Who Wants a Golden Ticket, When You Can Have a Golden Berry Instead — April 4, 2021

Who Wants a Golden Ticket, When You Can Have a Golden Berry Instead

Golden Berries: Nutrition and Benefits - Ben's Natural Health

Golden berries—also known as Inca berry, Peruvian groundcherry, poha berry, goldenberry, husk cherry and cape gooseberry, aguaymanto, topotopo, and Peruvian groundcherry….(don’t ask me why, why go ask your Mother)…are not actually berries. They belong to the “nightshade” family…the same family as tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants.

Golden berries are native to the mountainous forests of the Andes—countries such as Ecuador, Columbia, Brazil, Peru and Chile where the annual average temperature is about 60°F….and has been cultivated there ever since the days of the ancient Incans—as early as 4,000 years ago. Today they are also found in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Golden berries grow on shrubs that are about three feet high with velvety, heart-shaped leaves and bell-shaped flowers that are less than an inch across.Hawaii, Taiwan, California, India, and Great Britain..

The fruit itself is a bright, yellow-orange orb wrapped in a papery husk…similar in appearance to a tomatillo and about the size of a marble…sort of a mini version of a yrllow cherry tomato.

Golden berries have a tart, tangy taste…similar to other tropical fruits—such as the pineapple or mango.


Nutritional Value

Goldenberries are a low-calorie fruit that contain impressive amount of vitamins, minerals and fiber as shown below, but the primary benefit of golden berries is a high concentration of antioxidants—such as polyphenols and carotenoids—naturally-occuring pigments that give foods such as goldenberries, oranges, pumpkins, and carrots their color.

One cup of golden berries contains…

  • Calories: 74
  • Carbs: 15.7 grams
  • Fiber: 6 grams
  • Protein: 2.7 grams
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Vitamin C: 21% of the RDI for women and 17% for men
  • Thiamine: 14% of the RDI for women and 13% for men
  • Riboflavin: 5% of the RDI
  • Niacin: 28% of the RDI for women and 25% for men
  • Vitamin A: 7% of the RDI for women and 6% for men
  • Iron: 8% of the RDI for women and 18% for men
  • Phosphorus: 8% of the RDI


Health Benefits

Golden berries have many health benefits to offer. Let’s take a look at some of them…

  • Bones…Golden berries are high in vitamin K, a vitamin thar is necessary for healthy bones and cartilage.
  • Cholesterol Levels…Golden berries contain antioxidants and fatty acids—such as linoleic acid and oleic acid—that help lower your cholesterol. levels and establish the cholesterol balance needed to ensure a healthy heart.
  • Diabetes…Eating golden berries can be an effective preventive method and a treatment for Type II diabetes because golden berries contain nutrients that keep you from having high blood sugar levels.
  • Heart…Goldenberries can improve the health of your heart by lowering inflammation of the arteries and blood vessels…as well as blood pressure.
  • Immunity...Golden berries contain significant level of vitamin C…almost 15%DV…that is so important for your immune system.
  • Inflammation…Golden berries contain natural antioxidants and steroids that help calm inflammation caused by such diseases as IBS, arthritis, gout, muscle aches, chronic pain, hemorrhoids, autoimmune diseases, and some neurodegenerative diseases….
  • Liver and Kidney Health...Golden berries can reduce liver scarring and degradation….and also help eliminate toxins by making you pee more and flushing out excess fats, salts, and toxins from the lymphatic system. 
  • Vision…Golden berries contain lutein and beta-carotene that can keep your eyes in top working order as you age and lower your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, vision loss from diabetes, cataracts and other eye diseases.
  • Weight Loss...Golden berries are a good option for people trying to lose weight because they contain a large percentage of your daily nutrients, but hardly any fats or calories….only 53 calories per half cup.

Don’t Berry Your Head in the Sand About Berries — October 4, 2020

Don’t Berry Your Head in the Sand About Berries

  • My goal in this series of posts is to break the Raw Foods Master Grocery List into as many specific subgroups as possible…
  • So let’s take a look at several different kinds of berries that may be available in your local produce aisle or farmer’s market so that we will be able to make smarter choices as to which we stick into our carts…and eventually into our mouths…



  • Nutritional Benefits…high antioxidant, fiber, and calcium content…One half cup of acai berries contains seventy calories and five grams of fiber…one of the best sources of antioxidant polyphenols
  • Source…grow on acai palm trees native to the Brazilian Amazon region
  • Taste…Bitter, rich and mildly sweet
  • Uses…smoothies, juices, breakfast bowls



