Have you heard of an exotic Arctic berry? Ever wondered what sea buckthorn berries are and where they come from?
In this blog post, we tell all you need to know about this delicious superfood of nature: the origin of sea buckthorn, 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 that is also called sandthorn, sallowthorn, or seaberry.
Where does sea buckthorn grow?
Sea buckthorn typically grow in cool 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 sea buckthorn look like and what is its color?
Sea buckthorn berries are rather 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, sea buckthorn berries have 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 is the nutritional value and health benefits of sea buckthorns?
Sea buckthorn berries are very nutritious. Firstly, they are known as vitamin bombs because they contain one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C. In fact, they have 3x higher vitamin C than oranges and much higher than other super berries as shown in the graph below. In addition, they are rich in fiber (see graph below as well) and vitamins A, E, and K.
Sea buckthorn is also 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 in your diet is the best way to ensuring your essential omega fatty acid intake.
Sea buckthorns 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 buckthorns in your everyday diet is a great and easy way to boost vitamin and nutrient intake.
How can I use sea buckthorn?
You can use sea buckthorn berries just like any other berries – for breakfast, smoothies, desserts and making juice or jam. Try out, for example, this sea buckthorn smoothie bowl or this homemade vegan sea buckthorn melon ice cream without ice cream maker. Once you have developed a taste for it, simply use your imagination!
What is sea buckthorn oil?
Sea buckthorn oil is an extract made of the seeds of the sea buckthorn berries, which is rich in omega fatty acids. Since its 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 sea buckthorn oil.
What is sea buckthorn powder? What are the sea buckthorn powder benefits?
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 sea buckthorn berries are dried, they are processed in fine or coarse powder.
Unlike the sea buckthorn oil that is made of the berry seeds only, sea buckthorn powder typically uses the 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. Try out, for example, this sea buckthorn smoothie bowl or this homemade vegan sea buckthorn melon ice cream without 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 rather 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 sea buckthorn to your diet is to buy powdered sea buckthorn. Make sure you read where your powder comes from, which part of the fruit does it contain, and whether it uses wild or cultivated berries. Arctic Flavors wild sea buckthorn powder is made of premium quality freeze-dried wild sea buckthorns that grow naturally in the purest forests of Arctic Finland.
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Hope you enjoyed this blog post about sea buckthorn! 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!