Golden berries are a nutritious, tasty snack! They have many health benefits and can be found fresh or dried at your local grocery store. Here’s some nutrition information and a super easy, delicious chia seed yogurt parfait recipe to try!
Quiz time! What’s another name for golden berries?
- Inca Berries,
- Cape Gooseberries,
- Peruvian Groundcherry
- Poha Berry
- Husk Cherry
- Uvilla Fruit
All of the above!!!
What are golden berries (aka Physalis peruviana)?
Not to be confused with goji berries, fresh golden berries have a papery husk, like tomatillos, which the fruit peels away from quite easily. The tart flavor is perfect for anyone who likes to cook with cranberries or sour cherries in sauces and other dishes. And the bright orange-yellow fruit pops right out of those deep-colored buds!
They require a warm climate with plenty of rain to grow most famously in South America in the Peruvian mountains. (Mine were grown in Colombia). But, lucky for all of us living in the United States, Rutgers University is researching the feasibility of growing golden berries in the Northeastern U.S., and they are also grown in Hawaii.
Golden Berries Nutrition (USDA)
Golden berries, aka Incan berries, are rich in polyphenolic compounds and have anti-inflammatory effects and a high antioxidant content to fight free radicals that cause oxidative stress, contributing to chronic disease and making you age faster. A single serving (1 cup) contains 74 calories, ~ 3 grams protein, ~16 grams carbohydrates, and ~ 1 gram of fat. In addition, they’re a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, beta carotene, niacin, thiamine, and vitamin K. And they provide 6 grams of fiber to help promote a healthy gut microbiome.
Potential Health Benefits
While I would love to see more human studies, in the meantime, we can look to animal and test-tube studies showing potential health benefits, including:
- Blood sugar control. With a low glycemic index of 25, golden berries can help prevent drastic blood sugar fluctuations.
- Bone health. They provide vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin, and a necessary component of bone metabolism.
- Immune health. Test tube studies show potential anti-cancer and immune system benefits from golden berry fruit extracts.
- Protection against vision loss. With a high carotenoid content, they are rich in lutein, beta-carotene, and other carotenoids, which may protect against age-related macular degeneration and vision loss.
Potential Side Effects
They are part of the nightshade family and contain solanine, a toxic metabolite that can lead to digestive upset and toxicity. Keep in mind that solanine is only in unripe golden berries, so it’s important to eat them fully ripe (or dried) and consume them in moderation.
Where to buy golden berries
You can find fresh golden berries in grocery stores. I picked up my recent pint at Trader Joe’s. I have also seen them from time to time at Whole Foods and Jimbos (my favorite San Diego grocery store). You can also buy them dried, both online and at your local grocery store. I like organic golden berries from Nativas Naturals.
How to eat golden berries
You can certainly enjoy popping these beauties into your mouth for a nutritious snack. However, keep in mind that they have a lower sugar content than other types of fruit, giving them a mildly sweet taste, coupled with a sour taste-something I personally like. If you prefer more sweetness, try the following;
- Make golden berry jam by cooking them in a skillet with chia seeds and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey. Use as a topping for pancakes, french toast, or waffles.
- Try dried golden berries paired with walnuts on top of oatmeal.
- Toss some fresh or dried golden berries on top of your favorite salad.
- Blend ’em into a smoothie or smoothie bowl.
- Make a yummy chia seed yogurt parfait, like this recipe below!!!
Easy Golden Berry Chia Hemp Blueberry Yogurt Parfait
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 3 tablespoons hemp seeds
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 1/2 cup organic soy milk, or any plant-based milk
- 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup golden berries, sliced in half
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
Make the chia seed pudding
- Combine chia seeds, hemp seeds, maple syrup, vanilla extract, salt, and soy milk in a single serving dish, bowl, or mason jar. Place in refrigerator to chill for ~45 minutes. Note: May be prepped ahead and chilled overnight.
Make the parfait
- Remove ~ 2/3 of the chia pudding (if serving in the same dish). Top chia pudding w/ 1/3 of the yogurt, 1/3 of the golden berries, and 1/3 of the blueberries. Repeat so you have 3 layers of each and top with sliced almonds. Enjoy!
Enjoy as part of a nutrient-dense, plant-forward diet!
I hope you will give golden berries a try! But, please keep in mind that this *superfood* is just one component of a nourishing and delicious anti-inflammatory diet.
As such, these golden-hued delicacies should be eaten along with a wide variety of high fiber nutrient-dense foods. This includes fruit (especially ALL berries, which are brain health superstars!), vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains (gluten-free if needed).
If you need help adding more of these delicious health-giving foods into your diet, be sure to check out my 30-40+ Plants per Week Challenge!