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BTD Forums    Diet and Nutrition    The GenoType Diet  ›  What are currants ???
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What are currants ???  This thread currently has 2,516 views. Print Print Thread
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Henriette Bsec
Wednesday, January 2, 2008, 9:36am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Kyosha Nim
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On the explorer list currants are listed as diamond food but are we talking about the small dry grape that looks like a tiny raisin???
or are we speaking about the fruit/berries black/ red currants of the ribes family or both ?
In my menu I see lots of dry currants and in Europe that would always indicate the small grape thing - since fruits from the ribes family is used fresh/ conserved and not dry...

Please notice that raisins are avoids and grapes are black dot fruit so it really makes me wonder....


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Mitchie
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I saw currants at the HFS the other day and they were definitely not typical dried grape raisins.  

Here's a brief internet description Henriette, so I'm guessing your Ribes answer is correct.

Currants are thornless upright shrubs which yield glossy red or black berries, depending on the species. In order to be classified as a currant, the bush must be in the genus Ribes.  

They sound tasty!


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Henriette Bsec
Wednesday, January 2, 2008, 10:25am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Kyosha Nim
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I grow both the ribes version
The red ones Ribes rubrum are very pretty -like tiny red pearls - very tart
and the black ones Ribes nigrum taste very strong
Both are very high in vitamin C
and need some sweetner to be eatable.
The red currants come in a white version as well - and they are sweeter - but not so pretty.

but have never ever seen them dry that was why I got confused

However Gooseberries Ribes uva-crispa are diamond food as well and they belong to the ribes family as well.
All three are very common in Denmark.


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Mitchie
Wednesday, January 2, 2008, 10:32am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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What a treat to be able to have them fresh!


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Henriette Bsec
Wednesday, January 2, 2008, 10:37am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Kyosha Nim
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Yes they are some of the new EASY diamonds foods... have a harder time getting the acai  and gojiberries here or the emu and ostrich are not tham common here in he high north


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Don
Wednesday, January 2, 2008, 12:29pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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My mother used to make wonderful current pie and pancakes from the fresh, or frozen, currents we would harvest from our yard.

I will have to see if I can find a source for them.


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Henriette Bsec
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Kyosha Nim
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They grow pretty easy both in cold and in warmer climates.
I know they grow them in France but I guess NA is hotter than that.
I dont do much with my bushes - just cut / thin them when I pick the berries anyway lazy girl it is easier to pick them when you have cut some of the branches.
They freeze well and I have seen in my granny s ww2 cook book that they dry as well so next year Ill be more careful to pick them ALL and not let the bird have them.,


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Schluggell
Wednesday, January 2, 2008, 1:54pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Henriette Bsec
"...In my menu I see lots of dry currants and in Europe that would always indicate the small grape thing - since fruits from the ribes family is used fresh/ conserved and not dry...Please notice that raisins are avoids and grapes are black dot fruit so it really makes me wonder....

Currant {Ribes sp. - Grossulariaceae}
Grape, Sultana {Vitis sp. - Vitaceae}
Serviceberry, Sakatoon {Amelanchier spp. - Rosaceae, tribe: Maloideae}

Currants can sometimes be confused with Sultanas (especially US}& there is a "Zante Currant" which is a seedless grape - But you are right, Currants are not raisins and in the Ribes genus.
There is also a "Currant Tree" wich is actually a cousin to the Serviceberry {Amelanchier sp.}.
Currants are not too common in US - Except for not so good eating Black types also related to the Swamp Gooseberry {also ribes}.
NOTE: The English use of the word comes from a grape called the "Reisin de Corauntz" {Raisin of Corinth}...
There are also Ornamental Currants used for landscaping that can still produce good eating berries.



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Don
Wednesday, January 2, 2008, 2:06pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Henriette Bsec
They grow pretty easy both in cold and in warmer climates.
I know they grow them in France but I guess NA is hotter than that.

We grew them in Michigan when we lived there and I think we still have a few bushes on our farm in the Smokey Mountains of TN. Both locations have cold weather and don't get as hot as my current Alabama location.


