Juniper is a fruit that resembles berries in appearance. Juniper berries are a common name for them. It is not a product that can be stored for long periods. Juniper berries are blue-black in hue and highly meaty and sticky. Juniper has a plethora of advantages. People who enjoy eating Juniper do not want it to spoil. To know how to tell if juniper is bad, read further.
As a result, we urge that you look after Juniper well so that you can enjoy its delightful flavor for a long time. If you’re unfamiliar with Juniper, you’ve come to the correct place. This article will go over Juniper quickly and how to keep it for a long time.
Juniper berries are tiny cones with scales that are so minute and packed so closely that they are difficult to perceive with the naked eye. The berries ripen over three years, moving from little to larger green, light blue, and dark blue. Different trees will be at different stages from year to year in any particular area, so there should be a couple with ripe berries around each fall. Pick the berries by hand, avoiding the cedar needles as much as possible. Rinse the berries in clean water to remove any minute insects that may have clung to them.
How to Tell if Juniper is Bad?
You’ll need to look for certain common indicators of spoilage to determine if the juniper berries are bad or not. If the common characteristics of Juniper alter over time, you should double-check before employing it. The following factors may assist you in determining whether or not the juniper berries are fresh.
- The juniper berries become damaged if mold grows on them. So, if you see any dark patches or molds on your juniper berries, remove them right away.
- Fresh juniper berries are often bluish-black in hue. If it turns yellow or pale, you shouldn’t use it anymore.
- Another common symptom of rotting is a change in odor. If your Juniper has a foul odor, it’s time to get rid of it.
How to Store Juniper?
Dry juniper berries should be stored in an airtight container away from direct sunlight. When stored properly, juniper berries have 2 to 3 years of shelf life. Juniper berries play a unique role in food, contributing as much to the dish’s character through their ability to freshen through their distinct flavor profile.
Fleshy fruits have a limited shelf life. As a result, you must keep them carefully to last a long period. Every juniper enthusiast despises seeing their Juniper go bad. Don’t panic if you’ve purchased junipers and aren’t sure how to store them. The following are some crucial storage tips that will assist you in storing junipers.
Store in a Cool and Dark Place
If you’re unsure whether Juniper can be stored at room temperature or not, don’t worry; we’re here to help. Juniper can be stored at room temperature if the weather isn’t too hot. Temperatures that are too hot are not good for junipers, and the flavor and freshness of Juniper might be affected by heat.
As a result, we recommend keeping them somewhere cool and tranquil. Juniper can be stored in the pantry or kitchen for a few days if you live where the temperatures are not too hot.
Dry the Juniper
Juniper berries can be dried to extend their shelf life. Dried juniper berries have a long shelf life. You can dry the Juniper for long-term storage if you wish to use it in cooked meals.
Store in Refrigerator
You can keep your juniper berries in the fridge if you want them to last a long period. The Juniper will keep a long time in the fridge because it is cool and tranquil, and Juniper berries can be stored in the refrigerator for a few months.
Dried juniper berries can be kept in the refrigerator for two years, and it’s because dried juniper berries keep for a long time.
Seal Them Properly
Juniper’s quality is affected by air and moisture. As a result, you should keep the juniper berries in airtight containers or plastic bags, and it will keep moisture at bay and fresh for an extended period.
Can you Freeze Juniper?
You can keep the juniper berries in the freezer for long-term storage. The juniper berries’ shelf life will be extended by freezing them. Before freezing the juniper berries, make sure they’re in an airtight container. The juniper berries can be frozen in their complete form, and the dried juniper berries can also be stored. Pack them in an airtight container or freezer bag before putting them in the freezer. Juniper berries can be frozen for a lengthy time.
What are the Health Benefits of Juniper?
Juniperus communis is an evergreen shrub found worldwide, including North America, Europe, and Asia. Juniper berries are the seed cones produced by this plant. Though the color of the berries varies, the most are a deep blue color. Woody or spicy is a common description of their scent.
They have a sour, pine-like flavor and are widely used as a spice or flavoring agent in small amounts. Since ancient times, these little berries have been utilized for culinary and medicinal purposes, and a recent study suggests that they may have a variety of health benefits.
Here are five new juniper berry benefits to consider.
1. High in Nutrients and Powerful Plant Compounds
Though there isn’t much information on the nutrition of juniper berries, they are known to include a variety of vitamins and plant components.
They’re a good source of vitamin C, as are most other berries, with a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving to provide 10% of the Daily Value (DV) of this water-soluble nutrient. Vitamin C is required for immune system function, collagen formation, and blood vessel function. It’s also a powerful antioxidant, shielding your cells from the damage produced by unstable chemicals known as free radicals.
