Kudzu/kuzu root starch, an alternative thickener to cornstarch, is beneficial and healing to the small intestines. (Find it in the Asian section of the grocery store, natural food stores and online.) Tart cherries are a natural source of melatonin. Cherries contain anthocyanin, a flavonoid with health-protecting benefits.
MAKES 1 QUART.
2 tablespoons kudzu/kuzu starch
1 + 1/2 cups cold unsweetened tart red cherry juice or sweet/tart cherry juice blend (preferably organic)*
2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract, optional
2 + 1/2 cups fresh or frozen berries of choice (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, cherries)
Honey, to taste, optional
1. Dissolve kudzu/kuzu starch in cold cherry juice. Mix in lemon juice and pour into a heavy-bottom saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring with a whisk, until thickened and no longer cloudy, about 10 minutes.
2. Remove from heat. Add almond extract, if using, and fold in berries. If using frozen berries, thaw and drain them first. Save the juice for another use.
3. Taste and adjust sweetness, as desired.
4. Store in the refrigerator until eaten.
*TIP: Try Eden Foods’ organic tart cherry juice.
Each ½ cup contains 54 calories, 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 13mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 9g sugars, 1g protein, 5Est GL.
Contributing chef Sueson Vess is a food coach, cooking instructor and author of Special Eats.