  • Description…dark blue berries, similar to blueberries that are found mainly in Europe
  • Nutritional Benefitseffective at reducing inflammation….can lower your risk of heart disease…increases “good” HDL cholesterol and reduces “bad” LDL cholesterol
  • Usesjamsfoolsjuices, pies, liqueurs, sorbets, crepes, and other desserts



  • Nutritional Benefits…high content of manganese, vitamin K, fiber, and vitamin C…amazing source of healthy antioxidants and vitamins…compared to berries such as blueberries, cranberries, and red raspberries, blackberries are one of the healthiest berries you can eat.
  • Uses…delicious eaten fresh, but also work well frozen or cooked…popularly used in jams, pies, sauces, and desserts




  • Health Benefits…lowers the risk of heart disease…helps lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels…may lower the risk of diabetes…can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 26%…slows the rate of cognitive decline…reduce blood pressure…protect against aging and cancer…weight loss and anti-aging effects.
  • Nutritional Value…great source of vitamin K…contain good amounts of fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants…renowned as a superfood…low in calories yet high in nutrients…powerful combination of vitamins and minerals
  • Uses…jams, muffins, sauces, and desserts…breakfast foods such as cereals, muffins, and pancakes…common in salads and desserts…pieturnovers, shortcake, or cobblers…sorbet or ice cream



  • Health Benefits…help reduce plaque build-up in your arteries…help with weight loss….help prevent urinary tract infections…support post-menopausal health…improve digestion…have anti-aging properties…drinking cranberry juice can reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, oxidative stress, and “stiffness” of arteries
  • Nutritional Value…rich in vitamin C…packed with fiber and antioxidants
  • Uses…syrups or other preserves….cranberry juice…jams and sauces….traditional accompaniment to Thanksgiving dinner


Goji Berries

  • Nutritional Value..contain high levels of vitamin A and zeaxanthin
  • Health Benefits…reduce the decline in eye health due to aging…can give you a much-needed energy boost
  • Uses…traditionally used as food as well as medicine
  • particularly rich in nutrients that contribute to eye health…also contain important antioxidants.



  • Health Benefits…boosts bone strength…often used medicinally for their anti-inflammatory properties
  • Nutritional Value…particularly high in vitamin C and fiber
  • Uses…cobbler, jams, pies, and other highly sweetened dishes…can also be used to make sauces that go well with duck and game


  • Uses…juice, wine, raisins, vinegar
  • Nutritional Value….excellent source of antioxidants
  • Health Benefits…can help lower both blood pressure and heart rate…can help reduce your risk of getting type 2 diabetes…can also help reduce blood cholesterol and oxidative stress…may even benefit brain health and improve your memory



  • Huckleberries are teeny tiny deep purple-blue berries that are remarkably sweet. They are
  • Uses…great sprinkled on ice cream…pies, tarts, jams, and sauces…perfect addition to baked goods, drinks, and even barbecue sauce
  • Nutritional Benefits…were harvested by Native Americans, who used them both as food and to treat pain and infections…has antibacterial properties

Note…this post is a work in progress…will be adding more berries to the list in the days ahead before finishing out Raw Foods Master Grocery List…thanks for being patient…




  • Varieties…There are three different types of raspberries—back, red, and purple. Red is typically the first color that comes to mind when you mention raspberries, but actually black raspberries provide the most health benefits.
  • Health Benefits…can reduce risk factors for heart disease, such as blood pressure and blood cholesterol…help ward off inflammation…can help fight wrinkles
  • Nutritional Value…full of fiber and antioxidants…high concentrations of Vitamin C
  • Uses…suitable for fresh eating, sauces, and preserves.




  • Nutritional Value…one of the best sources of vitamin C….top-ranked for antioxidant content
  • Health Benefits…help fights cancer and boosts immunity…lower the risk of heart attack and protect against heart disease…good for lowering inflammation…help blood pressure
  • Uses…delicious on cereal, as a shortcake, in a smoothie, or baked into muffins…match up nicely with other berries, melons, and tropical fruits in a simple fruit salad…jams and jellies…dipped in chocolate
    Making the Perfect Raspberry Muffins — April 27, 2020

    Making the Perfect Raspberry Muffins

    Raspberries…The Which — March 5, 2020

    Raspberries…The Which


    Raspberries are another food that is high in antioxidants.
    Buying Raspberries

    Buy certified organically grown raspberries because these have less likelihood to have been exposure to contaminants—such as pesticides and heavy metals. Look for the USDA organic logo on the container to make sure that they are “cerified organic.”.

    Buy raspberries in their peak period—which is mid-summer through early fall…if any other season, opt for frozen raspberries instead.

    Look for berries that are firm, plump, and deep in color….and avoid berries that are soft, mushy, or moldy.

