Super Berry Sneak Attack: Curried Goldenberry Millet Bowl

by Gena on February 15, 2012

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The first time I tasted goldenberries, I swore I’d never eat them again. They were tart, the texture was strange, and they had none of the easy sweetness of goji berries or mulberries, of which I’m personally very fond. Sure, I’d heard about the health benefits; these include an unusual concentration of protein for berries (2 grams per serving), bioflavanoids, phosphorus, fiber, and 45% of the RDA of Vitamin A. But they were too foreign, too intense.

I should have known that these intense, assertive little berries would ultimately grow on me. If there’s anything I like, it’s personality, and these guys have it in ample score. They also have an interesting history: originally cultivated in the Incan empire, they are appropriately also known as “Incan Berries” or “Cape Gooseberries.” The taste is initially very tart—think dried cranberries, but without the sugary aftertaste. If you get used to them, though, you start to pick up citrus notes, along with a subtle and pleasant sweetness, and you soon find that you could eat them by the fistful.

At least, that’s how it went for me. As soon as I grew accustomed to nutrient-dense goldenberries, I started putting them in all sorts of dishes, from trail mix to granola to salads. This week, with two exams pending, I decided to put them into a grain dish for the first time, in the hopes that I could harness their “super” superfood powers. I can’t say that the berries did much for my academic prowess, but they did turn a simple millet dish into something really, really special. And that’s pretty super, in and of itself.

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Curried Goldenberry Millet Bowl (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Serves 4

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 cup millet
1/4 cup goji berries
1/3 cup goldenberries
2 tsps curry powder
2 1/4 cups water
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tbsp orange zest

1) Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion. Cook until golden brown. Add the garlic, and cook about one minute longer.

2) Stir in the millet, salt, berries, curry, and water. Bring to a boil.

3) When water is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 25 minutes, or until millet is plump and tender. Stir in orange juice and zest. Serve warm.

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If you’ve never been able to get into goldenberries, you will once you bite into one that’s this plump and sweet!

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No goldenberries or gojis? Don’t worry. I dig superfoods, I really do, but I also realize that they’re expensive and hard to find. So raisins, currants, and cranberries would also be great in this recipe. The main thing is the curry, the citrus, the millet, and the texture!!

If you’re looking for goldenberries, my source is Navitas Naturals. You can find them in Whole Foods, online, or on Amazon.

Most of us tend to assume that the great class of “superfoods”—goji berries, acai, lucuma, maca, mesquite, goldenberries, and so on—can only be eaten on their own, or sprinkled into toppings and trail mix. It’s often a lot more fun to actually cook with these ingredients—you may compromise some of the antioxidant quality if you actually heat them, but you’ll also showcase flavors and see a side of them you’ve never seen before. This dish is the perfect way to warm up to superfood berries, and I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do!

xo

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

FoodFeud February 15, 2012 at 11:35 pm

Very interesting! I don’t know that I’ve actually heard of goldenberries. I’m obviously curious about anything labelled a superfood but I also like the idea of a savory/sweet mix

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Ali February 16, 2012 at 12:44 am

Awesome idea! I don’t really like golden berries either, but you really made them look good! I agree with you, I think that goji’s would be awesome in this dish too!

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga February 16, 2012 at 1:10 am

You just made me want mulberries! And goldenberries, and currants…I have raisins and cranberries in my cupboard but the other dried berries sound pretty stellar right now.

And this is such a nutrient-dense dish. I add dried fruit to salads, grains, anywhere, really. Extra fiber, a little sweetnesss, some texture, kids like it :) So this is perfect for us.

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Jenn's Adventures February 16, 2012 at 1:30 am

I have ALL of those ingredients! Making this mañana!

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Anastasia@healthymamainfo.com February 16, 2012 at 2:37 am

Sounds good! Never heard of goldenberries before, but I’m glad that for the first time I try them, they’ll be cooked right :) Thanks for the recipe, Gena!

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Alexia @ NamasteYoga February 16, 2012 at 4:41 am

great idea and surely pairs good with any curry or citrus baked tofu! i sometimes cook my morning breakfast like that, just adda bit more gojis and a ntu milk. super tasty!

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JL goes Vegan February 16, 2012 at 6:33 am

My kind of bowl!

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Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles February 16, 2012 at 6:54 am

Delicious! Coconut is one of those foods that took awhile to grow on me. Now I love it!

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Amanda February 16, 2012 at 8:12 am

I’ve been wanting to try goldenberries for a while. The name alone is kind of intriguing. :) Your recipe sounds fantastic – all of the textures and the citrus flavors sound like they pair really well!

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Ruth February 16, 2012 at 8:24 am

I love physalis! I spent a lot of my childhood trying to find rare vegetarian versions of sour sweets, and these are basically nature’s answer to them. Okay, these aren’t that easy to get hold of either, but unlike haribo at least they’re good for me!

I’ve never considered cooking with them before. Thank you for the recipe :)

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Rebecca February 16, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Wait- goldenberries and physalis are the same thing? They have that everywhere in France (I always thought it sounds more like a sexually-transmitted vegetable disease physalis :) ) So goldenberries are just dried physalis then? Wow! And if only I’d spent my childhood munching these instead of Haribo … !

