Sea buckthorn! Have you heard of this exotic Arctic berry with a beautiful orange color? Have you ever wondered what this berry is and where it is coming from?
In this blog post, we explain all you need to know about this delicious superfood of nature. First, we will start with the origin of sea buckthorn, and we will then continue with other facts, such as how it looks and tastes like, its nutritional characteristics and health benefits, how to use it, and where to buy it.
What is sea buckthorn?
Sea buckthorn (hippophae in Latin) is an edible berry of a relatively big bush that grows by the sea. rarely, you will hear it called sandthorn, sallowthorn, or seaberry as well.
Where does it grow?
It typically grows in cold Northern climates, like Northern Europe, Canada, Mongolia, and northern China and Russia. You can find them both in the wild or cultivated in gardens and farms.
What does it look like and what is its color?
Sea buckthorn berries are relatively small, typically the size of small cranberries with a diameter of around 6–9 mm. Their color is bright orange on the outside, and their flesh is dark yellow or bright orange.
How do sea buckthorn berries taste?
By nature, it has an intense tangy and citrusy taste – something hard to describe unless you try it. They have, however, a delicate sweet side taste once you develop a taste for them. Below we created a “taste-meter” where we show how tart or sweet our Wild Sea Buckthorn powder is according to some of our customers. We hope you find it helpful.
What are the nutritional value and health benefits?
Sea buckthorn berries are very nutritious. Firstly, they are known as vitamin bombs because they contain one of the highest vitamin C concentrations. In fact, they have 3x higher vitamin C than oranges and much higher than other super berries, as shown in the graph below. They are also rich in fiber (see graph below as well) and vitamins A, E, and K.
Further, it is packed with vital omega 3, 6, and 7 fatty acids that are essential fatty acids in our diet. If you are vegetarian/vegan, this is an excellent source of omega fatty acids. Therefore, adding sea buckthorn to your diet is the best way to ensuring your essential omega fatty acid intake.
In addition, they are also rich in essential amino acids, antioxidants [carotenoids (lycopene, β-carotenes, zeaxanthin) and flavonoids (quercetin, kaempferol, isorhamnetin, myricetin). (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3338740/ )
Overall, adding sea buckthorn berries to your everyday diet is a great and easy way to boost vitamin and nutrient intake.
How can I use it?
You can use sea buckthorn berries just like any other berries – for breakfast, smoothies, desserts, and making juice or jam. For example, try out this delicious smoothie bowl or this homemade vegan melon ice cream without an ice cream maker. Once you have developed a taste for it, you can continue using your imagination!
What is sea buckthorn oil?
It is essentially an extract made of the whole berry’s seeds, which is rich in omega fatty acids. Since it’s made from the seeds only, this oil does not contain any other nutrients you get when eating the whole fruit, such as vitamins, antioxidants, etc. For this reason, sea buckthorn powder is an excellent nutrient-rich alternative to oil.
What is sea buckthorn powder?
Sea buckthorn powder is made by drying the freshly picked whole berries using a heat drying or freeze-drying method (read more about the method in our post about What is freeze-dried wild blueberry powder). After the berries are dried, they are processed in fine or coarse powder.
Unlike sea buckthorn oil made of the berry seeds only, the powder typically comes from whole berries, which maintains the whole of their nutrients found in the seeds, the flesh, and the skin of the berry. This guarantees the ultimate nutritional value and health benefits of sea buckthorns.
You can use sea buckthorn powder in endless ways. For example, try out this refreshing smoothie bowl or this homemade vegan sea buckthorn melon ice cream without an ice cream maker.
Where can I buy sea buckthorn berries?
In countries like Finland, Sweden, and Canada, it is relatively easy to buy fresh sea buckthorn berries when in season or frozen pretty much all year round. Unfortunately, elsewhere they are relatively rare in grocery stores. If you cannot find them in stores, you can order the powder from an online vendor.
Where to buy sea buckthorn powder?
The easiest way to add this super berry to your diet is to buy it as a powder. Make sure you read where your berry powder comes from, which part of the fruit it contains, and whether it uses wild or cultivated berries. Arctic Flavors wild sea buckthorn powder is made of premium quality freeze-dried wild berries that grow naturally in Arctic Finland’s purest forests.
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We hope you enjoyed this blog post! It’s one of the most amazing berries out there, and we want to spread the word for this super berry.
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Thanks for reading!