Currants are most commonly used in desserts, jams, sauces, and various baked products. Fresh currants are not frequently available in the United States.
They are also more expensive than other berries, which is why it would be an advantage for you to know which fruits would still work best in your recipes even when currants are not available.
- Dried Prunes
- Dried Cherries
- Dried Apricots
- Dried Dates
- Dried Goji Berries
Before we go into the full list of alternatives, let’s understand what are the various types of currants in the market.
12 Best Substitute For Currant
Currants are small berries that come in different types that are classified according to their color – black, red, white, and sometimes pink.
They have a sweet and slightly tart flavor with a tangy acidity that perfectly counteracts the sweetness. Specifically, black currants pair well with meats and are frequently prepared into simple sauces for ducks or venison, while the white and pink currant varieties, which are sweeter and more delicate, are more commonly prepared fresh.
So in this article, we’ve listed some of the best currant substitutes in the market that you can use anytime and anywhere. Let’s get started.
Raisins and currants have a lot of common characteristics in terms of size, color, texture, and taste. When it comes to baking, raisins can be the best substitute to use in place of currants.
Whether you want them in your cookies, muffins, or cakes, you won’t notice that what you are eating are raisins and not currants. They are also commonly found in every supermarket and grocery store so you won’t have a hard time finding them.
Raisins are delicious, whether you eat them raw or cooked. Just like currants, they are perfect to add on salads, pies, puddings, jellies, and various desserts. Furthermore, they can also be great when mixed with sauces to complement meats and poultry, specifically lamb and chicken.
However, not all raisins are the same. Some are sweetened, while others are unsweetened; and some have seeds while others are seeded. They also come in different colors so it is always a must to read the labels to figure out which one is best for you.
Another good alternative to currants is prunes. When they are fresh, prunes look very much like plums, but when dried, they resemble dates.
In terms of size, prunes are bigger than currants. They also contain more sugar, which means that you may have to reduce the amount of sugar in your recipe if you are to use prunes instead of currants.
If you don’t mind trying something new, dried prunes will be a great alternative to consider. Aside from the fact that they are easier to find in grocery stores, they are also known to contain lots of vitamins – B and K.
Dried prunes can be a great substitute for dried currants when making currant jelly. The prune jelly will have a sweet flavor and aroma, which is also excellent in baked products, ice cream, and sorbet.
And since they are flavorful and delicious, you can even eat them directly.
Cherries are popularly used in baking, but they are also greatly used in cooking. Because of the significant flavor, aroma, and aesthetic they provide to desserts and dishes, they are much loved in various recipes.
Cherries that have been dried and preserved can be substituted for dried currants in a range of flavorful and sweet dishes. Although they may be brighter in color, the flavor isn’t too different from currants.
Similar to currants, dried cherries are perfect to add on cakes, cookies, muffins, jams, ice cream, cereal bars and many other puff pastries. Aside from that, you can also mix them in your sauces to complement your roast meat dishes.
Like other dried fruits, apricots have an intense sweetness when dried. And because of this, they are excellent in providing a pungent flavor to baked goods.
Dried apricots have a bright orange tint, which contrasts with the bluish brown or black color of dried currants. So if you are trying to achieve the look of currants, you might want to go for another substitute rather than apricots.
But in terms of taste, dried apricots will not disappoint because they have almost the same flavor profile as currants. When added to your dishes, they can even be more delicious.
In addition to sweets and pastries, dried apricots are also perfect as a complement to chicken and lamb. When cooked, these healthier options have a pleasant sweetness that pairs well with hot and salty cuisines.
What’s more, dried apricots are rich in antioxidants and vitamins that can help protect you from heart disease and diabetes.
Dried dates are another fantastic alternative to currants in your recipes. They’re not only tasty, but they’re also packed with nutrients.
Dates, like honey, are an excellent natural sweetener. If you are making currant jam, try making it with dates instead. It will have a much more distinct and pleasant aroma.
