Freshmail’s Take on Goji Berries

Note: While on vacation I am reposting some of my recipes and reprinting articles on food & health that I received before going away. This one on Goji Berries is reprinted with permission from Freshlife Foods, owned by my friend & colleague Barb Jarmoska. Check out their great website: www.freshlife.com. (I highlighted in bold the important facts.) The trail mix recipe below sounds delicious. I made a batch of the Trail Mix to take on my trip. Tasty!!

FreshMailFeature Article

Is that a shriveled up pink raisin you’re eating?

Weighing high on the nutritional scale is a little, red, raisin-like fruit called the goji berry. Also know as wolfberries, goji fruit grows in the Himalayan valleys of China, Mongolia, and Tibet. The berries are so fragile they can’t be picked like strawberries or blueberries; instead, ripe goji berries are lightly shaken from the vine onto large wooden trays. While on the trays, they are gently washed and then placed in the sun to dry.

They might look like shriveled-up pink raisins, but goji berries taste more like a cross between a strawberry and a raspberry. These little berries are packed with high levels of beta-carotene, and are rich in amino acids and polysaccharides (the latter providing immune-modulating activity). Ounce for ounce, goji offers more vitamin C than oranges, more beta carotene than carrots, and more iron than steak. This Tibetan superfood definitely packs a punch by providing protection for the heart, skin, and immune system, and offers therapeutic activity that is: anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, cholesterol lowering, nerve calming, memory sharpening, and muscle enhancing. According to Tufts University, foods with high Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) scores may protect cells and their components from oxidative damage. The goji berry is highly ranked on the USDA’s ORAC scale, and has been called the world’s most powerful anti-aging food. Wow.

Luckily, you don’t have to scale Mt. Everest or K2 to enjoy a handful of goji berries. This tasty, chewy, super-food, part of our new line of Sunfoods, is stocked with its fellow raw superfoods front and center at the entrance to the vitamin department.

I enjoy the goji berries by themselves and in my yogurt. I’ve even soaked them overnight in a cup of Yogi Pomegranate Green Tea and then added the tea and berries to my morning smoothie!

My advice? Give goji berries a try. No matter how you eat them, these little bites of nature are a very powerful food.

Oh, and anyone who might want to send me to Tibet to bring back some goji berries; I’m available immediately. Just don’t tell the boss!

Jim Labenberg

Goji Berry Trail Mix Recipe
Combine 1 cup goji berries, 1/2 cup raw cacao nibs, 1 cup raw pecans, 1 cup raw walnuts, 1/2 cup shredded coconut. Mix well and store this delicious trail mix in an air-tight glass container.

Goji Berry Energy Bars
Using the same ingredients listed above, combine the pecans and walnuts and crush them by hand or grind in a blender or food processor. Transfer to a bowl, add 2 tablespoons of honey to the crushed nutmeats and stir well. Mix in remaining ingredients. Lightly grease a baking dish with a bit of coconut oil. Press the nut and fruit mixture into the dish. Refrigerate 1 hour to set, then cut into squares.


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