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Don  -  Wednesday, January 2, 2008, 9:43pm
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Henriette Bsec
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TypeOSecretor
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After reading the posts, I'm afraid to believe I can eat these.....
Today I bought organic currants on sale at the health food store--almost $5 a pound--more than double the price of organic raisins.  They did not have additives.  The ones at Trader Joe's did have additives.

They taste sweet, almost like a raisin, they are a dark brown or purple.  I'm hoping they are the correct variety because I like them and can imagine them into many uses--perhaps an oatmeal bread, a pancake or other things.


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Don
Friday, January 4, 2008, 3:46am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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The currents I have had are very tart.

I think I liked the current pie and pancakes so much because of the sweet and sour mix.


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OSuzanna
Friday, January 4, 2008, 3:51am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Don
My mother used to make wonderful current pie and pancakes from the fresh, or frozen, currents we would harvest from our yard.


You could harvest frozen ones this week, the way the weather's been!


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OSuzanna
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Quoted from Schluggell

Currant {Ribes sp. - Grossulariaceae}
Grape, Sultana {Vitis sp. - Vitaceae}
Serviceberry, Sakatoon {Amelanchier spp. - Rosaceae, tribe: Maloideae}

Currants can sometimes be confused with Sultanas (especially US}& there is a "Zante Currant" which is a seedless grape - But you are right, Currants are not raisins and in the Ribes genus.
There is also a "Currant Tree" wich is actually a cousin to the Serviceberry {Amelanchier sp.}.
Currants are not too common in US - Except for not so good eating Black types also related to the Swamp Gooseberry {also ribes}.
NOTE: The English use of the word comes from a grape called the "Reisin de Corauntz" {Raisin of Corinth}...
There are also Ornamental Currants used for landscaping that can still produce good eating berries.



always a pleasure to see your posts, Schluggell

I thought I saw boxes of currants next to the boxes of raisins in the grocery store...


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TypeOSecretor
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Quoted from Schluggell

Currant {Ribes sp. - Grossulariaceae}
Grape, Sultana {Vitis sp. - Vitaceae}
Serviceberry, Sakatoon {Amelanchier spp. - Rosaceae, tribe: Maloideae}

Currants can sometimes be confused with Sultanas (especially US}& there is a "Zante Currant" which is a seedless grape - But you are right, Currants are not raisins and in the Ribes genus.
There is also a "Currant Tree" wich is actually a cousin to the Serviceberry {Amelanchier sp.}.
Currants are not too common in US - Except for not so good eating Black types also related to the Swamp Gooseberry {also ribes}.
NOTE: The English use of the word comes from a grape called the "Reisin de Corauntz" {Raisin of Corinth}...
There are also Ornamental Currants used for landscaping that can still produce good eating berries.



The type I bought was called a Zante Currant - is this OK (still a superfood) Schluggell?
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TypeOSecretor
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Quoted from TypeOSecretor


The type I bought was called a Zante Currant - is this OK (still a superfood) Schluggell?


I answered my own question - I went to the Typebase and it listed a Zante Currant under "Currant."
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Henriette Bsec
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Kyosha Nim
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Well I see the confusion is still here
I think if your dry currant looks like a tiny raisin it is made out of small seedless grapes...
while the ones Don and I speak about is related to gooseberries, black currants  but are red when fresh and very tart and from a different family: Ribes...
They are very dark red when dried ( my mum tells me I have never seen them dry )

I think it is absolutely confusing that the typebase speaks about two different berries !!!

Since gooseberries are a ribes family like REAL currants ...
my guess is that we are NOT talking about the tiny seedless grape but about the tart red or black currant berry
and please note that grapes are black dot foods... so why should a seedless grape ( Zante currant ) be a bennies.


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Brighid45
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The only true currants I've seen have been in black currant jam. As Schluggell said in his post, zante currants are actually small dried grapes and NOT the Ribes family currant. I've never seen fresh currants or gooseberries available over here in the States, more's the pity.

I will try a google search to see if there's a source in NA for currants. Diamond Organics might be a good place to try, but they tend to offer seasonal produce only (not a bad thing at all, but it means you only get the fruit or vegetable if it's fresh, generally speaking). And they are pricey, so be warned.


