Ask Judy – Goji Berries

October 25, 2012

This post is brought to us by guest blogger Judy Fowler, Recipe Developer, Tester and Food Stylist.  Do you have a question for Judy?  Post it below in the comment section.

Goji berry bush is being grown beside a raspberry bush at Freefield Farm. The raspberry bush gives the goji berry bush some support during the first growing year.

Have you heard about Goji berries?
I have looked at dried goji berries so many times in the bulk food stores and wondered what they would taste like. What would I do with them? Today, I took the plunge. I scooped about one cup of berries into a plastic bag and threw it into my cart.

I really should have looked at the price!! The price per kg of goji berries rings in at $47.29!!! The price for about one cup of goji berries…get ready…$5.67. I tried really hard to contain my shock at the till.

I returned home and started to research goji berries. I checked out the internet for some information. I found three sites which I consider to be reliable. According to the information I obtained, I can tell you this:

The goji berry is considered to be a superfood, along with other foods, such as cinnamon, pumpkin seeds, rhubarb, shallots, quinoa, tumeric, milk thistle (more on that at another time) and psyllium.

According to the bulk food website, this superfood contains many of the proteins, vitamins, minerals and amino acids that our bodies need on a daily basis. In other words, the berries purportedly pack a nutritional punch.

Goji berries (or wolfberries, or western snowberries) are grown in the Himalayan Mountain region. I have just recently discovered that these same berries are growing in the gardens of the Freefield Organic Farm in Inglis, Manitoba.  I had an opportunity to visit the farm while I was on the Be Well Camp with the Manitoba Canola Growers.

The berries grow on low lying deciduous plants which produce berries in the summer. The berries are orange-red in colour, resembling the grape tomato. The dried berries taste like a mix of raisins and cherries. The consistency is quite chewy/gummy and dry with just a hint of bitterness. They can be eaten raw or cooked or they can be reconstituted in hot water before using.

I also read that they can be used in soup; paired with chicken, pork, vegetables; or they can be used in cereal, yogurt or ice cream, pastries, pies, cookies or muffins.

I chose to experiment with my favourite banana bran muffin recipe.  I usually add 1 cup of raisins or 1 cup of blueberries to this recipe. For this experiment, I added 2/3 cup of the dried goji berries to the batter.

The goji berries softened so nicely, and gave a very different blast of flavour to my favourite muffins. I will definitely try a few in my next batch of homemade chicken soup.

Be Well…Judy

Judy is a food stylist, recipe developer & tester, mom, lazy gardener and Zumba enthusiast.  She welcomes the opportunity to experiment with new food items and share her passion and creativity with her clients, family and friends.

She is the food stylist for www.canolainfo.org, www.canolarecipes.ca and www.flavoursmagazine.ca as well as many other clients.  If you have a recipe or ingredient question for Judy be sure to send it in to info@mcgacanola.org or leave it in the comment section below. 

 

 

Try these banana muffins and stir in 2/3 cup of goji berries to the batter.

Banana Muffins (printer friendly version)
What better way than to wake up than to delicious banana muffins for breakfast!
Heart and Stroke 2010
Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients:
1/4 cup canola oil (60 mL)
1/4 cup brown sugar (60 mL)
1 egg (1 )
1 tsp vanilla (5 mL)
2/3 cups buttermilk (150 mL)
1 1/4 cup mashed banana (300 mL)
1 cup whole wheat flour (250 mL)
1 cup all purpose flour (250 mL)
1/2 tsp baking soda (2 mL)
1/2 tsp baking powder (2 mL)
1/2 tsp nutmeg (2 mL)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a muffin pan with muffin cups or spray with canola oil cooking spray.

In large bowl, whisk together canola oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla and buttermilk. Add mashed banana and stir to combine ingredients.

In second bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and nutmeg. Mix well.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir mixture only to combine ingredients. Do not over-mix.

Spoon batter into the muffin tin. Bake for 20 minutes or until muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the centre of the muffins comes out clean.

Cool muffins on wire rack.

Chef’s Tip: If you don’t have buttermilk, use an equivalent amount of sour milk, made by adding 1 tbsp of lemon juice or vinegar per 1 cup of milk.

Nutrition Tip: Including whole wheat flour as part of the flour potion increases the fibre content of baked goods. It’s estimated that Canadian get only half of the recommended 21-38 grams of fibre that they need every day.

Nutritional Information:

Serving Size: 1 muffin Calories: 160
Cholesterol: 20 mg Total Fat: 6 g
Carbohydrates: 26 g Fibre: 2 g
Protein: 4 g Saturated Fat: 0.5 g
Sodium: 90 mg

 

About the Author

Jenn

Jenn

A Professional Home Economist, mom of two, avid baker and passionate about yoga. Follow Jenn on twitter @jeniferdyck.

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2 thoughts on “Ask Judy – Goji Berries”

  1. Jenn

    Jenn

    30. Oct, 2012

    I’m going to ask the first question (actually 3)-
    Judy, how do you stay on top of all t he current recipe trends?
    What is your favourite food magazine or website?
    What’s the difference between black strap molasses and fancy molasses? And Does it matter which one I use in my recies?
    Be Well…Jenn

    Reply to this comment
  2. marisa

    08. Nov, 2012

    How do you come up with ideas?

    Reply to this comment

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