The Truth About Goji Berries Will Make You Go for Them

goji berrieI say goji berries, you say go where?!? Goji berries! Another one of those magical superfoods we're supposed to be snacking on. Goji berries, also known as wolfberries, are grown on leafy shrubs similar to the boxthorn and originate in China. You've probably most seen them in dried form, in granola or trail mixes. But why are these wrinkled little things-which-are-not-raisins being pushed on us? Will they actually do anything for us? How do you eat them? And do they taste good enough to eat? 

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Like blueberries and acai berries, goji berries are a potent source of antioxidants. They're rich in vitamin A. The berries are believed to help treat high blood pressure, diabetes, fever, and even vision problems, but those are yet to be proven. A few studies seem to indicate goji berry juice can aid your mood and mental health, the quality of your sleep, and athletic performance. But more research is needed before we really know how effective goji berries are.

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As with many other superfoods, it's probably better to eat goji berries as food rather than in powdered/pill supplement form. Fortunately, there are many different ways to eat goji berries. Unfortunately, they're not as sweetly simple as blueberries. Eaten fresh, they're sweet, but also bitter. Some people think they're a little like cranberries. They're less bitter dried.

Goji berry juice: You can buy bottled goji berry juice at health food stores, many groceries, and even apparently Walmart. I hear it tastes a little like prune juice.

Goji berries soaked in tea: Traditionally, dried goji berries are steeped with tea. You can buy tea bags with goji berries or just drop some into your favorite green or black tea.

Goji berries in smoothies: Soak the berries for at least an hour before adding to your favorite smoothie recipe. Here's a recipe for goji berry, lime, and apple smoothie.

Goji berries in congee: Congee is a Chinese porridge made with rice. Here's a recipe for mushroom congee with goji berries.

Goji berries in soup: Drop them into your favorite chicken soup.

Goji berries for breakfast: Basically you can use dried goji berries the same way you'd use raisins or any other dried berries. They're great in a granola recipe, or you can stir them into oatmeal.

Have you ever tried goji berries? What did you think?

 

Image via sweetonveg/Flickr

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