Spotlight on: Inca berries

New to the Australian health food scene, these tart dried berries have been popping up in salads, cakes and smoothies all over.

So why are they the hottest berries to hit our shelves? Also known as golden berries or cape gooseberries, Inca berries are native to Brazil but are grown all over the world in warmer climates. With a texture similar to dried figs, and a complex flavour combo spanning sweet and tart, they’re delicious in just about anything!

Inca berries also sport an impressive nutritional profile. Inca berries have five to 15 times more iron than other berries. They also contain one of the highest levels of antioxidants; even more than goji berries! These delicious little gems are also a source of healthy monounsaturated fats and provide an uncommonly high level of protein for a berry. Inca berries also contain all the beauty minerals: zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus.

The goodness doesn’t end there. They are packed with more fibre than any other common dried fruit, and it’s a combination of both the insoluble and soluble types, essential for healthy bowel function and keeping you full. You can pick Inca berries up online or in most health food stores. Look for ones that are grown organically, and dried without preservatives or added sugars, to maximize their health-benefits.

Want to get in on the Inca berry act? Here’s seven ways to use them!

1)     As a replacement for any berry in baked goods

2)     As a garnish on top of your smoothie

3)     Sprinkled on natural full-fat yoghurt

4)     As a delish addition to homemade raw chocolate

5)     For a pop of sweetness in tagines, slow cooked meals, or casseroles

6)     In a trail mix

7)     Sprinkled on your salads