Golden berries are like raisins and dried cranberries' hip younger sister: they grow in the Peruvian mountains, have a distinctive taste, and are a lauded "superfood" in some circles. Unlike raisins or dates, which have a tired reputation among health-conscious millennials, golden berries are a thing right now. If you've never heard of golden berries before, they're about the size of a cherry tomato, but taste sour. Fresh golden berries are sold in the produce section of specialty grocery stores, or dried in the snack section. The question is, are golden berries really a nutritional golden child?
From a nutrient perspective, golden berries are a great source of vitamins and fiber, which can help your immune system and overall health, says says Mascha Davis, MPH, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist in Los Angeles and former spokesperson for the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Compared to other types of fruit, golden berries tend to have a lower sugar content. "That makes them a great alternative for diabetics or people who prefer a less sweet taste," she says. "But these benefits are not limited to golden berries."
In truth, golden berries have about the same amount of vitamin C as blueberries (11 mg versus 9.7 mg in a 100-gram serving), but less than raspberries (which have 26.2 mg per serving), Davis says. They also tend to be higher in vitamin A, which we know helps your vision and other organs. As for the fiber in golden berries: "All berries are high in vitamin C and fiber; that’s what makes them so healthy," she says. So, if you enjoy the distinctive taste of golden berries, they're can be a nice addition to your regular smoothie, oatmeal, or whatever you usually eat fruit with, she says. "If you don’t like them, you will be fine with other berries," she says.
The thing is, golden berries have an acquired taste and tough texture. They're acidic and tart, which "may make it hard to enjoy them on their own," Davis says. The dried variety can be added to overnight oats, salads, or granola bars, but tend to be chewy. Another thing to keep in mind: often brands will add sugar to dried golden berries make them more palatable, she says. "It might take a lot of sweeteners to make them taste good on their own," she says.
So, if you're bored by regular berries and looking for a jazzier alternative, you might be into golden berries. Just don't expect them to be any better — in terms of taste or nutrients — than its less-trendy berry counterparts.