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Brighid45
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Kyosha Nim
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Check out this site:

http://www.currants.com/index.php?src=gendocs&link=Growing&category=Main

They sell 5 and 50 lb bags of fresh frozen black currants for $3/lb, plus shipping and handling. Price is dependent on the crop quality and also the quantity you're buying.

There is also a good explanation of the difference between 'zante currants' and black currants, and how the name mixup came about.


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Henriette Bsec
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Kyosha Nim
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Thanks what a interesting story about the forbidden berry

It is funny but both the red and the black currant is so easy to grow here that is almost a weed.


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ABJoe
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We had some red currants growing in Colorado...  We also grew gooseberries.  I was one of the few in our family that liked both.  

I ate some currants fresh from the bushes.  They are small, but very flavorful.

Both grow in USDA zones 3-6 or 3-7.  Plants are available for delivery from http://gurneys.com/search.asp?ss=gooseberry.  Be sure to verify that the plants can be shipped to your location.


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Quoted from TypeOSecretor
I answered my own question - I went to the Typebase and it listed a Zante Currant under "Currant."

Well, now, wait a minute.  What matters is which type of currant Dr. D. meant, the "real" currant (the tart berry that is like a raspberry or blackberry) or the "zante currant", which is apparently a dried grape of a different variety (lighter and larger) than your typical raisin.  If the BTD Typebase4 lists currant, zante (edited to add:  see post below/next post, as it does NOT list that), then maybe the GTD superfood is the zante currant (edited to add:  see next post)?


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edited to add:  see next post in two key places
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  Hold on, Typebase lists "currants, red/black".  So, obviously (to me, anyway, just my opinion) Dr. D. means that the red and black REAL currants are the superfood.  Not the dried grape currant.  That would be your black-dot toxin to limit, by virtue of its grapeness.  *sigh*.  Dried apricots it is, then, for the oatmeal I plan to buy.  They are better than any old Zante currant or raisin anyway, right, Gatherers?  Am I right?!  RIGHT!  Forward, unafraid!


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They're easy to grow, in the right climates.  If they can grow in the Utah high desert, they're pretty tough, and they grow wild.

They are very sour...especially the wild ones!


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I'd imagine black currants would taste best in something like a pie or in a sweet quickbread, where their nice tart taste would offset the sweetness. Sort of like cranberries. I have had black currant juice and it's really delicious--very tart and refreshing.

Next week I'm thinking of ordering some of the fresh frozen currants from the company in upstate New York. If I do I'll report my experience here and get some good recipes to share as well.


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jayneeo
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but no sugar, ...maybe stevia would work,... not in a pie of course, because the sugar is needed to thicken the berries, but as a fruit compote, the cooked currants and some stevia could be very good.
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TypeOSecretor
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Thanks for all the feedback on Zante's.  Since I bought them, I'm still going to eat them, and I'll enjoy them.  Maybe some day I can enjoy the real deal.
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Henriette Bsec
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Kyosha Nim
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Well since Im from a part in the world where both red and black currants are used a lot I thought Ill say a bit about them.
Red currants Ribes rubrum are very tart when they are fresh,
we use them in jellies ( they have alot of natural pectin )
in desserts often mixed with raspberries (another good Explorer berries.) or with nectarin/peach
You can make "ryste ribs" / shaken currants - you take fresh or frozen berries and add sugar
( now it will be honey and stir a lot and let them mix together.this fresh raw jam/ fruitsauce is eaten on icecream (  ) or fatty yoghurt ( that comes back later for me)
They are often added to mixed berries in jams and pie shells.- but can be a bit too much on their own.Since I have never seen them dried I plan on drying them ,,, my mum tells them they add a nice tart thing in muesli.

Black currants Ribes nigrum are much stronger and complex in flavour.
They make very good jams and jellies  - especially the jelly is very good with meat
It is often used in juicedrinks or cordials or as blackcurrant rum
I dont know any who would eat the black currant fresh ...
but kids seem to like small amounts of the fresh red currants - a bit like tart vinegums in flavour.




