The autumn olive was first brought to the states in the 1830s and was initially promoted by the U.S. For this reason, it’s essential to take the long view with this edible shrub. He describes autumn berry trees as "like Mad Max on some kind of good crank.” The unrelenting spread of the plant over his cattle-grazing pastures has the potential to wipe out his entire livelihood within a decade. “The red berries of autumn olive have a high carotenoid content,” writes Fordham, “and particularly high levels of lycopene (30-70 mg/100g). One of the easiest ways to preserve autumn olive berries is to wash and toss them into vacuum-sealed bags and into the freezer for future use as a smoothie ingredient. In fact, autumn olive seeds won’t germinate unless they are first digested. Autumn berries, also known as the autumn olive, are the small red fruit of the autumn olive tree (Elaeagnus umbellata), which was imported from Asia to North America as an ornamental tree in the 1830s. Concoct a refreshing alcoholic drink this fall with fresh autumn olive berries. Here’s a great jam recipe from Our One Acre Farm. This distinctive fruit bursts with a sour tang and bitter tannins early in the season, though the berries tend to sweeten after the season’s first frost. However, Horn points out that Autumn Olives are one of the first trees to bloom, usually in March. Spoon puree into the bottom of a glass, and top with chilled sparkling wine. Together with her husband, she manages a diverse 34-acre property with a large garden, fruit trees, hayfields, native plant nurseries, and a myriad of animals including American guinea hogs, Nigerian dwarf goats, and too many chickens to count. Health Benefits Autumn Olive is loaded with vitamins and minerals including sugars, proteins, Vitamins A, C, and E, flavanoids, and others. Look for the bush’s distinctive silver leaves along field edges and in sunny patches in the woods. These fruits are super-powered sources of lycopene which helps keep the old prostate healthy, and is a potent anti-oxidant. More So it is actually impressive that we know so much about the benefits of the autumn olive berry. Since the 1970s, when they were declared an invasive species in the U.S., they've been choking out and strangling everything that grows in their path, taking up space that oftentimes needs to be cleared for highways, pastures, and other lots of valuable land. This post may contain affiliate links. Leuven, Belgium: International Society for Horticultural Science. Best of all, taking time to harvest this berry may slow down its spread because you reduce the number of seeds available for birds to eat and subsequently replant. All that’s needed are berries, sugar, vodka, and lemon juice, and Martha’s Vineyard Magazine will show you how. The goal at the moment is to gather as many berries as possible because they cook down quickly. Despite its value as a late-season fruit, there are ample reasons to work towards eradicating autumn olive on your property if you prioritize biological diversity. Let the mixture simmer for at least twenty minutes, occasionally mashing and stirring throughout. The shrub is easy to find because it abounds where people abound. Focus on foraging the wild fruit abundant in your region. Autumn olive is one of the easiest plants to forage. Lycopene has powerful antioxidant properties, making it of interest for nutraceutical use.” The berries also contain high levels of vitamins A, C and E, and flavonoids and essential fatty acids. And that's not the only similarity between autumn berries and tomatoes …. The autumn olive bush produces little fruits, or berries, each one containing a seed. If the bushes are too big to hand pull, you can cut them down at the base and apply organic herbicide to the trunk. You can harvest autumn olive berries as soon as they turn red, though some people prefer to wait a few weeks for them to sweeten. autumn olive: medicinal benefits and uses of autumn olive AUTUMN OLIVE, ELAEAGNUS UMBELLATA The autumn olive tree is a member of the Oleaster family of plants, and is native to Asia including the Himalayan region, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, northern China and Japan. Make sure you sample the berries on every bush before harvesting, as the taste can vary dramatically based on the growing conditions. First, wash the berries with cold water. Keep reading to learn about foraging and using autumn olive berries so you can put this (overly) prolific plant to use. All rights reserved. Want to read more from HuffPost Taste? This shrub is native to Asia and was introduced into the U.S. in the 1830's. Autumn olive berries are an underappreciated natural food source that grows plentifully across