Food Focus: Ground Cherry
I love when I come home from the health food store with an accidental purchase. I grabbed what I thought were the small yellow tomatoes my kids love, but once we opened them felt they were sticky to the touch. It reminded me of a tomatillo and for good reason!
When you bite into these ground (or husk) cherries, it's hard to describe the flavor. Like a mix between a pineapple, peach, and maybe a little corn? They are a member of the tomato family; a late summer to early fall treat that I have come to love in salads, salsas and snacks.
The most important benefits of these golden berries are derived from their high antioxidant content, which makes them an ideal nutritional supplement for preventing certain chronic diseases, including certain types of cancers. Like the carotenoids and polyphenolic compounds, antioxidants can neutralize free radicals, the damaging by-products of cellular metabolism that can cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous ones. This is the quality that makes this sweet treat a superfood! Research has shown that polyphenols can stop the spread of various types of cancers, making it a very important food source in many parts of the world.
Want an delicious fall recipe to try these new additions?
Spiced Ground Cherry Compote
In a saucepan, combine 4 cups of fresh ground cherries, husked and washed
Zest of half a lemon
Juice from 1 lemon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 TSP Stevia powdered extract
Split 1 vanilla bean, scrape seeds from the pod into the mixture. Bring to medium to high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce and let simmer for 30 minutes. Refrigerate in a glass container and it will last for about a month. Makes 6 servings! Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens magazine.