Lingonberries (in Finnish puolukka) are a new up and coming and trendy superfood. In the Nordics, the health benefits have been known already for centuries.
For Finns, lingonberries have always been, and still are, one of the most popular picked and used berries. A major reason for their ongoing popularity is that they grow everywhere in Finland’s vast wilderness. According to the public broadcaster Yle, about 257 million kilograms of lingonberries are growing in Finnish the forests every year but only a small portion is harvested. Only 5 per cent of Finnish soil is fertilized which means that produce coming from Finnish nature is as pure, organic as it can get.
While very popular in Finland, abroad blueberries (billberries) are known far more and exported to a much larger extent, mostly because the health benefits of lingonberries have not been studied as much and their taste is a bit bitter while blueberries are renowned for their natural sweetness. But lingonberries surely deserve more recognition! That is why we have gathered some of the (so far!) studied health benefits of this true superberry for you:
A traditional way of serving lingonberries is as jam with mashed potatoes and reindeer meat. The jam is basically a mix of sugar and lingonberries. Sugar is added because lingonberries by nature taste bitter, not many people like to eat them pure. However, there are alternatives available for the many people who try to avoid refined sugar. Helsinki Wildfoods, for instance, has cleverly come up with a healthier option: lingonberries mixed with birch sugar (xylitol), a natural sweetener that, unlike refined sugar, is actually good for your teeth.
Elina recently mixed some of their lingonberry birch sugar with some natural yogurt and avocado into a tasty smoothie. Worth having a try!
Elina & Tim
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