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Brighid45
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Thanks Henriette, your description of 'ryste ribs' sounds so good! I've never had fresh red or black currants, just the juice (which was delicious!), but they sound very much like our North American cranberries--really tart, low on the glycemic index and wonderful when paired with other fruits. Next week I'm going to try ordering a five pound bag from that company in upstate New York and will start looking for recipes to share with everyone.


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TypeOSecretor
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Ask and you shall receive...

This morning I was at Trader Joe's walking out of the store with my purchases.  I thought I'd ask the manager if they ever got lingonberries or gooseberries.  He said they had gooseberries a long time ago, but now they had currants--they had received them in about one week ago.  There was no predictability as to what types of berries they get in - but he showed me the section where they would be.

Well, they were the real red currants - from Chile, 5.6 oz for $2.99.  They taste quite tart, so maybe I'll try making an oat flour pancake in the morning with my homemade basamati rice milk and an egg.    I'll add a few currants now that I have the real deal.  Maybe a few drips of molasses in the batter & possibly on top.  I hope my homemade baking powder (cream of tarter and baking soda) is OK.
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Brighid45
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Ooohh, that sounds good TOS! I bet those pancakes will be tasty! Please let us know how they turn out!

The bulk foods place where I get my GF flours also carries unusual jams and jellies, and they had lingonberry preserves from Sweden. Next week when I have a bigger paycheck I'll get some to try.

There should be a recipe for corn-free, aluminum-free baking powder in Typebase if you'd like to try it. It's one that Melissa put in. It's rice flour, cream of tartar and baking soda. I'm going to try using oat flour in place of the rice for my next batch. It works pretty well.


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TypeOSecretor
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Quoted from Brighid45
Ooohh,
There should be a recipe for corn-free, aluminum-free baking powder in Typebase if you'd like to try it.



I just use equal parts of cream of tarter and baking soda.  
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Henriette Bsec
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Kyosha Nim
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Lingonberries are very much like cranberries just smaller and less tart.
Every time I go to Sweden I get some since we dont grow them a lot here. I know a few places in the other end of Denmark were I can pick some.... but they need acid soil and heather like areas not much of that around me.
BUT I did plant 1 bush in my acid blueberry rhododendron bed  so maybe I should some more  


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TypeOSecretor
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After reading some online information on currants, I'm wondering if black currants are more beneficial healthwise than red currants:

Black currant information:  http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/curbl131.html

Red currant information:  http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/currd132.html

Not really sure - just guessing???
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Henriette Bsec
Sunday, January 6, 2008, 5:43pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I dont know but look at the break down here
Red currants: http://www.foodcomp.dk/fcdb_details.asp?FoodId=0220
black currants: http://www.foodcomp.dk/fcdb_details.asp?FoodId=0272



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TypeOSecretor
Sunday, January 6, 2008, 7:53pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Wow, Henriette - I don't think I've ever seen such detailed food chargs - that's impressive.  I'm probably not too adept at interpreting all that data.  I'll have to sit down and study them some day.  Thanks.
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TypeOSecretor
Sunday, January 6, 2008, 8:18pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I made my oatmeal flour-red currant pancakes this morning.

I didn't measure too much - but this was about what I used:  1 cup oat flour, 1-2 cups? homemade basamati rice milk, 1/4-1/2 tsp. salt, 2 tsp. cream of tarter, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 egg, 1-3 T. molasses (just poured and tasted before adding other dry ingredients).  I used a little ghee in the bottom of the pan, poured my batter, then added a tablespoon or two of red currants.  

The first pancake crumbled and fell apart, but the combination of the dough and currants tasted OK - kind of like very subtle  gingerbread.  But my mind immediately screamed out for a big hunk of butter.  Somehow I didn't have to comply.

I thought maybe I'd better add some oil to hold the batter  together, so I added a tablespoon or two of regular olive oil (not extra virgin because it's too strong).  This held the pancake together but kind of spoiled the subtle gingerbread taste.  Next time, I will try using melted ghee in the batter.  I also added currants to this pancake.

I cooked the remainder of the pancakes without currants.  They are sitting there wrapped up in plastic wrap.  Maybe I could use them for a wrap for a little sandwich?   or maybe I could make some stuffing with sage.  Just daydreaming about some things.

