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A plant that thrives on cold winters and humid summers, the gooseberry may just be the ultimate Illinois fruit. The season is short, but it can be extremely prolific, with a single bush being capable of producing several pounds of fruit. And the fruit can be harvested at almost any stage--meaning you can pick it green (or not quite ripe), and make sauces and jams out of it. They can be make into all sorts of desserts, and can be pickled--and let’s face it, saying pickled gooseberries is just fun! Or you can pick them ripe for a perfect snack food. If you have an opportunity to pick them yourself, remember to watch for fairies, as they are rumored to hide in gooseberry bushes.

Gooseberry Jam


1 cup gooseberries
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. Add all ingredients to a small saucepan over medium-high heat

  2. When liquid starts to boil and berries begin to soften, gently smash berries with a fork

  3. Turn down heat to simmer and continue to stir--so that the mixture does not burn--for about 10 minutes

  4. Remove from heat and let cool

  5. Serve on toast, with cheese, or on meat

  6. Save remaining sauce in the fridge for up to two weeks

Nutrition Facts

Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutrients: 

Vitamin C - 3.5 ounces of gooseberries contain almost half your daily reccommended value of Vitamin C! This powerful water-soluble antioxidant helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals

Vitamin A - required for maintaining healthy mucusa and skin and is essential for vision. Foods rich in this vitamin are known to offer protection against lung and oral cavity cancers

Fiber -  because it cannot be broken down in the small intestine, and because it has the ability to attract water to it, fiber helps slow digestion of food to promote consistent absorption of nutrients

Did you know? 

Clinical studies have shown that gooseberries may help to prevent Alzheimer's disease.