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  • Writer's pictureSarah Skelton

Granny's favourites

Like many people during lockdown, I've started my own veggie patch in the garden. Not because I was bored, as I was busier than ever, but because I needed something that would help me escape the stresses of the work without having to venture into the big outside world. It started off in planters, then a little bit of the lawn gave way to a muddy patch and it grew and grew in so many ways! I've planted everything from sweetcorn to parsnips to beetroot and way more beyond those!

But it got me thinking about those things we used to have when we were kids like gooseberries and rhubarb - fondly known as grannies favourites! So I thought I'd share some simple facts to think about and hopefully inspire you to revisit some of those classic fruits and veggies.


  • Really low in calories – just 66 calories per 150 grams

  • Great source of copper, manganese and Vitamin A, B5, and E

  • One serving of gooseberries is said to provide 55% of a female’s vitamin C intake for the day and 45% for men.

  • Packed full of antioxidants to help boost your immune system

  • A great source of fibre, that can help to promote good digestive health.

  • Can help reduce cholesterol levels due to the high fibre content

In the UK we tend to eat the green variety but they are also available in white or red varieties too.

Great pared with oily fish or in Asian cooking to create that sour taste associated with hot and sour dishes. Workspaired really well with fish and soy sauce

Try my summer gooseberry spritzer drink:

1 tall glass – add 1 tbs stewed gooseberries, a dash of elderflower cordial, a thin slice of fresh ginger and top with chilled prosecco or if you are being good used ice-cold sparkling water :)


  • Calories – 116 calories per 100g, although that will change when you add sugar to it to combat the sourness of the vegetable

  • Rich source of vitamin K

  • Packed full of vitamin C, although too much cooking will deplete this.

  • Rich in fibre

  • Good source of polyphenol antioxidants - when rhubarb is slow-cooked or baked the levels of antioxidant anthocyanin increases significantly. Antioxidants help to protect our cells from damage so are essential for good health

Rhubarb is actually a vegetable although we almost always use it as a fruit, and in America that classify it as a fruit. It’s great gently stewed as an accompaniment with oily fish such as mackerel. Just like applesauce goes with roast pork

Its sour taste comes from the high levels of malic and oxalic acid found in many sour-tasting fruits and vegetables.

As the leaves are particularly high in oxalates, which can crystalise and form kidney stones they should not be eaten and Rhubarb should only be eaten on an occasional basis as a result as this is also found in lower levels in the stem that is traditionally eaten.

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