Flavonoid antioxidants, volatile oils, and coumarins, which are chemical substances with varied protective characteristics, are all present in the berries. Monoterpenes, such as limonene, camphor, and beta-pinene, are found in the volatile oils of juniper berries. Anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antioxidant, and antibacterial effects have been discovered in monoterpenes. Coumarins and flavonoid antioxidants have a variety of health benefits as well. A diet rich in these nutrients can prevent chronic ailments like heart disease and neurological problems.
2. Provide Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Effects
Antioxidant-rich foods are beneficial to your health because they protect your cells from damage that could lead to illness. Juniper berries are high in essential oils and flavonoids, which act as powerful antioxidants and may aid in inflammation reduction.
In one test-tube investigation, the monoterpenes alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, myrcene, limonene, and sabinene made up most of the chemicals found in juniper berry essential oil. They all contribute to the oil’s potent antioxidant properties. The oil increased the activity of the enzymes catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and superoxide dismutase, which reduced cellular damage in yeast cells. These enzymes’ primary function is to protect cells from free radical damage.
Another test-tube study found that juniper berry essential oil reduced inflammation in human skin cells, which researchers attributed to the oil’s high monoterpene concentration. Juniper berries are also high in the flavonoids rutin, luteolin, and apigenin, which have been proven to have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in test tubes, animals, and humans.
3. May have Antidiabetic Properties
Juniper berries have been used to treat diabetes in traditional medicine, and new research confirms that they may have anti-diabetic qualities.
According to a study, supplementation with juniper berry extract significantly lowered blood sugar and boosted heart-protective HDL (good) cholesterol in diabetic rats. Another study on the anti-diabetic properties of Chinese juniper berry extract reported that it lowered blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in diabetic rats considerably.
Researchers believe that the berries’ strong antioxidant content is responsible for their anti-diabetic properties. Though these findings are encouraging, a more human study is required to establish this possible health benefit.
4. Could Promote Heart Health
Juniper berries may help improve heart health by raising HDL (good) cholesterol and lowering triglyceride levels and LDL (bad) and total cholesterol levels. In a study of diabetic rats, juniper berry extract administration lowered total cholesterol and triglyceride levels by 57 percent and 37 percent, respectively, compared to a control group.
In another rat study, juniper berry extract raised HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Despite the absence of human studies, research reveals that consuming berries is an effective approach to lower heart disease risk factors. However, until a further human study on the impact of juniper berries on heart health. it’s impossible to say whether eating them can lower heart disease risk.
5. Antibacterial and Antifungal Activity
According to the test tube and animal research, juniper berries have potent antibacterial and antifungal effects. Potent chemicals in its oil, including sabinene, limonene, myrcene, and alpha- and beta-pinene, are thought to be responsible for these effects.
Juniper berry essential oil was found to have antibacterial and antifungal properties against 16 different bacteria, yeasts, yeast-like fungi, and dermatophytes, a type of fungus that develops on your skin and causes disorders like ringworm, in a test tube study. Dermatophytes and Candida species, which cause fungal illnesses such as mouth and yeast infections, had the most potent antifungal activity.
In another test tube investigation, juniper berry essential oil greatly reduced the activity of three bacteria that can cause serious infections in humans: M. gordonae, M. avium, and M. intracellular. The berries’ extract may have antibacterial properties against various bacteria, including Campylobacter jejuni, which causes food poisoning, and Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause infections of the skin, lungs, and bones.
While it’s evident that juniper berries have antibacterial and antifungal characteristics, more research into whether their extract may be used to treat fungal or bacterial infections in humans is needed.
How Long does Juniper Last?
Juniper, like other fruits and berries, can deteriorate quickly if not stored properly. As a result, juniper berry storage is critical for their long life.
At room temperature, a whole juniper berry can last almost three days. On the other hand, dried juniper berries have an excessively extended shelf life, and it has a shelf life of around two to three years. The juniper berries can be kept in the fridge for a few months; as I previously stated, the dried juniper berries have a longer shelf life. Fleshy juniper berries can be frozen for five months and dried for four years.
Juniper has deep spiritual meaning for the Navajo. It is often used as a medicinal herb in ceremonies and is known to help those with PTSD. Navajo historian Wally Brown says that Juniper was an important part of the native population’s medicine system and has helped treat various illnesses brought by Spanish captives. It’s still used to treat headaches, influenza, and nausea. Besides the health mentioned earlier benefits, it’s also useful as a natural treatment for acne, spider bites, and postpartum pain.
Although juniper ash is used in cheese-making, it can be toxic if derived from pesticide-treated wood. It’s better to use pesticide-free wood from a lawn. That way, you’ll be getting high-quality ash that won’t be toxic to your body if you use it in cooking.