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Hawthorn: red berries for syrup and jam
When autumn begins, the hawthorn fruits glow red in the hedges. Few people know that the berries are edible. However, the raw pulp has a floury consistency. Only when processed in compote, jelly, juice, syrup or chutney do the fruits develop their pleasantly sweet and sour aroma. They are also often combined with other fruits such as apples, quinces and elderberries.
A hawthorn berry mus is a delicious bread topping and gives muesli, yoghurt and curd cheese a special taste. For this, the fruits are boiled in a little water for eight to ten minutes, poured off and passed through a sieve. If you like it sweeter, you can add a teaspoon of agave syrup or honey.
The plant is also known in folk medicine. Pastor Sebastian Kneipp already recommended the hawthorn for heart and circulation. A tea made from the dried flowers and leaves is said to help with high blood pressure and dizziness. The fruits are rich in vitamin C, provitamin A and the fiber pectin.
The fruits ripen between August and October. When picking you should be careful and wear gloves because hawthorn grows very densely and has many thorns. In addition, the red berries can leave unsightly stains on clothing. Before preparation, they are pulled off the stem and washed thoroughly. A few fruits should stay on the bush, however, as they provide food for more than 30 different bird species. Hawthorn is also an important livelihood for many insect species and small mammals. Heike Kreutz, respectively