When I made the basamati rice milk, I used 1 cup brown basamati rice - got 2 quarts rice milk.  I did not filter it just blended it with the hand blender.  Therefore, the bran was not wasted and went into my pancake.

I bought two small containers of red currants.  One container I will use fresh - such as in the pancake.  Later today, maybe a salad with organic baby spinach, sliced crimini mushrooms, and currants - topped with sea salt, nutritional yeast, Umeboshi plum vinegar, olive oil.

The other container, I juiced.  I soaked the currants in water to clean, then tossed them in a small pot, stem and all.  I only added about 1 T. water (my cookbook said no water had to be added) - brought to a boil.  Turned off heat but left on burner 5 min, then slow cooked 10 min.  I ran everything through a strainer to get juice.  Not sure what I'll do with it.  May cook a lamb chop - at the end add some currant juice and a little fresh chopped mint and a touch of mustard, as many currant recipes mention these ingredients.  I don't have enough juice to make jelly - and sugar is out for awhile.

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Melissa_J
Sunday, January 6, 2008, 9:28pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Thanks for all the ideas... I can't wait to try some currant oat pancakes, once currant season comes around.  

We have other beneficial oils now, like grapeseed and rice bran oil, that don't have a strong flavor, and they're great in pancakes.

If you do strain your rice milk, you can also eat or use the solid part left behind. From brown basmati rice, it's quite good.  You can eat it as porridge or grits, or use in cooking.  It's probably quite beneficial, with all the bran and fiber.  No need to waste it!




Type O+ blogger, secretor afterall. Gluten intolerant. With two gluten intolerant sons:  A+ Secretor 10 yo (also fructose intolerant and slightly egg allergic), and  O- 7yo.
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Lola
Sunday, January 6, 2008, 10:01pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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TOS,
are you a gatherer, also?


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TypeOSecretor
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Quoted from Lola
TOS,
are you a gatherer, also?


Not sure yet - just guessing - I had been ill and did my own measurements one night.  When I feel better, I'll get together with a friend.

Thanks Melissa for the tips on rice milk residue.  I wasn't planning to throw it out, but not yet sure how I'm going to use it.  It was perfect as is for the pancakes.
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TypeOSecretor
Tuesday, January 8, 2008, 10:37pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I have so much to learn since I received my Genotype book - things I did not have the ability to know before now.

Anyhow, just in case anyone wants to try the recipe I posted above for oatmeal pancakes with currants - I have just read that combining sugars and starches together may lead to fermentation.  Specifically, the molasses I used in the recipe combined with the oat flour...  Live and learn.

This has been quite an education.
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Carol the Dabbler
Tuesday, January 8, 2008, 10:55pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Brighid -- thanks for the link to that fresh-frozen currants company!

I have never eaten either red or black currants except in jam (which was apparently a mix of the two, judging by the illustration on the label), but (FYI) I have heard that black currants have a very distinctive flavor, sort of musky, which some people love and others don't care for.  Apparently, the red (and white or pink) ones have a less exotic flavor, more or less sweet or tart, depending on the variety.


Carol

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Cheryl_O_Blogger
Tuesday, January 8, 2008, 11:30pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from TypeOSecretor
After reading some online information on currants, I'm wondering if black currants are more beneficial healthwise than red currants:

Black currant information:  http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/curbl131.html

Red currant information:  http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/currd132.html

Not really sure - just guessing???


On the glycemic side, the red looks better, more fiber compared to sugar and a higher percentage of fructose.  Variety is always good, have some of each if you can find them.



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jayneeo
Tuesday, January 8, 2008, 11:49pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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there was a popular black currant tea some years ago...I'm sure its still around...wonder if it offers any of the good stuff? I'm thinking it was with black tea, (a superfood)
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annesae
Saturday, February 2, 2008, 4:29am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
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The GennoType Daily says this about currants: (February 1)
Teacher: A handful of dried currants are the perfect treat for you, Teacher. They're not as sweet as raisins, but they're about the same size and have a great chewy texture. Make sure you buy a variety that doesn't contain any extra sugar.

That sounds like the ones I can buy in the grocery store.  
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Lola
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thanks Vicki!
'you never stop learning!....'


