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Sea buckthorn – basic information and recipe ideas

Sea buckthorn – basic information and recipe ideas

Sea buckthorn is popular with allotment gardeners as well as with friends of healthy home-made jams, syrups and other goodies. This inconspicuous plant is completely edible apart from its roots and tastes really unique.

Sweet and sour red-orange fruits

Rakytník řešetlákový - plody

Sea buckthorn is a dense shrub with many branches and leaves. It can reach a height of two to ten meters. The young plant has initially a silver color and is covered with small scales, its color changes later from silvery to green.

The fruits are small, round and have a red-orange colour. They are only a few millimeters large and they have an intense sweet and sour taste. An inexperienced allotment gardener can therefore not determine with certainty whether the fruits are already ripe.

Sea buckthorn thrives in all temperatures

Both sandy or stony, as well as an alkalic or neutral soil is well suited for the cultivation of the sea buckthorn. The buckthorn bush can be found practically everywhere, because it thrives both in the northern and in the southern regions. Sea buckthorn is a relatively undemanding bush and is therefore often planted as part of a small garden or a decorative hedge.

The whole sea buckthorn plant is edible

It is good news for all active gardeners: you can use almost all parts of the plant, except for the roots. The fruits, branches and leaves can be processed as homemade syrup, jam or herbal remedy. The fruits of sea buckthorn contain* about 7 % oil and saccharides, organic acid, different types of pectin and tannin and other biologically active substances. The same mixture in smaller quantity can be found in the leaves, smaller twigs, in the bark and in the seeds. The fruits of sea buckthorn can be consumed fresh, dried or as a powder. The fresh fruits are suitable for the production of ointments, oil, marmalade or syrup.

Rakytník řešetlákový

Recipe for sea-buckthorn syrup

It is good news for all active gardeners: you can use almost all parts of the plant, except for the roots. The fruits, branches and leaves can be processed as homemade syrup, jam or herbal remedy. The fruits of sea buckthorn contain* about 7 % oil and saccharides, organic acid, different types of pectin and tannin and other biologically active substances. The same mixture in smaller quantity can be found in the leaves, smaller twigs, in the bark and in the seeds. The fruits of sea buckthorn can be consumed fresh, dried or as a powder. The fresh fruits are suitable for the production of ointments, oil, marmalade or syrup.

Recipe for sea-buckthorn syrup

Pick an appropriate amount of fresh, ripe sea buckthorn fruits, preferably in the afternoon. About two kilograms of fruit are sufficient. Then squeeze out the fruit, about a liter of juice can be obtained. Heat the juice to 75 °C, stir constantly and add sugar slowly (for one liter of juice 500 grams of sugar). If you prefer a thicker syrup, add two teaspoons of pectin or let the mixture boil a little longer. Bottle the cooled syrup, cork it and store in the cellar or in the refrigerator.

Rakytník řešetlákový

Quick-made marmalade from sea buckthorn

Take one kilogram of sea buckthorn fruits and one kilogram of sugar. You can adjust the amount of fruit and sugar as needed and add refined cane sugar or honey instead of refined sugar.

Rinse the sea buckthorn fruits and cook them in a large pot. If the fruits are brittle, press them through a sieve with larger holes. Then pour the mixture back into the pot, bring to the boil and add sugar. Keep an eye on the pot and cook the marmalade on a small flame for five minutes, stirring constantly. Set the marmalade aside and pour it into jars.

It is not necessary to preserve the marmalade, it is enough to turn the closed jars upside down.

Powder and tea from sea buckthorn

Sea buckthorn can be also powdered. It's very easy. Dry the fruits in a dehydrator, in the sun or in the attic, then grind them and take a teaspoon of the powder when you feel like it, but only in small quantities. The recommended dosage is one teaspoon in the morning and one teaspoon at noon.

The tea from sea buckthorn leaves tastes great. Use either fresh or dried leaves. The recommended amount of sea buckthorn tea is one cup per day, best in the morning.

When is the right time to harvest sea buckthorn?

The fruits of sea buckthorn have a typical sweet and sour taste. Less experienced gardeners do not therefore know exactly when they should harvest the fruits. Do not miss the correct time of the harvest, otherwise the fruits could lose valuable ingredients. The most common species of sea buckthorn is Leikora, which should be harvested in the first half of September. The variety Hergo matures in the second half of September or early in October. Harvest just the fully ripe fruits, but do not hesitate too long. The amount of valuable ingredients decreases day by day.

* By a regulation of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union no. 1924/2006, we are not allowed to provide further information and health claims about this product. The specific effects of buckthorn can be found in other sources on the Internet.

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