The nannyberry grows on a large shrub or small tree. These bushes and trees are native to southern Canada and the northeastern United States. Other names for this berry include sheepberry and sweet viburnum. The nannyberry plant has small white flowers that are around in round clusters. The fruit itself has a blue-black color and a sweet taste.
The term “sheepberry” developed because over-ripe nannyberries smell like wet sheep wool. This berry is used for making tea, jam, jelly, and dried fruit. Nannyberries may also have medicinal benefits.
These berries can be eaten raw or processed by stewing or baking. Once these are plucked from the plant, they have a short life that can be retained and stored for up to 3 days in a refrigerator by either freezing, canning, or drying. Every part of the plant can be put to some medicinal use.
Health Benefits of Nannyberries are often used as herbal medicines.
The leaves of this fruit and also the juice extract from the bark, seeds and berries are useful in treating respiratory diseases, digestive and menstrual problems.
Also, they relieve pain and anxiety.
The bark of the tree is antispasmodic which relaxes muscular spasms and cramps and also calms nervous irritation.
An infusion of the leaves can be used to treat measles.
If a poultice of the leaves is drunk it can heal dysuria.
It is diuretic in nature which acts on the kidneys and promotes the flow of urine.
The fruit, Nannyberry, is of great value and can be used for several purposes.
Edible Uses of Nanny berries
- The fruits can be eaten raw, while juicy and sweet-sour. These berries can be dried and eaten later as a snacking item.
- It can be crushed into a smoothie or milk shake, like other berries.
- They can be made into jams.
Other Uses of Nanny berries
- Medium to large shrubs of this plant can be used as windbreaks in farms.
- The trees can also be used as shrub borders, tall barriers and hedges.
- They can be used as Agro-forestry products-cut or dried flowers, fresh, dried and processed fruits. The bark can be used to make tea.
Recipes of Nanny berries
- Nannyberry is often eaten raw and sometimes crushed or sliced.
- When sugar is added to the pulp, the natural juices come out and the crushed berries then produce a sauce that can be had with cakes and ice-cream.
- Nannyberry extracts are used as an ingredient in pies, cakes, sorbets and other desserts.
- They are also used as appetizers and in cheese platters.
- The most well known Nannyberry recipe is the delicious Nannyberry pudding. One can also make pancakes with it.