North America. Be careful not to confuse honeysuckle with other plants such as woodbine, American ivy, and gelsemium. Because it is an invasive, non-native plant, autumn olive is an ecological problem here in North … It’s a mistake to spit out these berry’s chewy seeds, as they contain omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce inflammation and your risk of cardiovascular disease. Autumn Olive Oatmeal. Lydia Noyes is a content writer and hobby farmer in southwest Michigan. How do you stop an invasive species? "Really, they are mostly called 'autumn olive' because the silver leaves on a short squat tree resemble Mediterranean olive trees," Kelly told The Huffington Post. Native to Asia, Eleagnus umbellata goes by the common names of autumn olive and, more generously, “autumn berry”. Instead of continually fighting a useless war against it, let’s embrace the benefits that this plant has to offer. 5. The Autumn olive’s sour taste highlights many health benefits within the berry. Autumn olive is well established across the Mid-Atlantic due to its extensive intentional planting to provide wildlife food and revegetate mine spoils in the mid-1900s. Like other invasive shrubs, autumn olive’… Best of all, you can modify it for any berries you have on hand. And also because the boiling process kills the seeds, preventing propagation of this invasive plant. Autumn olives are fast collecting fans for the fruit's sweet-tart taste and potential health benefits, even as the plant is frowned upon throughout the Northeast as a habitat-killer. They've spread their nitrogen-fixing roots all across America as an invasive species, with the exception of a few states (Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and West Virginia) that only classify them as noxious weeds. No matter—you can sort through everything later. 3. Health Benefits of Autumn Olive Interestingly, Autumn Olive fruit has a high fatty acid content, which is not common in fruits. Its new name, “autumnberry”, sounds more palatable than autumn olive. It secured its environmental niche by leafing out earlier in the spring and staying alive slightly longer in the fall than its competitors. Though the berries themselves are small (approximately the size of a red currant), the trees on which they grow are a giant problem. There’s no denying that autumn olive bushes cause serious problems from a conservation standpoint. Copyright © 2020 Rural Sprout on the Seasoned Pro Theme, How To Make A Plantain Tincture + 8 Ways To Use This Healing Plant, Foraging, Eating And Preserving Ramsons (Wild Garlic), 5 Delicious Recipes For 5 Easy To Forage Plants. Today, autumn olive’s uncontrollable spread has made it a major hassle, especially in places where the soil has been disturbed. A few years ago I contacted a researcher who was working with Autumn Olive for food uses to see if there were any concerns about eating the seeds. 11 Recipes Using Autumn Olive Berries. "Of course, nobody should eat a wild food that they are not certain about, and small red berries is definitely a category people should be careful with," Kelly says. Soil Conservation Service as both a backyard ornamental and a natural form of erosion control around roads and ridges. Turn eight cups of fresh berries into juice as directed above, resulting in about five cups of pressed juice. Autumn olive berries have 17 times more lycopene than tomatoes! Autumn olive is a great edible wild berry for jam, because it’s nice and tart. Make your own from foraged autumn olives by following this basic recipe from Homestead Honey. The classification is quite interesting actually," he says. 626, pp. Autumn Olive Tart. Cardio Tonic or... Pectoral. Autumn Olive Ice Cream Pie. My favorite way to enjoy autumn olives is as a topping in my morning oatmeal. Another option is to prune off the berry-laden branches altogether and pick the fruit from them at your leisure. All that’s needed is to cook down your strained juice until it gets thick enough to spread. We analyzed a limited number of samples from narrow geographical areas. Action of Autumn Olive. For most recipes, you will want to prepare the berries into a thick puree. The carotenoid values from this study may not be representative for autumn olive fruit collectively. We found a simple way to enjoy autumn berries that'd be great for the holidays, in the form of an Autumn Berry Sparkling Cocktail. It was commonly planted for wildlife food and cover. The leather can be eaten immediately or stored in the fridge or freezer for future use. You can speed up the process by adding a few tablespoons of pectin to thicken things up. But here’s the good news—its berries are nutritious, easy to pick, and can be used in