Dates, on the other hand, are an excellent filling for sweets like pies, cakes, and puff pastries. They are not only delicious, but they are also a healthier option, thanks to their multiple health benefits.
Dried Goji Berries
Goji berries are an Asian native fruit that has been utilized as an herbal remedy for centuries. It has quietly acquired popularity in recent years as a result of the surprising number of health benefits it has offered to many people.
Although goji berries can be somewhat bitter and less sweet compared to dried currants, the taste that they have is delectably notable.
Goji berries are similar to currants in terms of size and firmness, making them an excellent substitute for salads, sweets, and savory foods.
Cranberries are the closest alternative to currants. These fruits are nearly identical in terms of taste and form, so replacing one for another should not be a problem.
Cranberries are widely used in a lot of recipes. They are a common ingredient during Thanksgiving celebrations. They are usually used to make cranberry sauce to add flavor to turkey.
The best part about cranberries is that they are one of the most nutritious fruits that you can easily find on the market. They don’t have a lot of calories, but instead, they are filled with phytochemicals and minerals.
These red berries help improve blood circulation and strengthen the immune system. They also help lower your cholesterol levels, and keep possible inflammation caused by bacterial infections at bay.
Overall, whatever dish you make that calls for currants, cranberries will always be a great replacement to boost the flavor of your foods.
Currants can easily be replaced with dried blueberries. If you don’t mind the color, they can be used in any recipe, and their delicate sweetness enhances the flavor of baked items.
Whether you are making pies, pastries, or jellies, blueberries will make a great substitute to currants. They also include a lot of antioxidants and fiber, which is good for everyone’s health, especially the digestive system.
Jujube, also known as Chinese date, is a type of fruit that is widely grown in China. When completely ripe, they are dark crimson or purple in color and may appear wrinkly.
In place of currants, jujubes create wonderful jams and jellies. Cook them for a long time to extract all of the flavors and they will also be great as pastry fillings.
Jujube is actually a healthier option than currant because it of its high fibre content and high antioxidant properties that can help repair damaged cells in the body. It is also a source of Vitamin C and phosphorus. So if you can get some of it, might as well use it in your recipes.
Although Jujube is not common in many parts of the world, it can be found in most Asian or Chinese stores abroad. It can be used as an alternative to recipes that call for currant, given its natural sweetness that almost tastes like caramel, and its rich color and texture that resembles that of currants.
Kumquat is a type of citrus fruit that bears a resemblance to a small orange. The kumquat has a unique citrus flavor. While the fruit is a little bit sweet, it has a strong tart and pungent flavor.
The peel of the kumquat, on the other hand, is edible, unlike the peels of other fruits. It is, in fact, surprisingly tasty and sweet, while the luscious flesh is sour.
Although kumquats are originally grown in China, they are also now cultivated in many other countries like the United States. So, if you’re searching for a sweet and zesty addition to your dishes, kumquats are the way to go.
Sultanas are like raisins, only that they are specifically made from seedless green grapes. Before the drying process, they are typically covered in an oil-based solution, which is why they may have a lighter color than raisins and currants.
Sometimes, they are called ‘golden raisins’ because of the rich, brown color that they have after the treating process.
Sultanas are sweeter and softer than raisins and currants, which makes them ideal for use in breads, pastries, and even breakfast cereals. Furthermore, because their color is not garish, you can use them in light-colored desserts.
Mixed Dried Fruits
The last option that you can use in place of currants would be mixed dried fruits. Mixed dried fruits are mostly available in grocery stores, supermarkets, or even convenience stores.
You can either eat them as snacks or mix them with oats or cookies.
What’s good about mixed dried fruits is that they also have a concentrated sweetness that can resemble the taste of currants. So if you use them in your baking, you won’t know that they are just substitutes.
And even if it’s noticeable, it is still delicious. Plus, it adds color to your finished product, which is in fact more appetizing and appealing.