Growing superfood berries at home and how to use them
Sea buckthorn oils and capsules have been a staple at health food shops for a while – but how about growing and eating them fresh?
Fruit expert Lubera has two new sea buckthorns with Eastern European origins, which taste much milder than their German relatives when eaten fresh, due to less acidity. They are packed with vitamins A, C and E, carotenoids, and flavonoids.
Both sea buckthorn Botanica and Gardeners Gift are perfect for jams, juices, syrups, oils, compotes, and smoothies. They have different harvesting periods, to extend the season.
Each plant costs £17.40 and comes in a 5-litre pot, www.lubera.co.uk.
- Sea buckthorn Botanica: Branched, pyramidal, 3-4m high and 2.5m wide, very short thorns in
the upper part.
- Cultivation/yield: Up to 15-20 kg from a mature bush (about 8 years old).
- Fruits: Very large, bright orange-yellow, oval fruits which taste sweet-sour with a pleasant aroma.
- Harvest: August/September.
- Sea buckthorn Gardeners Gift: Heavily branched, bushy, 3m high, thorns in the upper part.
- Cultivation/yield: Approximately 20kg can be harvested from a mature bush.
- Fruits: Very large, oval, dark orange, sweet, slightly aromatic, delicate skin.
- Harvest: September.
Cold-pressed sea buckthorn juice
Since the sea buckthorn has relatively large seeds the entire fruit should be pressed through a sieve in order to obtain the juice.
When the juice is cold-pressed, the oil floats on top, which can be left, drunk or skimmed off and used for wounds and burns.
This juice does not require cooking and can be stored in the refrigerator, however only for two weeks maximum. It can also be frozen.
Boiled sea buckthorn juice
The juice can be boiled to preserve it. Press out 1kg of berries and add ¼litre of water and 750g of sugar, heating to approx. 80°C.
Pour into bottles. This juice is long-lasting and the oil also floats to the top. Shake the bottle before using.
Sea buckthorn has a very high vitamin C content, which is destroyed if boiled. If you have lots of fresh juice, freeze it, or make sea buckthorn liqueur…
Sea buckthorn liqueur
750g fresh sea buckthorn berries
1 bottle of vodka
1 pack of vanilla sugar
Pour the juice made from the berries into a bottle and add the vodka and sugar. Close the bottle and make sure that it is airtight.
Let the bottle sit on a windowsill for two months, shaking it occasionally in order to dissolve the sugar. Pour the juice through a sieve after two months.