How do you have “fresh” juice in winter in canada, you use your canned fruit syrups or jellies to make your own homemade versions of the frozen store bought.
I grew up in Western Canada, and we had a red fruit that we picked called chokecherry, it was not go for fresh eating but it makes truly wonderful syrup and jelly, so when I moved to Ontario, I was trying to learn what the local fruits were and at a garden center when DH called out Chokeberry, I thought he made a mistake, and that he meant Chokecherry, nope, it was a little bush, that said fruit was good for jelly, but showed black fruit, and that the bush does not get that big.. unlike a Chokeberry tree which can indeed get quite tall..
So I snarled at the price and brought home two of those little 14 dollar plants, then that very summer I was walking the edge of one of the local fields and found a old patch of this very plant, its about 20 feet by ten feet plus and it produces Buckets after Buckets of fruit yearly for me, plus with permission, I have transplants a number of free babies to my own farm since.
Turns out that this fruit is very healthy for you..
- Chokeberries are low in calories and fats but are rich source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and dietary fiber.
- Black chokeberries compose significantly high amounts of phenolic flavonoid phyto-chemicals called anthocyanins. Total anthocyanin content in the choke berries is 1480 mg per 100 g of fresh berries, and proanthocyanidin concentration is 664 mg per 100 g (Wu et al. 2004, 2006). Scientific studies have shown that consumption of berries on regular basis offers potential health benefits against cancer, aging and neurological diseases, inflammation, diabetes, and bacterial infections. (- By Dr. Paul Gross, 2007-07-09).
- Laboratory analyses of anthocyanins in chokeberries have identified the following individual chemicals: cyanidin-3-galactoside, quercetin, peonidin, delphinidin, petunidin, epicatechin, caffeic acid, pelargonidin and malvidin. These flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants have proven health benefits through scavenging dangerous oxygen free radicals from the body.
- Cancer research on anthocyanins, where black choke berry preparations were first used to inhibit chemically induced cancer in the rat esophagus by 30-60% and of the colon by up to 80%. Effective at both the initiation and promotion/progression stages of tumor development, choke-berries are a practical research tool and hold a promising therapeutic source, since they contain highest amount of anthocyanins among native North American berries [J. Agric. Food Chem. 50 (12): 3495–500].
- They also rich in flavonoid anti-oxidants such as carotenes, luteins and zeaxanthins. Zeaxanthin has photo-filtering effects on UV rays and thus protects eyes from age related macular disease in the elderly (ARMD).
- Chokeberries are also good source of many antioxidant vitamins like vitamin-C, vitamin A, vitamin E, beta carotene and folate and minerals like potassium, iron and manganese. 100 g of fresh berries provide about 35% of daily recommended levels of vitamin C.
- The oxygen radical absorbency capacity or ORAC (measurement of antioxidant strength of food items) demonstrates choke berry with one of the highest values yet recorded -16,062 micro moles of Trolox Equivalents (TE) per 100 g.
I make many pints of this berry’s syrup for winter keeping, I find its taste wise to be very like if you had mixed grape/pear juice together. To date, I have only been able to find the black ones locally.