An “untapped functional superfruit,” you might have seen “acerola cherry” in vitamins and supplements that boast one of the highest numbers of Vitamin C levels in the world, next to camu camu! ?
What is acerola cherry?: Nature’s sweet gift
Acerola cherry, or Malpighia emarginata, is the Vitamin C source you might not have known you ever needed, containing about 50-100x as much Vitamin C as an orange.
Some might know her as the Barbados Cherry or the West Indian Cherry, and while she’s frequently found internationally outside of the US, you can also find natural bountiful shrubs of her in America solely in south Texas. Along with its glorious helping of Vitamin C, you can also find Vitamin A, Potassium and Calcium wrapped up in the tart, tangy flavor akin to cranberries.
Malpighia’s nutritional profile and benefits
A treasure-trove of antioxidants, you might find acerola cherry dried and ground up as a Vitamin C supplement, as a Vitamin C shot, or even just in a package to enhance smoothies. Let’s dive into its nutritional profile to see all the goodies it has for us:
Vitamin C (via ascorbic acid)
Acerola cherries are an excellent source of vitamin C, which is an essential nutrient for human health and an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, which damage your cells and can contribute to chronic diseases like heart disease, cancers, and even Alzheimer’s. Vitamin C also helps with collagen formation, which helps support your body.
Phytonutrients— helps reduce the risk of chronic disease
Acerola cherries are also a good source of phytonutrients— plant compounds that have health benefits— which act as additional antioxidant support! Safe to say that acerola cherry can help protect your body. ?
All-natural cooking and baking with acerola cherry (malpighia)
Along with extraordinary Vitamin C benefits, malpighia (acerola cherry) also adds a delightful touch to many culinary adventures you want to embark upon. Cooking, baking, blending, smoothie-ing, supplementing— there are so many ways to bring along acerola cherry in your baking endeavors. ?
Our favorite acerola cherry meals
Acerola cherry salsa: elevate the fruitiness of your snack dip with just a little chopping, and crushing.
Barbados cherry jam can create that delicious PB&J, jelly, vegan cream cheese, and so much more. Make a nice side dish in the morning, and use it as an afternoon pick-me-up.
Our favorite acerola cherry desserts
Acerola cherry syrup: just two simple ingredients— acerola and sugar— make up this fruity, tangy, and sweet dessert from Kitchen Archives that you can top on vegan yogurt, ice cream, dessert breads, and everything else you might want to sweeten.
Though not much of a recipe, replacing synthetic ascorbic acid with acerola powder when you’re making homemade bread will help elevate the Vitamin C level of the bread and will prevent the intake of faux foods!
Our favorite acerola cherry drinks
Acerola juice / jugo de cereza Dominicana: a simple 3-recipe juice— you can easily replace the white sugar with honey, agave, or other natural sugar if you prefer.
Cherry chocolate smoothie: for your favorite fruity-chocolatey mix and a Vitamin C boost for a delish drinkable, dessert-y from Plant Based on a Budget.
Supplementing with acerola cherry (malpighia) ?
These little wonders can be effortlessly incorporated into our daily supplement regimen, allowing us to tap into the acerola cherry’s nutritional riches with ease. Tip: try using gelatin capsules instead of tablets so they can absorb better into the body. You can also empty the capsules into a smoothie or water glass to help with the absorption process even more (and if you have trouble swallowing capsules). Here are three Vitamin C and acerola cherry capsules you can explore:
- Paleo Valley Essential C Complex
- IV for Life Core Med Science Liposomal Vitamin C
- Naturelo Vitamin C with Acerola Cherry
- Pure Synergy Pure Radiance C
Add it to your smoothies, drinks, pancake mix, oatmeal, and anything else you can think of in your baking and cooking dreams. Here are a few ways to find them:
- KOYAH Freeze-Dried Acerola Cherry
- Bulk Supplements Acerola Extract Powder
- Navitas Organic Superfood+ Immunity Blend
Glycerite, tincture, or extraction
Extracting the Vitamin C through a glycerite— with vegetable glycerine— or a tincture— with alcohol— allows all its goodness to infuse into the liquid and encapsulate the cherry’s most nourishing essence.
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