Yes, black currant juice is good for you! You can actually find all nutrients from the berries in the juice, if you manage to get a hold of the right juice. That's amazing!
I've previously written about the fact that black currants contain very high levels of vitamin C.
That means that eating black currants strengthen your immune system and promote the digestive system.
One half a cup of black currant covers the entire recommended daily requirement of vitamin C.
I've noticed that, even though we dutifully save and freeze the bounty we get from our currant bushes we still run out of fresh ones.
And to make matters worse it's not always easy to get a hold of fresh black currants.
However, I discovered a few years ago, during one of those "dry seasons" when we were out of currants, that there are delicious black currant juices to be found in the store.
But, is the juice as good for you as the "real-deal", the fresh berries?
Now, armed with alot of research I can tell you like I said in the begining, black currant juice is good for you and even better, if you buy the right one you get all the nutrients from the fresh berries aswell!
I know. It sounds too good to be true. But trust me, black currant juice usually has all the same nutrients that you find in the fresh black currant. This means that during the making of the juice, they managed to preserve all the nutrients from the berry. Even though they heated it some for a longer shelf-life etc.
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Black Currant Juice Is Packed With Goodness!
You find nutrients like vitamin C but also vitamin E and large amounts of antioxidants in the black currant juice. Just like the "real-stuff", the fresh black currants.
Black currants have even higher levels of antioxidants than blueberries and three times as much vitamin C content than oranges.
The high fiber content helps our digestive system and thats good for your stomach.
The juice has a smooth and tart taste that I found both delicious and strengthening (strengthening in a good way.. not in the "if it doesn't kill me"-sense).
Black currant juice is usually quite musty and very tasty. If you make it yourself I recommend you try a more "chunky" version.
In Sweden we have a variety of the juice called black currant "saft". It's usually more diluted and therefor has less actual black currants in it. But it still manages to have the same amazing black currant flavor.
Black currant "saft" is more often than not favored by children and is a very common drink in children's birthday partys. I found genuine Swedish "Saft" for sale on Amazon from one of the largest brands in Sweden. Try it out!
Unfortunately, the juice often contains quite a lot of sugar, which is not that healthy. We usually dilute it a bit more than what's recommended by the manufacturer so that we bring down the sugar intake per mug. Black Currant has a strong enough taste so you hardly notice the extra water.
I've long since decided that it's the black currant flavor that our children love and not the sweet sugar...
Does Black Currant Juice Have Any Medicinal Uses?
Historically, blackcurrant juice was used as "strengthening medicine" and to prevent colds. As I've written before, that strengthening "medicine" taste was probably the result of the fact that sugar was expensive and not added to the juice. Without sugar, it's ... well strengthening...
Both the berries and the leaves have been use for a long time in traditional medicine. Usually by making tea of both. But for those who didn't like tea, it was common (and some still do) to heat black currant juice to counteract colds and other illnesses.
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Fun Fact: Your Brain Loves Black Currant Juice!
Researchers at the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research conducted a study in 2015.
They gathered 36 adults between 18-35 years and gave them 250ml blackberry juice each day.
The results were amazing!
They managed to demonstrate that black currant juice sharpens your concentration, reduces mental stress and improves your mood.
Drinking black currant juice was obviously having positive effects on the brain.
The test subjects were subjected to difficult mental tests and those who drank blackberry juice were significantly better than the control group.
The control group was given a similar juice but without the content of black currants.
The researchers also mentioned in the study that regular consumption of black currants or black currant juice might help prevent Parkinson's and other neurological diseases.
Where To Buy Black Currant Juice?
You can find the juice in well-stocked stores or why not grow black currant berries yourself to make a sweet juice of? It's also possible to buy fresh or frozen berries if you want to make the juice yourself.
Black currants are not always easy to find. You might even live in a state where the Black Currants are banned. You can read more about the ban in our article about health benefits of currants.
You can get lucky and find them in well-stocked stores, they are most commonly stored in the freezer as fresh berries shelf-life is somewhat limited. The juice has a pretty long shelf life but it's also hard to find. You might find it in well-stocked stores or special stores.
