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.
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.
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, and www.canolaeatwell.com as well as many other clients. If you have a recipe or ingredient question for Judy be sure to send it in to [email protected] or leave it in the comment section below.