Have you ever heard of Pichuberries? Get the 411 and delicious recipe ideas featuring this nutrition powerhouse!
One of the coolest parts of my job is when surprises show up on my doorstep-dietitian related surprises anyway. For many reasons, I don’t normally write blogs dedicated to samples I receive in the mail, but I can’t help it, the RD educator in me took over. I just have to share because it is rare that someone sends me a fruit or vegetable I’ve never seen or heard of before! Last year, my friend and RDN colleague Manuel Villacorta, author of Peruvian Power Foods and Whole Body Reboot, asked if I would like to try some pichuberries. “Of course I would!” I said, what RDN could turn down sampling a new, exotic whole food? Have you ever heard of Pichuberries?
When the FedEx guy rang the doorbell, he handed me a package with a distinctly sweet aroma. I instantly suspected what was inside… low and behold a treasure trove of pichuberries.
What are they and what do they taste like, you ask? Pichuberries are native to the rich volcanic soil of the Andes Mountains, and are considered the “Lost Incan Treasure”. They are a popular delicacy in South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe. Learn more about their origin here. They are partly sweet and partly tart, kind of like a cross between a blueberry and a tomato. It would be easy to mistake them for small yellow tomatoes if you’ve never seen them. This little berry is quite a nutritional powerhouse! They actually contain almost 40% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin D in a 3/4 cup serving which is very rare in a fruit or veggie. They have a glycemic index of 25, even lower than blueberries making them diabetes-friendly. They also contain 1.7g of protein per serving which is more than pomegranates, blueberries and papayas combined. Pichuberries are packed with rare antioxidants called withanolides which have been shown to suppress carcinogens and decrease levels of oxidative stress in the body. Read about the nutritional benefits here, and if you are interested in reading the research studies, you can find references here.
So how should you incorporate them into your diet? I just started to play around in the kitchen, but so far they were delicious added to my chopped salad topped with a turkey burger.
I also enjoyed them as a great post-workout refuel in my Pichuberry Overnight Oats.
These Pichuberry Topped Protein Pancakes were delish!
Pichuberry Breakfast Ice Cream
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All the recipes for these delicious pichuberry creations will be coming soon to my blog so look out for them 🙂 In the meantime, here’s a new recipe for my Protein Packed Pichuberry Cereal Bowl!
- 3/4 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
- 3 Tablespoons vanilla whey protein powder (preferably sweetened with stevia)
- 1 cup toasted oats cereal (like Cheerios)
- 1/3 cup high fiber cereal (like the kind by Trader Joes, Fiber One or All Bran)
- 3.5 ounces (approximately 1/2 cup) pichuberries, halved
- Whisk together milk of choice and protein powder in a tall measuring cup.
- Add the cereal to a serving bowl and toss to combine.
- Add the pichuberries and pour milk over the top to serve.
More in-depth information about Pichuberries can be found in an article from the June 2015 issue of Today’s Dietitian magazine, as well as a recipe for Pichuberry Guacamole: http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/060415p32.shtml
The sort of bad news? Pichuberries are not readily available across the country. If you long to see them in your local supermarket, speak to the manager and ask for them. They want to please YOU, so always ask for something you want if your store does not regularly carry it.
Let me know if you’ve tried pichuberries and your favorite way to enjoy them!!