Goji Berries were such a mystery to me for a long time. I would see pictures on Instagram on top of smoothies or as a topping to pancakes or waffles and would wonder what they were. I would read the words goji berries but it never resonated with me. I even received a box of Rise Bars that included goji berries and after tasting the bar I thought nothing of the berries or the bar for that matter. It just didn’t seem to be making a connection with my palate.
One day while shopping at Sprout’s I was looking for the mystery ingredient for the week and came across goji berries near the bulk section. Figuring that it was mystery ingredient time I picked up a box of them and put them in the pantry. Since I had only seen them as toppings to smoothies or pancakes I figured I would go that route as well and it became love at first chew. I originally topped my evening snack with goji berries and they were the perfect compliment to the kiwi I had placed on top my homemade nut butter and Suzie’s thin cakes.
My next venture with goji berries was to place them on top of waffles and again they were a hit. The chewiness of the goji berries with the crunch of the nuts against the sweet chocolate was an ideal way to start the day. I realized at that point that goji berries would need to be a part of my diet and that is when I ran into the wall of disappointment. I went through my first batch of goji berries so fast that when I went back to Sprout’s to pick up another package they were all sold out. It wasn’t until this past week that I was able to get my hands on more and now it is time to research how else to get goji berries into my diet.
While I was doing the research for incorporating them into my meals I ran across the health benefits and I was even more surprised but it led me to the question I ask quite often. If people all over the world are eating these healthy foods why aren’t Americans? Aren’t we the most advanced country in the world and yet quinoa and goji berries are just recently being discovered? Doesn’t something seem backwards here?
Goji Berries Health Benefits:
- Goji berries are the most nutritionally dense fruit on Earth. They are a member of the nightshade family (Solonaceae), which contains many other common vegetables such as potato, sweet potato, tomato, eggplant, and pepper. Is it any wonder why I would love these as much as I currently do?
- Unique among fruits because they contain all essential amino acids, goji berries also have the highest concentration of protein of any fruit.
- They are also loaded with vitamin C, contain more carotenoids than any other food, have twenty-one trace minerals, and are high in fiber.
- Boasting 15 times the amount of iron found in spinach, as well as calcium, zinc, selenium and many other important trace minerals.
- Contains natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal compounds. Their powerful antioxidant properties and polysaccharides help to boost the immune system.
Goji Berries And Food
There are a handful, if not more, ways to use goji berries in your diet and here are a few:
- Top off smoothies and waffles/pancakes as mentioned.
- Homemade granola.
- Homemade ice cream.
- Spicy spinach soup.
- Topping to a kale and quinoa salad.
- Homemade Energy Bars.
As you can see the goji berry can be a versatile ingredient in your healthy living lifestyle.