So you want to learn more about goji-berries?
You’ve come to the right place.
On this page I will talk all about the benefits of goji berries, give you 10 goji berry recipes and also answer some frequently asked questions about this amazing superfood.
Goji-berries are a bright reddish orangeish berry. They are also called the wolfberry.
The goji berry plant is native to China where the people have been eating these berries for generations due to the believed goji berries benefits to nutrition and health.
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The Chinese believed that goji-berries helped treat common health ailments including:
Some studies also found possible other benefits of goji berries such as:
Those studies were preliminary and need further testing.
Goji berry nutrition benefits are undeniable due to the fruit’s high concentration of antioxidants. Goji berries, like all berries, are very healthy due to the antioxidants.
At the same time, it is yet to be proven whether all these medicinal qualities are scientifically valid or more of a placebo effect.
The brand of raw organic goji berries that I use is Healthworks which you can buy on Amazon here.
It has the following nutrition facts with a goji berries serving size of 1 oz:
Not a bad amount of protein for such a small serving!
And yes, it has sugar but remember this is the kind of natural sugar occurring in berries.
Goji berries are a low glycemic index food—lower than apples but higher than bananas. (Source)
Goji berries could have an adverse interaction with some drugs. Especially at risk are blood thinner drugs, diabetes drugs and high blood pressure drugs.
So just because you heard that goji-berries could help with high blood pressure and/or diabetes DOES NOT mean you should self medicate or take it in addition to your regular medicine.
ALWAYS consult with your doctor before using goji-berries as a supplement or in conjunction with any medicines or drugs.
Otherwise, goji berries should be safe to consume in moderation. I have about one or two servings almost every day.
Goji-berries actually come in many different forms. Here are some of the most common:
According to Proven Winners, which gives tips on gardening and growing your own plants:
"Though they sound exotic and are most often found with a high price tag in health food stores, Goji berries are actually easy to grow hardy plants.
Goji is a sprawling shrub with long, flexible canes and clusters of small, grey-green leaves. The flowers are a brilliant royal purple and they appear in late spring/early summer along the length of the canes. They give way to juicy, bright red fruits that resemble small peppers. They grow sweeter as they mature on the plant. Goji plants continue to flower and produce fruit through the first heavy frost."
I recommend you check out the Proven Winners website to learn more about how to grow your own goji berries plant.
This is the form that we most commonly consume. All the recipes found below call for dried goji-berries.
In the dried berries form, goji is easy to consume, lasts a long time, and extremely versatile. You can also soak them in water to re-hydrate the fruit.
Goji juice is made from goji-berries which are wild-harvested (picked by hand) when ripe, then cold-pressed and flash pasteurized to preserve freshness and natural levels of bioactive compounds when in juice form.
The juice provides another way to benefit from all the same nutritional benefits of goji-berries outlined above. Many who drink it on a regular basis report an increase in energy levels among other positive effects.
You could also add a little bit of this to your smoothie recipes instead of the solid berry…either one works. I wouldn’t recommend using it as your primary liquid because it is too concentrated, and also a lot more expensive than filtered water or almond milk.
A little bit goes a long way in smoothies.
You may hear of goji berries being marketed as “Himalayan goji berries” or “Tibetan goji-berries.”
But new studies have revealed that it’s actually just a marketing term and no different than standard Chinese wolf berries.
The true Tibetan goji berry only grows in very select areas of Tibet and mostly in Mongolian areas. But marketers label the Chinese wolf berries as Tibetan goji berries.
For more information on this click here.
Chocolate coated goji berries may not be the healthiest snack you can possibly eat, but they’re also not the worst.
The bottom line is that it can be a good way to sneak some superfoods into your snacks.
I’m an official chocolate-holic so I have been cold turkey no chocolate at all for the last couple of months. So luckily I have stayed away from chocolate covered goji-berries thus far. I think I tried some a year or two ago from the local health food store Mother’s Market.
Anyways, if you want to give your sweet tooth a nice “super” treat check out these options for buying chocolate goji snacks:
Goji berries are growing more popular in skin care products to promote anti-aging skin care and wellness.
Finally, some people take goji-berries in pill form.
I prefer the whole foods (dried fruit) version of goji berries but if for whatever reason those are unavailable to you or you don’t like the taste, you may want to consider taking them as a supplement.
The supplement touts immune-enhancing properties due to potent antioxidant protection.
You can sometimes find goji berries in grocery stores, but you may only find them at health food stores.
I found them at Sprouts, and I believe they also have them at Whole Foods. Look for bulk goji berries in the bulk food bins as well.
Although some local stores sell goji berries, now I buy all of my goji-berries online for greater convenience.
This is the brand I like:
Most of these recipes are vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free.
Of course you don’t have to fall into any of those categories to enjoy them!
This sauce is made out of this superfood berry plus ginger and tahini…so it comes out nice and creamy!
Add in lentils for a vegetarian protein source and a variety of vegetables and you end up with a pretty solid dinner.