    Make sure that the raspberries are not packed too tightly whenever you are buying raspberries that are in a prepackaged container. The container should have no signs of stains or moisture because this  indicates that they might already be spoiled.

    You will get the most nutritional value—including antioxidants and flavanoids—by choosing raspberries that are fully ripe.




    Storing Raspberries

    Keep your berries, either in their original container or a glass or plastic container that has a sealable lid in the fridge…because they can mold quite easily at room temperature.

    But before sticking them in the fridge first remove any molded or spoiled berriesso that they won’t quickly ruin the other berries.




    Freezing Raspberries

    Fresh raspberries freeze very well. Wash them gently, using the low pressure of the sink sprayer. If you use more force when washing the raspberries, they won’ so that they won’t maintain their delicate shape.

    After you finish washing them, pat them dry with a paper towel. Now “flash freeze” them. This means to arrange the raspberries in a single layer on a cookie sheet and stick the cooking sheet in the freezer until the berries are frozen,

    After the berries are frozen, put them either in a Ziploc bag or a sealable plastic freezer container and stick them in the freezer.

    The frozen raspberries will stay good for up to one year.





    Using Raspberries

    Consume them within a couple of days after buying them because raspberries are highly perishable,

    Here are a few suggestions…



    For breakfast, try raspberries…

    • Added to cereal, oatmeal, or porridge
    • Blended as a smoothie
    • On top of pancakes or waffles
    • With yogurt and granola

    A few more ideas are to use raspberries for…

    • Herbal teas
    • Jams and jellies
    • Salads
    • Sauces for chicken or fish

    And last but not least, use raspberries for desserts such as Raspberry Crumble.



    Raspberries…The What — March 3, 2020

    Raspberries…The What

    Now let’s move on to raspberries, a member of the rose (Rosaceae) family of plants— which also inclues apples, apricots, blackberries, cherries, loquats, peaches, pears, plums, strawberries, and almonds.

    Raspberries are the third most popular berry here in the United States…right after strawberries and blueberries.

    There are over 200 species of raspberries, but these typically belong to one of three basic groups…

    • Red raspberries
    • Black raspberries
    • Purple raspberries



    Raspberries are “aggregate fruits”…which meas that they are actually composed of many small individual fruits….drupelets, and each one has its own seed….and “brambles” which means that they are prickly or thorny.

    The countries that produce the most raspberries are Russia, Mexico (14.8%), Serbia (13.5%), the United States (13.0%), and Poland (12.8%).

    Okay, enough is enough…right?!

    So let’s now talk about the WHY we should include rasperries in our diet.





    Per Half Cup Fresh Raspberries

    • Calories…53
    • Dietary fiber…6.5 grams
    • Fat…0.65 g
    • Protein1.2 g
    • Sugar…4.2 grams
    • Calcium…(25mg…3% RDA)
    • Manganese… (62.7mg…32% RDA)
    • Magnesium…(22 mg…6% RDA)
    • Vitamin B1…(.-032 mg…3% RDA)
    • Vitamin B2…Riboflavin….(.038mg…3% RDA)
    • Vitsamin B3…Niacin…(.598mg…4% RDA)
    • Vitamin B5…Pantothenic acid…(.067 mg…% RDA)
    • Vitamin B9…Folate…21 μg…5% RDA)
    • Vitamin C…(26.2mg…32% RDA)
    • Vitamin E…(6%…0.87 mg)

    Raspberries also contain biotin and omega-3 fatty acids…and have been proven to help prevent and treat diabetes, obesity, and arthritis….(don’t worry…this gets more exciting the next several posts)…

    Blackberries…The What — November 3, 2019

    Blackberries…The What

    Another good option when targetting your smoothie to be most effective for its antioxidant purposes is the blackberry.

    This soft, plump, sweet, and juicy fruit is commonly found in Europe from June until November, but are now also grown commercially in the United States.

    They also grow wild  in forests and hedgerows across most of North America…where they can be found as thorny bushes or trailing vines, known as brambles. These brambles have many very sharp prickles or thorns that can easily tear through your clothes, even through denim, with ease and make the plant very difficult to navigate around. These sharp, thick thorns help protect wild blackberries from large animals.


    Blackberries are considered an “aggregate fruit” because each single blackberry, as we usually think of as blackberries, is not an actual fruit in itself. Instead what we think of whenever we think about blackberries is actually a cluster of about twenty-five tiny fruits called druplets. each having its own seed.

    Acacia Honey—The What?! Why?! Which?! and How?!—July 2018 Honey of the Month — July 2, 2018

    Acacia Honey—The What?! Why?! Which?! and How?!—July 2018 Honey of the Month

    Acacia honey is one of the most popular honey varieties. It is widely considered one of the best kinds of honey in the world, provided it is authentic….and is.highly sought after around the world.

