh. 

Storage

Currants have a relatively thick skin that reliably protects their flesh, however they shouldn’t be kept in the refrigerator for more than two to three days.

Preparation

Simply wash currants under some warm running water and pat dry before eating. 

What To Make With Currants

Currants make an especially delicious and easily prepared jam. Red and white currants are ideal for eating raw, or as a great foundation or addition to cakes, tarts, other desserts and fruit salads. Blackcurrants taste too tart to most people when raw, but they are perfect for making jams, juice and as a fruity addition to meat dishes. in hearty dishes with game and wild fowl.

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