dozens of recipes. Goumi Health Benefits. Autumn Olive Jam. It is a very healthy fruit to consume. As with all invasives, you need to stay humble about what you can realistically accomplish. While this shrub does produce huge amounts of berries eaten by birds and mammals and can thrive on reclaimed mine sites, where pH extremes and high levels of toxic heavy metals are common, these positives do not outweigh the negatives associated with this shrub’s ability to invade and take over natural areas. Do what you can to control autumn olive throughout the natural spaces you care about, but consider taking time each year to reap the nutritious rewards of this prolific berry producer. You’ll save lots of time if you hold a wide-mouthed harvesting bucket under a branch and run your fingers over it to strip the fruit. Now for the health benefits of autumn olive berries. 64, No. Add 3 ¼ cups of sugar and let it boil for one minute. Autumn olive propagates primarily by seeds but can sprout vegetatively, so mowing or cutting can cause a … Kelly says they can be easily confused with poisonous berries. ©2020 Verizon Media. Not only is the fruit abundant and easy to find, the tree is an invasive species that is being actively removed from our landscape. The ripe berries also proved irresistible to birds, who then spread its seeds to new habitat spaces. The best recipes, kitchen tips and genius food facts. Connect online at FirstRootsFarm.com or on Instagram at @first_roots_farm. Not all invasive species are edible, and some included in this series can be dangerous, including lionfish and wild boar. I add several scoops of fresh-picked berries to oats accessorized with flax seed powder, chia seeds, peanut butter, and cinnamon to give my breakfast an extra sour kick. The most common fact you will read about autumn olive is that it contains 5 to 15 times more antioxidant lycopene than in tomatoes. Raising perennial berry bushes on the homestead can take years of effort, often with minimal reward. Medicinal use of Autumn Olive: The flowers are astringent, cardiac and stimulant. The expressed oil from the seeds is used in the treatment of pulmonary affections. Elaeagnus umbellata is known as Japanese silverberry, umbellata oleaster, autumn olive, autumn elaeagnus, or spreading oleaster. Once the berries have broken down, you can run them through a food mill to remove the seeds and stems. While they can be plentiful along the road, it’s best to avoid these berries because of their exposure to car exhaust and other pollutants. Next, you’ll boil the berries down at a ratio of eight cups berries to one cup of water. You want the plant to have invested lots of energy into above-ground growth, but to get to them before the fruit ripens. Part of HuffPost Food & Drink. You're mistaken if you think animals are alone on the invasive species list, because as proven by something as seemingly sweet and innocuous as the "autumn berry," vegetation can be equally threatening to our environment. Stimulant. The seeds are used as a stimulant in the treatment of coughs. Autumn olive bushes grow up to twenty feet tall and are among the few non-legume species with nitrogen-fixing properties. Anticancer. It’s a prolific producer, as one bush can produce more than 200,000 seeds and gallons of fruit each fall. These tiny red jewels are a nutritional powerhouse, packed with vitamins A, C, and E, flavonoids and essential fatty acids. It thrives along roadsides, meadows, and forest edges, usually choking out native species in the process. The lycopene content of autumn olive fruit averages about 40 to 50 mg/100g, compared to 3 mg/100g for fresh raw tomato. Autumn Olive Fruit … Autumn olive: a potential alternative crop In: J. Maas (Ed. See more ideas about Autumn olive, Olive recipes, Recipes. Unfortunately, the hardy bush soon became an invasive that out-competed native species. 1, 2005). Autumn Olive berries are loaded with vitamins and minerals, including Vitamins A, C and E. They also boast antioxidants called flavanoids, and natural sugars and proteins. This method can also slow the bush’s spread for next season. Shrubs, or drinking vinegar, is a popular cocktail ingredient that boasts a long history as a health tonic. Its jewel-toned fruit has no biological connection to your martini olives. (Clinton, 1998), the autumn olive fruit, a new dietary source of lycopene and related caro-tenoids, may be worthy of clinical trials to assess its health benefits. 429-431). The small berries will fall in, along with leaves, twigs, and maybe an insect or two. Ready to try this free food source for yourself? Once you have your harvest, it’s time to put it to use. 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