What are Crandall Currants?
In the spring Crandall is a massive array of yellow trumpet-shaped flowers. A striking ornamental currant found in the best gardens in Europe. Swallowtail butterflies flock to the blooms. Also called Clove Currant and Missouri Currant. The unique taste of the shiny black fruit is pleasant, sweet with a touch of tart. Space 5′ circle. Zones 4-7.
This disease resistant, easy to grow crandall currant is a must for homesteaders and people who are into preserving foods. The berry itself looks like a blueberry and can grow to be just as large. I own several bushes and confess it’s my favorite among my edible fruits. Reading through the list below you can see why. The crandall currant pretty much adapts to any soil or climate and is a joy to eat right from the bush. We live in zone 3-4 and have had no trouble with the bushes freezing.
|Disease Resistance||Very Good|
|Drought Tolerance||Very Good|
|Wet Soil Tolerance||Fair|
|Fresh for Kids||Excellent|
Dried crandall currants are a powerhouse of nutrition. They’re low-fat, cholesterol-free and high-protein, with each cup of dried currants containing 5.88 grams of protein. Dried currants are also an excellent source of nutrients that are essential for health, including dietary fiber, copper, manganese, and potassium.
Dietary fiber, also known as roughage or bulk, includes the parts of plant foods your body can’t digest or absorb. Unlike other food components, such as fats, proteins or carbohydrates — which your body breaks down and absorbs — fiber isn’t digested by your body. Instead, it passes relatively intact through your stomach, small intestine, and colon and out of your body.
A 1-cup serving of dried black currants contains 9.8 grams of dietary fiber.
Copper is an essential trace mineral necessary for survival. Most of the copper in the body is found in the liver, brain, heart, kidneys and skeletal muscle. Copper helps with the formation of collagen, increases the absorption of iron and plays a role in energy production.
Dried black currants provide 674 micrograms of copper in every cup or about 75 percent of an adult’s required daily intake.
Manganese is an important trace mineral needed for many vital functions, including nutrient absorption, production of digestive enzymes, bone development and immune-system defenses.
A 1-cup serving of dried black currants has 0.675 milligrams of the mineral manganese. For a man, this amount fulfills nearly 30 percent of his daily manganese requirement. For a woman, a cup of dried black currants supplies 37.5 percent of her manganese RDA.
Potassium is one of the seven essential macrominerals, along with calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, chloride, and sulfur. Its primary functions in the body are regulating fluid balance and controlling the electrical activity of the heart and other muscles.
Dried black currants contain 1,284 milligrams of potassium in every cup.
|Age (years)||Recommended potassium intake (milligrams a day)|
|14 and older||4,700|
|Women who are breastfeeding||5,100|
Although these minerals above tell you the amounts a person needs and what dried crandall currants provide, don’t forget there are more ways to eat them. Fresh from the plant (raw) like any fruit or vegetable is always best and will provide you with the highest amount of nutrients. For those of you who don’t like them raw and or dried, you can always use them to make jams, jellies or syrup.
The idea is to enjoy them no matter what your taste buds prefer.
How to Make your own Crandall Currant Jelly.
- Crandall currants
- 4 Pots or kettles
- Potato masher or spoon
- Strainer or mesh cheesecloth
- Jar holder
- Glass pint or jar
- Canning Lids
- Canning rings
- Small washcloth
- Dish towel
- Bring about two inches of water to a boil in a small kettle on your stove. Once it’s boiling turn your burner off and add as many lids as you think you’ll need.
- Add water to a second kettle and heat on medium. This is for warming your jar or jars in.
- You will also need a third pot heating to can your jelly in. Be sure to have a big enough one so a pint jar can fit in it with water covering two inches over the top.
- Have your fourth pot on the stove and ready to add your currants into.
- See picture above to make sure you have your canning supplies ready and on your counter also.
Pick your crandall currants from the bush and wash them in a colander.
Put them in a pot on your stove. Be sure to add just a touch of water on the bottom so it doesn’t burn.
Turn your heat to medium high and cook. Mash down with a potato masher as it cooks until you feel you have the majority of your berries cooked. Again, don’t burn!
Put your cooked crandall currants in your strainer. I have a handy wood tool that mashes mine around and through. You can use a spoon or squeeze the juice through your mesh cheese cloth also.
Once you have your strained crandall sauce, put it back on the stove, add your sugar to taste and heat again until it comes to a boil. Be sure not to burn it.
Your jars should be heated by now. Use your tool and pull one out from the hot water and place it next to your crandall pot.
Immediately set your funnel on top of the jar and ladle in your hot crandall Jelly. Leave about a 1/2 space on top.
Take your damp washcloth and wipe the rim of your jar.
Now take your magnet and use it to grab one of your lids from the hot water. Place it on your clean rim. Using your finger, hold down in the center and place your ring hand tight on top.
Continue this process until all of your jars are filled. Place in your heated water and turn it now to high. You want a steady simmer over your jar or jars. Pints process about ten minutes.
Pull your jar or jars out when the timer goes off and set on a dishcloth. Cover with another cloth and let sit for 12 hours. Check to see if jars have sealed then place in cool dry place (your pantry) until you’re ready to use.
Notice we did not have to use pectin. Crandall currants are amazing because they produce enough pectin on their own. Just be sure you don’t add too much water when starting to heat them on your stove. If you do you will end up with syrup and that’s okay too. Just continue the process and be sure to label your jar correctly. You can also freeze your jelly or syrup by placing the ready crandall mixture in a container instead of canning it.
Best of luck to you in canning your crandall currants! Be sure to comment below with any questions.
For other great canning and freezing tips check out: Making and Canning Tomato Soup
Chow for now;)