Saturday, 4 August 2012

Blackcurrants are best

Slugs and snails have put paid to my pea and bean growing this year at the allotments this year. Despite multiple sowings of both, I've given in. Lost the battle.  But not graciously...

I could rant for ages about how much I hate fact I the allotment. Last week, when I arrived  to find every single one of my peas gone, I literally jumped up and down in annoyance and my dears........I uttered swear words I've never used before, and some I didn't even realise I knew!
Fortunately, I was the only one at the whole site at the time so no one heard - but it did make me feel better

So, no supplies of peas and beans to help my food challenge this year .

But bless my fruit bushes. Epecially the blackcurrant bushes...which produced pounds and pounds of fruit. I picked most of them the other week.....

Sitting there in the sunshine picking fruit has to be one of the loveliest experiences.....daydreaming of making jam, blackcurrant coulis to spread over ice cream and all those packs of blackcurrants in the freezer ready for the fresh tasting tartness of blackcurrants in heartwarming crumbles and pies in the dark days of winter.

I love blackcurrant drinks too,  both alcoholic and non acoholic...and I always have a bottle of cassis in the cupboard to splash into a blackcurrant tart or crumble.  But it's not just the taste of blackcurrants that I like....they are very good for you.

They contain high levels of vitamin C and anthocyanins  which help fight against cardiovascular problems, ageing, urinary tract infections and  mantain healthy vision.

All the more reason to smear lashings of blackcurrant  jam on my sourdough  toast in the mornings...

Later this winter, I'll definitely going to be planting more blackcurrant bushes but in the meantime here's an easy peasy but oh so gorgeous recipe for blackcurrant coulis which I've been making for years....slather it over ice cream, or swirl some in some creamy greek style yoghurt.

Blackcurrant coulis.

500 gms blackcurrants
100 gms sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200 mls water

How to make

Put blackcurrants into a  small pan with 200 mls of water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 5 minutes until the fruit is soft.

Stir in the vanilla extract and cool a little.

Put into the blender, whizz to a puree and then strain through a sieve. Do strain darlings...most imperative - you don't want to sit there with black bits in your teeth afterwards!

This coulis will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge if you put it into an airtight container....or 3 months in the freezer.

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