Blackcurrants are having a moment. Research published last year suggested that consuming blackcurrant juice had a short-term positive impact on mental health. More recently, Wooden Spoon Freezery’s Blackcurrant Crunch ice cream took top honours in the 2019 Outstanding New Zealand Food Producer Awards. I can’t be the only person who thinks there must be a link here (not least because my own tests proved that eating this ice cream did make me very happy).
Anyway, it’s about time we celebrated these black beauties. Blackcurrants have been grown commercially in New Zealand for about 40 years and they deserve a bit more air-time. While they’re already well-known for containing high levels of vitamin C and calcium, scientists believe the real magic lies in their antioxidant-rich skins. While you can boil blackcurrants up for jam, the vitamin and antioxidant levels are highest if the fruit is used in fresh, frozen, or thawed state. Bearing that in mind, all today’s recipes are no-cook. Consider them part of your winter chill-beating regime - even if they don’t ward off colds and flu they should at least cheer you up.