Keeping In Balance With Goji Berries
Written by Kevin Kapusi Starow
You may have heard of Goji berries sometime over the past 5 or so years as one of these superfoods, “you bute” cure-all ingredients. Which seemingly popped into existence, pretty much overnight.
So, What Is This New Health-Food Berry?
Well, actually the goji berry or wolfberry has been a staple ingredient within Asian homes since at least the 3rd century AD. As both a food ingredient and medicinal ingredient.
The berry is a fruit, from the nightshade family and has been prized throughout Asia for its medicinal properties. Commonly use throughout China, Korea and Japan
Then in about 2000, it became popular in the west, with some very extreme health benefit claims used to market the product. The name Goji berry and Wolf Berry was invented, as the Chinese name Pinyin was just not sexy enough.
Then almost overnight these berries were popping up everywhere from snack foods, to granola bars, and even in yoghurts. Many of these health benefit claims are unsupported by research. They are, in many cases highly exaggerated, in an effort to sell more products. This profit drive is unfortunately tarnished, which is a special fruit.
What Are The Health Benefits?
In Chinese medicine, the goji berry is prized for having many health benefits. Being considered a neutral ingredient, it is neither warming or cooling for the body. Making it perfect for daily consumption.
It is said to help maintain youth, improve the quality of your sleep, and help to maintain balance within the body.
For the full effects of this or any health food ingredient, you need to consume it with a healthy diet. It is my belief that the combined influence of health properties from a variety of foods will be beneficial to your health. Certainly, not one cure-all elixir of life is proffered to you by slick marketing agencies.
How Do You Cook With Them?
Traditionally the stalks and leaves of the plant have been used as a leaf vegetable, similar to spinach. They are fried up with a selection of aromatics and served as an accompaniment to a protein and or with rice.
The berry, because of its sweetness has tended to be used in desserts or as part of a beverage, either hot or cold.
Here is a great recipe for you to try at home that is both delicious and packed with health benefits:
Goji Berry, Ginger Mint Tea
- 1 Kettle
- 5 Glasses
- 50 gm Goji Berries
- 100 gm Ginger - sliced- skin left on
- ½ bnch Mint leaves - fresh
- 700 ml Hot Water
- Maple Syrup
- Wash the berries several times in cold water, discarding the water each time. I prefer to use organic berries, though the choice is yours.
- Bring the water to a boil, or just below boiling point.
- Add the berries, ginger and mint, then allow to steep for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Add as much or little maple syrup as you like, you may just prefer a little less than what I like, it is upto you.