✓Low-carb ✓Gluten-free ✓Ketogenic (inc-cream) ✓Lactose-free (ex-cream)
We serve this as a classy desert – it is colourful, crunchy, sweetly aromatic and refreshingly light at the end of a meal.
Paleo and ancestral diets recognise that humans have probably always eaten fruit when seasonally available. Studies of animals from orangutans to black bears, show that they can gorge on fruits when available to rapidly put on weight and become insulin resistant(a documented effect of fructose). This evolutionary mechanism sets them up to survive the lean times that follow – in the case of the bear, months of hibernation! So modern humans that have access to fruit all year round need to take care not to over do it. Generally I have a low fruit diet, except when our veg garden gets to berry season in the autumn – then I eat them every day or so, (including some garden apples).
So does it matter which fruits we eat? If our aim is to eat foods as close to those as our ancestors would have eaten we have to recognise that many of the fruits on the supermarket shelves are relatively modern phenomena brought about by selective breeding to enhance their size and sugar content. Compare for example, the modern apple to wild crab apple, or modern plums to wild sloes.
Not only do modern fruit varieties often have more sugar than their wild counterparts, but their juicy flesh has been increased at the expense of the percentage of seeds, skin and fibrous membranes. These components contain many phytonutrients, antioxidants and cellulose fibre which slows down the speed with which the sugar hits our system. At the other extreme, the absence of fibre in pure fruit juice puts such drinks in the same category as sugary coke and lemonade – metabolically dangerous and strongly associated with obesity and diabetes.
The best ‘wild’ fruit then, are the berries. Nutritious and delicious – these little gems of the fruit world make a brilliant and classy desert without making your blood sugar rocket. (That said – if you are diabetic or pre-diabetic even berries are best avoided. Similarly if you are on a ketogenic diet you must only have a small quantity at a time and with lots of clotted cream – oh, the hardship!)
Recipe (serves 4)
Pomegranate seeds (100g) = 18.7g carbs, of which 13.7g sugars
Blackberries (150g) = 7.6 g carbs, of which 7.6 g sugars
Passion fruit (x1) = 2 g carbs, of which 2 g sugars
Total Carbs: 28.3 g carbs of which 23.3 g sugars
Per person: 7 g carbs of which 5.8 g sugars
(compare to sugar in a single apple: 16 g or a banana: 35 g!)
A big dollop of crème fraîche (full fat), clotted or double cream won’t go amiss and can even make it ketogenic! (50g cream at 40% fat content: Ketogenic ratio: 3:1; 70g cream at 40% fat content: Ketogenic ratio: 4:1)
More about Berries
Other wild-type berries suitable for a low-carb / paleo / ketogenic diet
Per 100g fruit
Grow your own – there are many varieties and flavours.
Easy to grow and can be picked from July to Nov.
Sweeter than red currants, but just as easy to grow.
Easy to grow. Distinctive flavour.
Summer and Autumn varieties extend the season.
Need a moist acid soil.
Pick wild or grow thornless cultivars.
Unusual – sweet and sharp.
Tree – takes time to fruit. Messy. Delicious.
Blackcurrants, White Currants and Red Gooseberries, freshly picked from our garden
You can be a seasonal fruit gatherer if you grow berries and currants in your own garden. To learn more about how we grow our own fruit and veg here at Rosemary Cottage, take a look at out gardening blog…