BARBADOS CHERRIES (ACEROLA): ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS SUPERFOOD
The tropics have gifted us many fruits and among them is the Barbados cherry, a delicious yet healthy food that is wonderful eaten fresh and makes a beautiful canvas for a variety of dishes. Join us as we take a closer look at what makes Barbados cherries so irresisitible and why they are a beloved superfood.
WHAT IS A BARBADOS CHERRY?
This sweet cherry varietal comes from the Caribbean and it is similar in size to American cherries. It is also known as acerola, Puerto Rican cherry, and West Indies cherry.
ACEROLA CHERRY BENEFITS
Image via Andréia Bohner/Flickr
What makes acerola cherry so special? It is a very powerful antioxidant. In fact, Barbados cherries contain the highest vitamin C content of any fruit. This makes this fruit a superfood and a popular supplement (look for acerola cherry powder at your local health foods store).
In addition, researchers have found that acerola juice can protect against inflammation and may be a tool to fight fatigue, which makes it a popular supplement among athletes.
USES FOR ACEROLA CHERRY
Image via Alberto Monteiro/Flickr
In the Caribbean and some parts of South America, acerola cherries are enjoyed fresh eaten right off the tree but they are also popular in juices, jams, desserts and ice cream.
Fresh acerola juice is an exquisite delicacy worth looking for on a visit to Puerto Rico or Barbados. If you can't make it there try searching for frozen acerola juice concentrate commonly sold in the freezer section of Latin supermarkets.
A fun way to incorporate Barbados cherries into your diet is to prepare this colorful acerola jelly. The recipe combines two types of cherries, acerola juice, gelatin and an easy garnish of whipped cream and fresh mint.