If you want fresh black currants, the easiest option may be to actually grow your own (check if your state has banned it though). You can plant Black Currant in your garden or you can put black currant bushes in a large pot. With the bush in a large pot you get the added benefit of being able to place it anywhere you like. Then you'll have easy access to fresh black currants for making your own delicious juice.
If you have access to fresh black currants; freeze the fresh berries immediately after picking them. Black currants are very easy to freeze. With black currants in your freezer you are able to make your own healthy juice whenever you feel like it.
Cold Black Currant Juice Is Easy To Make Yourself [Recipe]
Here's a recipe if you want to make your own cold, delicious and vitamin-rich black currant juice.
- A few cups of Black Currants
- a lemon
- Cold water
- Pour the black currants into a jug or a bowl
- Squeeze some lemon on them
- Pour the cold water so that it barely covers the berries
- Use a Hand-mixer to carefully mix it all together
- You can pour the juice through a strainer if you want a smoother, kernel-free juice.
- Serve the juice with ice
Remember that it's "strengthening" if you decide to drink this without adding any sweetness. If you want a sweeter juice I recommend that you mix in some other berries or fruit, for example strawberries. As a last resort; add sugar.
You can also mix different currants if you also have currants of other varieties. The white ones are the most sweet.
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Cooked/heated Black Currant Juice Is More Difficult [Recipe]
You can cook blackberry juice too, but if you intend to cook your own juice, you should be aware of that the nutrients that black currants contain can be partially lost.
However, cooking does't change the taste. So cooked blackcurrant juice is just as tasty as the cold juice.
Cooked juices are usually more sweet, because of the added sugar.
- 0.3 gallons of Black Currants
- 1.5 cups of sugar
- 1 gallon of cold water
- Pour the black currants and all of the water in a spacious saucepan
- Boil for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to mash the berries
- Pour the juice through a strainer into a bowl
- When the juice has passed through, add the sugar and stir. You'll get the best result if you pour the sugar when the juice is still hot
- Pour into bottles and drink immediately or put it in your freezer
A Juice For Every Occasion?
Black currant juice can be frozen. However, remember to use plastic bottles and not glass.
Black currant juice is the perfect juice to have in the freezer especially during winter. It is a great way to gain some energy during those cold dark days. You can heat up the juice to get some extra warmth.
In my opinion, it's during summer the juice really shines. Add some ice cubes and enjoy it in the sun's warm embrace.
It's common to use black currant juice to form the base of various fruit drinks, juices and smoothies. Try mixing black currants with some other berries or fruit, for example apples.
Conclusion: What We Think About The Juice
Black currant juice is good for you! It's tasty, useful, nutritious, can be good for your brain, warming in the winter and cooling in the summer.
Keep in mind that if you buy bottled juice and want the most nutrients from the fresh berry, read the label carefully and make sure it doesn't contain too much sugar.
I tend to get a litte carried away when I make something from berries (and fruit) so I usually have to freeze quite alot of what I make. But remember, don't use glass bottles, I recommend plastic ones for the freezer.
Trust me, it's a mess you don't want to clean up!
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Frequently asked questions about Blackcurrant Juice
What is blackcurrant juice good for?
Blackcurrant juice contains a large amount of antioxidants. The raw berries have high amounts of Vitamin C, actually about three times higher than in oranges. Avoid buying cooked or cooking the blackcurrant juice if you’re after the Vitamin C content of the blackcurrants.
What is blackcurrant juice made from?
The main ingredient in blackcurrant juice is of course blackcurrants. To make a simple blackcurrant juice, all you need is blackcurrant, water and perhaps some lemon, that’s it! You can also cook the juice, then it’s common to add some sugar to the juice. Cooking the juice reduces the health benefits of the juice but you’ll still get that awesome taste.
Why is blackcurrant illegal in the US?
Black currants was banned in the US in the late 19th century. The black currants spread a disease to trees, which threatened the wood industry. Most states have lifted the ban today but there are a few states where it’s still illegal to grow black currants. Check with your local authority before planting your blackcurrant.
Do you need to cook blackcurrants in order to make a juice?
No, black currants are perfectly safe to eat raw. You can cook them, but it’s not necessary. There are recipes were you merely mix ingredients together to get a tasty blackcurrant juice. All you need is the berries themselves, water and some lemon.