dried incan golden berries
(Also known as Incan Berries or Cape Gooseberries)

One of the superfruits.  Indigenous to South America, goldenberries were brought to South Africa in the 1800’s and are grown today in countries far and wide such as China, England, Scotland, Norway and India. Rich in vitamin C, Ayurvedic medicine (the medicine of India) says goldenberries flush toxins from the body, improve immunity, increase vitality, and strengthen teeth and nails. For a fruit, they are said to have a surprising amount of protein and even contain some vitamin B-12.

Navitas, one of the companies selling goldenberries, says “goldenberries grow on a small but resilient bush, where natural paper husks resembling Chinese lanterns delicately cradle the small golden fruit on the inside.” Dried, goldenberries look like giant raisins but have a more complex flavor. They’re sweet and tart with hints of orange and grapefruit. Use as you would raisins; as a snack, in muffins, salads, trail mixes, chutneys or sauces. We have packaged goldenberries by Navitas, and our own bulk, scooped goldenberries from a company called Next Organics whose shade-dried berries hail from Peru.

Serves 6 as a main dish

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) or ghee ½ C lentils of any kind
1 onion, chopped (about 2 C) 2 C yellow quinoa
6 cloves garlic, minced 5 C boiling water
1½ tsp Celtic or Himalayan sea salt 1 C dried golden berries
1 tsp black pepper or grains of paradise 1 Tbsp fresh lemon zest
1½ tsp dried rosemary juice of that 1 lemon
 1 C shelled pistachios, optional

Gently warm EVOO or ghee in a skillet that comes with a tight-fitting cover. Sauté onion and garlic until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper and rosemary to skillet together with lentils and quinoa. Stir to coat. Add boiling water, golden berries, lemon or orange zest and lemon or orange juice. Give everything a quick, good stir. Lower heat, cover pot and simmer pilaf 15-20 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Serve as is or garnished with shelled pistachios. I like to serve next to lovely, steamed greens and a baked yam.