''Just follow the book, don't look for magic fixes to get you off the hook. Do the work.'' Dr.D.'98
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Brighid45
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Jaynee, you're probably thinking of Twinings. I do love their black currant tea and admit to drinking it now and then. The only caveat is that they have 'flavorings' listed in the ingredients--so be warned. Still, it's pretty good tea--nice and sweet with a hint of smokiness. It's so cool that black tea is a superfood for us Gatherers now!


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Linda
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Oh, how disappointing!  I thought it was too good to be true to find Zante Currants next to the raisins in my 'regular' grocery store


OUCH!!   My dogma was just run over by my karma!
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Ellie
Monday, February 4, 2008, 1:01am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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this is confusing, in my local shop they have currants & raisins separately, i will have to check & see what they are...I had been quite excited!


8 feb 2008:Weight Loss on GTD so far (without trying): 4 kilos (about 8 lbs - half a stone)
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annesae
Tuesday, February 5, 2008, 6:43am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
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I don't get it.  The genotypediet site describes grocery store currants and says they are beneficial for gatherers.  But Brighid and Vicki would rather trust the marketing website of a company that is selling a different kind of currant.  If we can't believe the genotypediet site about currants, why should we believe it about anything?  
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Vicki
Tuesday, February 5, 2008, 2:01pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Not really a big deal.  We have other foods with the name problem as well.  For instance yams in the grocery store are sweet potatoes.  Yams on the lists refer to the true yam. More info here:


http://www.dadamo.com/typebase4/depictor5.pl?458

are not the same as these:http://www.dadamo.com/typebase4/depictor5.pl?323

The supermarket calls all sweet potatoes yams but the listing of yams in the BTD and GTD is not the same as a sweet potato.  

BTW, many countries never outlawed currants, like the US did, so they know what currants are and can buy them from their market.  Here, we lost the knowledge of currants and I'm very happy to see a company bringing them back as scientists worked with the government to take the law away.  Buy some currant plants and help them thrive in the USA.



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Henriette Bsec
Tuesday, February 5, 2008, 3:34pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Kyosha Nim
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Quoted from Vicki

BTW, many countries never outlawed currants, like the US did, so they know what currants are and can buy them from their market.  Here, we lost the knowledge of currants and I'm very happy to see a company bringing them back as scientists worked with the government to take the law away.  Buy some currant plants and help them thrive in the USA.


Do you mean that US outlawed currants( red and black )
not surprised that there are so much confusion then...
I wonder how all the "new Americans" with roots in Scandidnavia felt... these fruits/berries are so common in our cuisine.


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Vicki
Tuesday, February 5, 2008, 3:41pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Yes.  Here's the details:  http://currants.com/index.php?src=news&refno=6&category=News%20Archive

and more on the man behind the return of currants to the United States:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/f.....=&pagewanted=all
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Henriette Bsec
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Quoted from Vicki
Yes.  Here's the details:  http://currants.com/index.php?src=news&refno=6&category=News%20Archive

and more on the man behind the return of currants to the United States:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/f.....=&pagewanted=all


wow
Thanks


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Lola
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Carol the Dabbler
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Quoted from 2374
The GenoType Daily says this about currants: (February 1)
Teacher: A handful of dried currants are the perfect treat for you, Teacher. They're not as sweet as raisins, but they're about the same size and have a great chewy texture.


It looks like the GenoType web people are still experiencing some rough patches (like their announcement that Dr. D was going to be *on* The View).  If "currants" are dried, they are almost certainly Zante currants, which are merely teeny little raisins.  (Note that Typebase lists Zante grapes among the varieties used for raisins: http://www.dadamo.com/typebase4/depictor5.pl?339.)  If raisins are verboten for your GenoType, dried currants are presumably a no-no as well.

The currants listed on Typebase, on the other hand, are "a tiny berry related to the gooseberry": http://www.dadamo.com/typebase4/depictor5.pl?134.  There are two species of this currant: red (which also includes white and pink varieties) and black.  They are rarely available in stores or even farmer's markets in the U.S., but (as others have mentioned) are easy to grow in about the northern half of the country.



Carol

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