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Articles - A Healthy Diet:

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A treat for the eyes as well as taste buds

Autumn is the time when the sea buckthorn is loaded with golden or orange-red berries. Sea buckthorn berries are rather sour and not many people fancy eating them raw. Once they're made into a jam though, they're delicious. Making sea buckthorn jam isn't difficult; simply wash the berries, cook them gently with a very little water and press them through a sieve to get rid of skin and pips. Measure the amount of fruit pulp you have and add a suitable amount of jam sugar. Boil up according to the recipe and fill into sterilized jars. You'll get a thick, golden orange spread which is delicious on bread and rolls. Or with cheese.


Sea buckthorn harmonizes with other kinds of fruit such as apricots, oranges and apples. You could make a blended juice by boiling up the berries with water and honey to sweeten. Strain through a jelly cloth and pour into bottles. If you find the result too sour, add a little apple juice.

Health benefits

Sea buckthorn is known to have an extremely high vitamin C content (at least 200 mg per 100 g fruit, more even than lemons). In addition it's one of the few plant foods that contains significant amounts of vitamin B12. This is important for vegans and vegetarians who have difficulty getting enough of this important vitamin. Sea buckthorn is also a source of vitamins A and E, phytochemicals and minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron.


Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) belongs to the Elaeagnaceae family. The bushes grow on the banks of mountain streams, in river valleys and especially near the sea, such as along the coasts of the North Sea and the Baltic. The plant withstands high winds and tolerates salt levels that would kill many other plants. In Germany an area of 700 hectares is under cultivation growing sea buckthorn. Last year around 729 tonnes of sea buckthorn berries were harvested and processed to jam, tea, sweets, syrup and liqueurs.

Grow your own

You'll look a long time before you find fresh sea buckthorn berries to buy in any store. The only way to be sure of a good supply is to grow your own. For a good harvest, you need a sunny site and at least two female plants and one male. Sea buckthorn is not self-fertile and only the female bushes produce fruit. Harvesting the berries is difficult, the thorns are long and sharp, so you'll need sturdy gloves. The berries burst easily if you grip them too firmly, on the other hand they aren't easily detached from the bush. There is an alternative method – wait until the berries are ripe, spread a cloth underneath the bush and shake the bush energetically. The berries are at their most aromatic just before they are fully ripe.


Source: Heike Kreutz, www.aid.de