these berries are really tart and nasty if you eat them whole...but something magical happens when you blend,boil,and strain them. you get a delicious syrup that taste exactly like cranberries and are probalby healthier. You can use it as a cranberry sauce for turkey, also it makes delicious jelly/jam. or you can mix it with water or juice and get a delicious drink. but my favorite method is to boil most the water out of it and then deydrate it for fruit leather or chopped up as craisin subsitute.
this plant is extremly common due to its nitrogen fixing and drought tolerance.
it yields incredible amount of berries too...i use a dropcloth to catch the berries when i pick.
oh, and i struggled to find a way to strain the berries....the trick was to blend up the berries then boil it and then strain it while its still boiling hot.
and dont worry about the little stems attached to the berries they are non toxic. so are the leaves. they will come out when you strain it.
will fleming wrote:
these berries are really tart and nasty if you eat them whole...
I've got a couple of cultivars that are very tasty right off the tree, but they're pretty astringent if they aren't completely ripe. I guess cultivars wouldn't qualify as wild food, though.
a great plant, though it has potential to cause trouble in some climates.
Brenda Groth wrote:I have autumn olive, russian olive and goumi (baby)..the russian olive nearest my garage has some very tasty berries, but I have been told that there is very little nutrition if any to them..I would love to know if that is true or not..was told by a hunter that animals that eat them are getting no nutrition..but not sure where he got that info or how correct it is..I know they taste good and animals like them.
my understanding is that most species in the genus have a lot of vitamins A, C, and E, and a lot of beneficial flavanoids and fatty acids. that doesn't mean that all the species in the genus have all that good stuff, though.
It hasn't been studied much because you can't buy them at a chain grocery store and no corporation is making millions off of them.
No university will receive a grant from a large corporation so they will convince people that it is good for them (is this science?) because the berries are small and expensive to harvest commercially.
Great home orchard plant.
John Saltveit wrote:Autumn olive is higher in lycopene than almost any other plant-fights prostate and other cancers.
is the same true for Russian olive Elaeagnus angustifolia? I think that's the one Brenda was wondering about.
Russian olives E. Angustifolia grow invasively in the intermountain west, between the Cascades and the Rockies.
There are varieties of aumumn olive that are not red (Charlie's golden, Amber, maybe others?). I suspect these are lacking in lycopene. I'll be interested to see how their flavor compares to the red varieties next year when mine start fruiting.