Although the superfruit is now widespread throughout Europe, the Sea-buckthorn originally came from Nepal. Climate changes during the last great ice age then led to its spread to Central Europe. The Latin name of the bright orange sea-buckthorn berry is Hippophae rhamnoides, which translates as 'shiny horse' and 'cross-thorned'. The name thus also refers to the nature of the bush with its numerous thorns. The flowers of the sea-buckthorn, unlike the fruits later, are brilliant white. The reference to horses is said to come from the fact that the sour berries used to be fed to horses to give them a shiny coat.
Sea-buckthorn has been cultivated in Germany since the 1960s. The benefits of the fruit were first recognised in the former GDR, especially because of its high vitamin C content. Many of the plantations established back then are still in operation today. Sea-buckthorn grows wild especially in the sandy coastal soil of the Baltic and North Seas.
The harvest time of the fruit varies depending on the variety, but the entire sea buckthorn season begins in autumn. It is not easy to harvest the bright fruits, as the sharp thorns of the sea-buckthorn pose a great risk of injury and the fruits are also very firmly attached to the bush. In order not to damage the sea-buckthorn berries during harvesting, whole branches are often cut off, from which the thorns and leaves are then removed. This is tedious work, but worthwhile: only a few fresh berries are enough to cover the daily vitamin C requirement. And especially in winter, vitamin C is of course important for maintaining the normal function of the immune system.
Origin of the sea-buckthorn for our juices
For our Rabenhorst Sea-Buckthorn juice we use organic sea buckthorn pulp from sea buckthorn berries from the best growing areas in Germany. The sea-buckthorn pulp is processed into high-quality sea-buckthorn juice in our own press house in Unkel.
The sea-buckthorn has a fresh sour taste when it is ripe. In terms of its ingredients, the sea-buckthorn berry is particularly distinguished by its high vitamin C content, which is even higher than that of oranges and lemons. Our Rabenhorst Sea-Buckthorn pure juice from first pressing, for example, contains 180 mg of vitamin C per 100 ml of juice. However, one fruit can compete with the sea-buckthorn berry in terms of vitamin C content: The acerola. In addition to vitamin C, sea-buckthorn also contains significant amounts of vitamin E and vitamin A (from provitamin A).
The bright berries can be processed in many ways: as sea-buckthorn berries do not keep very long after harvesting, they are made into Sea-Buckthorn nectar, juices, jams, spreads, soups and much more. The remains of the pressed fruits can also be dried and used in teas. Are you looking for inspiration for processing sea-buckthorn into delicious food? Let yourself be inspired by our recipe ideas with Sea-buckthorn:
- Sea-buckthorn sweets
- Sea-buckthorn ice cream
- Salad with Sea-buckthorn dressing
- Sweet potato soup with Sea-buckthorn
What is sea-buckthorn good for?
Sea-buckthorn contains a lot of vitamin C, which is important for a normally functioning immune system. A portion of sea buckthorn - for example in the form of Sea-Buckthorn juice - is therefore particularly helpful during the cold season.
Can you eat sea-buckthorn raw?
Yes, sea-buckthorn berries can also be eaten raw and unprocessed. However, they should be ripe, because unripe sea-buckthorn tastes very sour and bland. When the berries are ripe, they get their bright orange colour and shine slightly.
How to use sea-buckthorn?
Sea-buckthorn can be used in many different variations. In addition to juice, jam, fruit spread or tea from the dried fruits, a Sea-Buckthorn nectar can also be made. Our nectar from Rabenhorst is refined with orange for a particularly fine taste and is rich in vitamin C.