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Ruth February 17, 2012 at 6:45 am

Yes, I’m in the UK and they’re quite common here too! They are pretty when fresh with the ghostly leaves around them, but I prefer the dried ones because they really are like sour sweets :D I wish I had a dehydrator though, as the dried ones are less easy to find. (I agree about the name!)

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Rebecca February 16, 2012 at 8:31 am

YUM! This looks SO GOOD. I adore goldenberries, but have been staying away from dried fruits for digestion reasons – I never thought to cook them, great idea! My intestines and I thank you immensely :) This looks absolutely delicious and a nice change from what have become boring winter meals (aka “how many ways can one cook a squash from december through february? ;) I can’t wait for spring produce!) – love the creativity! Will try asap!

Also, quick question – which curry powder do you use? Or do you make your own?

PS My ode to Choosing Raw in case you missed it :
http://rebecook.com/v/rawkstar.html

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Lisa February 16, 2012 at 9:09 am

I can’t say I’ve ever heard of goldenberries, but I must say I’m intrigued! They definitely look a little strange, and like you said, I’m sure they would take some getting used to, but they certainly sound like they’re worth it. I’ve always wanted to get a little more into the superfoods area of things after reading so much about them on blogs like yours and fitnessista’s.

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McKella February 16, 2012 at 9:46 am

That actually looks fabulous, and I’ve been meaning to vary my grains a little bit. I’m kind of stuck in a brown rice/zeke bread rut. I’ll certainly be using raisins or another dried fruit that I can find in the bulk bins though. Right now cheap wins over super powers.

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Nada (One Arab Vegan) February 16, 2012 at 10:17 am

I have a ton of goji berries waiting to be used up and have been looking for new ways to cook millet so this is perfect. Will let you know how it turns out :)

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Hoshigaki February 16, 2012 at 10:35 am

Great recipe! Versatile. Pretty to look at.
I would eat fistfuls of fresh gooseberries when I would volunteer at this community farm in San Francisco (when I lived there, sigh). It’s funny to see them dried and in the store and “superfoods”! Sadly, the dried ones are too tough on my sensitive chompers.
A funny story about goji berries. I first discovered them when I was living in China in 2007 before they were in vogue in the U.S. (or just becoming so). The Chinese put them in their cups of tea and they float in there and it’s Chinese medicine. They drink that every day all day! I never saw anyone eat them out of hand.
I tried putting goji berries in those sunflower seed raisin balls you posted last month and they added a little superfood component. Additionally, after hearing about the antioxidant content of matcha green tea, I bought some matcha powder and have been trying to add it into nut/dried fruit mixtures and my daily tea.

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Kami February 16, 2012 at 12:09 pm

So good! So quick! Such a delightful mix of flavored that marry quite well. I didn’t have any millet on hand so I used quinoa and it was just fine. I still want to try the millet version. Thank you, Gena! <3

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Carrie (Carrie on Vegan) February 16, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Gena, we are so on the same wavelength! I was just searching for golden berries when I was at Whole Foods recently, but they were $19.99/lb. in the bulk bin…too expensive!!! I’m going to look for the Navitas brand though, I really want to try these healthy berries. Your recipe looks divine.

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Christine (The Raw Project) February 16, 2012 at 12:49 pm

I’ve never tried golden berries, but they sound very interesting and this dish looks wonderful!

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bitt February 16, 2012 at 1:05 pm

I do like golden berries. I’ve learned I have to soak them or they are a little too harsh on the system. If you soak them they go great in smoothies too. Love this idea for a cooked version, that’s another way to soften them up.

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Pamela February 16, 2012 at 2:19 pm
Amanda February 16, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Millet has been missing in my diet lately, this recipe sounds great. I have never tried goldenberries, they sound interesting. I would go for raisins just because they are more readily available to me.

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Rebecca February 16, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Hi Gena! I’m just catching up on your blog — I’ve been crazy busy lately. This recipe looks delicious! I’ve never tried goldenberries but they sound so good. I’ll have to look for them at Whole Foods. BTW sorry to hear you were sick — that is such a bummer! Hope things are going well with your classes. :)

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Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon February 16, 2012 at 9:03 pm

I’ve never heard of these goldenberries before!! The dish looks delicious!

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Ricki February 16, 2012 at 9:31 pm

I had to smile when I read your description of them–I absolutely LOVED goldenberries the very first time I tasted them! (And, oh yeah, by the fistful). ;) I like the tartness better than gojis, actually! So glad you came over to the “golden” side! And this dish sounds positively mouthwateringly good. :)

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Skye February 17, 2012 at 10:09 am

I never would have thought to put berries in a dish such as this. I’ve never heard of goldenberries but I’m going to try some!

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Megan February 17, 2012 at 6:38 pm

I still find it so strange to see people marketing these as a superfood. To me, Cape Gooseberries are just a fruit I used to see regularly in German supermarkets (they’re not common here in Australia), called Physaslis, which were absolutely gorgeous because of their papery husk (much like tomatillos) but unfortunately awful to eat. Give me a dried mulberry any day! haha.

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Simply Life February 19, 2012 at 9:05 pm

I would never think to combine all these ingredients but they look great together!

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