We’re just nuts for goji berries. Sure, the sweet-and-sour, tangy treat is incredibly an incredibly flavorful addition to just about any dish. However, our love doesn’t stop at flavor alone. Goji berries are a super nutrient-rich dried fruit that can really perk up your diet.
Goji are rich in powerful antioxidants, which can boost immune system function. They also contain heaping servings of vitamin C, beta carotene, iron and B vitamins. A small helping of these berries will give you more vitamin C than an orange, more beta carotene than a serving of carrots and more iron than a standard cut of red meat. That’s some powerful stuff!
There are many different ways to enjoy goji berries. Here are our top five favorites!
1) Tea: Goji berry tea is slightly tart, and very soothing (especially when you’re under the weather). To make it, place about 10 dried goji berries in the bottom of a mug and pour boiling water over them. Let them soak for five to 10 minutes, then sip the tea. For an added benefit, chow down on the berries in the cup after you’ve finished your tea. They’ll be soft, plump and moist.
2) Smoothies: Though it’s nearly impossible to find fresh goji (they spoil too quickly to be shipped), you can still add their power to your smoothie. Soak 10 to 20 berries in a bowl of cool water for about 10 minutes, then fish them out and pop them in the blender with yogurt, ice, fresh or frozen fruit, milk and any other smoothie fixins that you enjoy. Blend the smoothie for several minutes and drink it down!
3) Soup: Chinese chefs often include goji berries as a nutrient boost in simple chicken-based soups. Throw a handful of dried berries (roughly chopped, if desired) into a pot of simmering chicken stock. Cook the soup until the berries are soft and plump, 10 to 15 minutes. Many chefs accent the broth’s flavors with ginger, garlic, cilantro or ginseng.
4) Mix-Ins: Goji berries are delicious when mixed into trail mix or granola. You can sprinkle them on top of cereal, stir them into oatmeal or add them to plain yogurt sweetened with honey. They lend a chewy punch to these dishes that can really elevate them to the sublime.
5) As-Is: Who are we kidding? Our favorite way to nosh on dried goji berries is to munch them by the handful! A small helping goes a long way and will leave you feeling satisfied for an hour or two.