Those familiar with the exotic acerola cherry fruit are likely well aware of the benefits to be enjoyed when consuming them. When blended down are pureed, however, the benefits of acerola puree are even greater. In this article we’ll be going over why that is.
One of the greatest benefits of acerola puree is that provides for a concentrated source of vitamin C. Additionally, in puree form acerola works great in smoothies, as a natural sweetener in baking recipes, and even as a standalone snack.
Let’s go over some more of these benefits in detail.
What Is Acerola?
Acerola (Malpighia emarginata,) also known as the Barbados cherry, wild crepe myrtle, and Guarana cherry, is a fruit-bearing shrub or small tree that is native to the South Americas, particularly Paraguay and Brazil.
Acerola cherries are bright red when ripe and features an astringent taste with a hint of sweetness. And unlike regular cherries, which contain pits, acerola cherries contain edible seeds.
The acerola cherry comes packed with plenty of health benefits, but it is most famous for its vitamin C content, packing 783% of the daily value in just a 1-ounce serving.
Why Make It Into A Puree?
Acerola cherries can be made into a puree, which makes them easier to consume and offers concentrated nutritional value.
Acerola puree is made by blending acerola cherry flesh and skin with water until a smooth consistency is achieved.
The resulting puree is then packaged and sold to consumers for use as a snack, smoothie ingredient, and more. When pureed, it provides for a quicker, easier, and more versatile form of consumption when compared to the whole acerola fruit.
Acerola Puree Nutrition Facts
One of the benefits of acerola puree is the nutrition is packs. A single 99g serving of Trader Joe’s acerola puree contains the following:
- Calories: 30
- Total Carbohydrates: 6g
- Total Sugar: 0g
- Dietary Fiber: 1.12g
- Total Fat: 0g
- Protein: 1g
- Sodium: 0mg
- Potassium: 150mg
- Vitamin C: 1,062mg
Additionally, acerola puree also contains trace amounts of electrolytes and minerals, such as calcium and magnesium.
Benefits Of Acerola Puree
Let’s have a look at some of the greatest benefits that acerola cherries and puree have to offer.
1. Packed With Vitamin C
Possibly the great benefit of acerola puree is that it is packed with vitamin C. In fact, just a meager 99 grams is enough to provide you with over 1,400% the Daily Value!
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help to protect your cells from damage. Additionally, vitamin C is essential for the proper function of your immune system and aids in the absorption of iron, according to an abstract published to PubMed.
2. Also Contains Vitamin A
Although acerola puree is most known for its vitamin C content, it also comes with a modest amount of vitamin A.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for maintaining healthy vision, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH.) Vitamin A also helps to promote a healthy immune system, and may play a role in cancer prevention.
A single cup of acerola cherries packs 752 IU of vitamin A, or 15% the Daily Value — a benefit that will surely carry over once pureed.
3. Can Be Compatible With A Keto Diet
Another way in which acerola puree can come in useful is for those following a ketogenic diet.
The “keto” diet, as it is called, is a diet where consumption of carbohydrates is discouraged in favor of higher fat and higher protein intake.
Possibly the most challenging aspect of a keto diet is in how restrictive the food choices can be. This makes it difficult to consume adequate amounts of vitamin C and fiber.
A small 99g serving of acerola puree contains very few carbohydrates per serving, and even less if you subtract the fiber grams and go according to net carbohydrates.
4. Low In Calories
Acerola puree is not just low in carbohydrates per serving, but it’s also low in calories as well.
Just a single packet of Trader Joe’s acerola puree contains a meager 30 calories. This makes for a quick and healthy snack for those looking to restrict their caloric intake.
5. Low In Fat
If you’re monitoring your fat intake then acerola puree can help you displace some of those calories as it contains virtually no fat per serving.
In larger quantities it may contain trace amounts of fat, but being a plant-based food (and a fruit at that,) fat content is still relatively low.
6. Contains Electrolytes
Acerola puree doesn’t just come with vitamins, it also has electrolytes — namely potassium, calcium and magnesium. It should be noted, however, that they come trace amounts.
Electrolytes are minerals that play a role in hydration, muscle contraction, and nerve function. They can be lost through sweat and other bodily fluids and need to be replenished through diet.
7. Adds Flavor To Smoothies
One of the best ways to use acerola puree is as an additive to fruit smoothies.
Due to its strong, astringent flavor and natural sweetness, acerola can be added to most smoothie recipes as a way of boosting vitamin C and various other vitamins and minerals.
Its strong flavor can also help mask some of the undesirable flavors in vegetable juices and the like.
Possibly the most obvious benefit of acerola puree is its convenience.
Fresh acerola cherries must be bought in season and need time to ripen. Additionally, they tend to go bad fast once they do ripen, meaning they have a short shelf life.
Acerola puree, on the other hand, comes prepared and frozen. Storing it in your freezer will give you plenty of time to consume it at your own leisure.
9. Contains No Sugar (Per Serving)
One of the more surprising advantages that acerola and its pureed form have over most other fruits is that they contain virtually no sugar per serving.
The caveat here, of course, is that they need to be consumed in small serving sizes to reap this benefit. However, that is how they’re typically consumed anyway, and you only need small quantities to reap some of the nutritional benefits.
10. Trace Amounts Of Minerals
Acerola cherries doesn’t just contain vitamins; they also contains trace amounts of minerals too, include:
It should be noted though that these minerals are only found in trace amounts and should not be relied upon as adequate sources. They can certainly help inch you closer to your goals, though!
11. A Natural Sweetener In Recipes
Finally, acerola puree can be used as a natural sweetener in various dishes and baking recipes.
According to Recette Magazine, it can be used in the following ways…
- Made into preserves
- Made into a sweet sauce
- Added to drinks
- And more
The Bottom Line
The benefits of acerola puree don’t stop here, either. It’s as versatile a fruit as they come, and with a bit of imagination the uses can be endless.