    Acacia honey is made from the nectar of Robinia pseudoacacia, what we here in America know as the black locust tree, or “false” Acacia…

    This tree is not only native to North America, but is also found in Europe—from Northern Italy to the Ukraine, especially in Hungary—where the tree is known as the acacia, even though the honey does not actually come from true acacias.

    As far as color, acacia honey is a very pale, light golden colored—much like liquid glass. Acacia honey is often jarred with the actual honeycomb visible in the jar beause the honey does have such clarity and a pale color.

    As far as taste. acacia honey is one of the lightest tasting honeys in the world, having a clean, light and mildly sweet, floral taste with delicate vanilla tones and no aftertaste..


    Adding acacia honey to your diet can provide many health benefits, including…

    1. Dealing with diabetes…Acacia honey has a very low sucrose content and a high fructose level, making it the best choice for diabetics. In addition to being a good choice for diabetics, acacia honey is known for its therapeutic qualities, including…
    2. Helping boost the health of your skin…The rich supply of minerals found in every type of honey, including iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, and copper, as well as vitamin C and other antioxidants, can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, soothe inflammation, and decrease the appearance of scars, blemishes, and burns when topically applied
    3. Helping you lose weight more quickly...Honey mixed with water or milk can help satisfy your sweet tooth and make you feel full. This will possibly keep you from munching out while vegging out in front of the TV and stimulate your metabolism.
    4. Lowering your blood sugar…Although most people worry about their blood sugar being too high, acacia honey can help lower the blood sugar. Also, hypoglycemia is a dangerous condition, and eating acacia honey can deliver a concentrated burst of carbohydrates to your system that will balance your blood sugar levels
    5. Helping you deal with allergies…Acacia honey, like almost all other honeys, is great for helping you deal with allergies and other respiratory problems because of the antibacterial properties, rich nutrients, and antioxidants that it contains.
    6. Preventing chronic diseases…Acacia honey contains antioxidants that are able to seek out free radicals throughout the body and reduce the negative impacts of oxidative stress…in turn, lowering cellular mutation and reducing your risk of chronic diseases—such as cancer, arthritis and heart disease.
    7. Supporting your immune system…Acacia honey naturally contains hydrogen peroxide, a powerful antibacterial agent that can help prevent infections throughout the body and relieve strain on your immune system.


    When buying acacia honey, or any other honey, make sure that you are buying a honey that is pure, organic, authentic, raw, unprocessed, unheated and unadulterated from a responsible source with a reputation for producing “clean” honey that hasn’t been processed, heated or pasteurized in any way.

    There are many processed products claiming to be acacia honey. Avoid these. After all, our goal in this “What Now?!” segment of Muffins and Magnolias blog has been to start eliminating processed foods from our diets and replace these foods with healthier alternatives.

    Obviously, the best place to buy your acacia honey is directly from a beekeeper, who sources the honey directly from the beehive.

    But you can also find sources of acacia honey from sites such as Organic Acacia Honey.comOlive Nation, and Savannah Bee.


    Acacia honey is an excellent choice for cooking because of its mild flavor and the fact that it mixes easily in liquids and batters. Other ideas for using acacia in your kitchen include…

    1. Berries…Acacia honey is a fantastic topping and the perfect complement to the natural taste of any berry—such as blueberries, blackberries and strawberries…

    2. Beverages…Acacia honey is a good choice for mixing with beverages—such as tea—because it sweetens your beverage, without actually changing the taste of the drink

    3. Bread…Acacia honey and creamy butter makes an excellent topping for toast.

    4. Cheese…Acacia honey is great when served with hard cheeses such as Grana Padano, an Italian cheese made from unpasteurised, semi-skimmed cow’s milk that has been aged for about two years.

    The word “grana” means “grainy” in Italian.

    This cheese is a “grana” cheese—a fragrant, dry, crumbling cheese with a firm, thick and deeply straw-coloured rind and intensely sweet flavor…very similar to Parmigiano Reggiano, but much less expensive because more areas actually produce this type of cheese. Grana Padano is also less crumbly, milder and less complex than Parmigiano Reggiano.

    5. Wine…The best wines to pair with acacia honey are

    • Barolo…such as this Aldo Conterno Barolo Bussia 2013 Nebbiolo
    • Zinfandel…such as this Rombauer California Zinfandel 2016
    • Gavi…such as this Principessa Gavia Gavin 2016

    6. Yogurt…Finally, acacia honey is great paired with Greek yogurt…in recipes such as the following Kiwi Smoothie.