I can’t wait to try this one for my main dish…I think it’s going on the dinner menu for tomorrow :)
I have been eating this almost every single day lately. I got the idea for this on the Reset 28 Meal Plan.
Instead of almond butter, I usually use peanut butter because it’s cheaper and I always have it handy…but it’s really good with almond butter too!
I have my own contender for the title of best smoothie ever, and you will soon see my recipe make an appearance here on Joy of Smoothies.
In the meantime check out Cristina’s rendition of best smoothie ever .
What a great idea for a quick and easy healthy breakfast on the go!
Assemble all the ingredients the night before, let it soak in the fridge overnight, then in the morning just grab and go!
Stops you from ever having to grab a fast food breakfast again.
I have made a similar recipe for breakfast energy bites with goji berries. I like this recipe because it’s no-bake.
The real challenge with this recipe will be keeping yourself from eating them all in one sitting!
I recommend you divide them out into separate portions for each day immediately to reduce that temptation.
I love this recipe! I actually drink something very similar every single morning upon rising.
The morning tonic I have every day to help get my system going (prior to my morning healthy breakfast green smoothie) has the following:
Well this recipe takes it a step further by adding:
I haven’t been drinking caffeine lately, not even in tea, so I would probably replace that tea bag with an herbal tea variety.
Somebody who knows a lot more about food combining rules than me told me that I should add a dash of maple syrup to my morning tonic to help stabilize blood sugar. So that makes perfect sense here.
And as for adding goji-berries to the morning detox tonic…why didn’t I think of that?!
Besides boosting immunity, the turmeric in this smoothie also has great anti-inflammatory properties.
Combine that with the antioxidants properties of goji-berries, and the orange hue of all three foods, and you have a real winner :)
Looking for a healthy dessert with goji berries? Give these chocolate-y energy bars a try!
This recipe is definitely top of my list to make.
I recently made my own granola that was featured in the Reset 28 program I completed.
Since then I have been addicted to homemade granola and can’t get enough…I’m always on the lookout for new granola recipes!
I like to use this granola not only to eat as a dry trail mix but also as a healthy, grain-free low sugar cereal to enjoy with almond milk. Works like a charm!
Do you ever crave that ice-cold taste of lemonade?
You’re much better off making your own instead of running to the store to buy a premade lemonade or a powder mix.
This way you control exactly what goes into it and regulate the sugar content…and in this case add an extra antioxidant boost by adding soaked goji-berries!
A: A: Goji berries have a low glycemic index of 29. For comparison purposes, an apple has an index of 38 and an orange has 42. Bananas are a bit lower at 25. (Source)
A: Goji fits in well on many weight loss plans since it gives you antioxidants and a burst of low-glycemic sweetness, to satisfy that sweet tooth.
Consult with a doctor or nutritionist for a specific weight loss meal plan for your needs.
A: Goji berries should be stored in a cool, dry place. They do not need to be refrigerated but it’s not a bad idea if you live in a hot or humid climate.
It’s best to consume goji berries within 12 months. If stored in the fridge you may extend that another 12 months. I usually go through goji berries way faster than that anyways!
I recommend you use one serving of goji berries in your smoothies. Typically one serving is 1 oz.
The benefit of adding one serving of goji berries to your green smoothie recipes is that it adds about 100 calories and 4g of protein.
This makes it a heartier, more filling smoothie, suitable to be a meal replacement.
The main downside is that they are a bit pricey compared to other berries and dried fruits. But they also pack a lot of antioxidants and nutrients in a small package so you get a lot of bang for your buck.
Some people have reported other side effects (see above for more info).
A study done in Spain showed that there was a high risk of allergies to goji berries among individuals who are allergic to LTP. Please consult with a doctor if you are concerned about potential allergic reactions.
This is not a common effect but some people have reported feeling an upset stomach after eating them.
If you have a sensitive stomach I recommend that you do not eat goji berries on their own straight out of the bag, always combine with other foods (such as in the recipes above).
Also limit your quantity in the beginning.
Goji berries are not the kind of foods you want to snack on a ton. I like to eat in very small quantities.
1 oz is the perfect serving size. Start with one serving per day, or every few days. Don’t have goji in every meal or snack.
After about a week of that, gradually up it to two servings per day if you want (spacing it out throughout the day), and so on.
I wouldn’t recommend more than two or three servings per day. Mix it up with other superfoods.
Although many people report increased energy levels and alertness after eating goji berries, there is no caffeine.
I hate to sound like a broken record, but...
Always consult with a doctor or medical professional for advice on how to treat any diseases or illnesses you may have.
While goji-berries have several reported health benefits that does not mean you should self-diagnose or self-medicate. Depending on how severe your disease is this could be life-threatening, so please consult with a doctor!
Goji berries range in price from roughly $11 for an 8-ounce bag up to about $30 for a two pound bag.
I recommend starting with the 8-ounce bag if you’re just getting started with goji, so you can see if you like it without much risk.
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