Tiny But Powerful Goji Berry…

goji berriesThe incredible edible Goji Berry.

This little but power packed berry has been around since the early days of Chinese medicine (they are still used to treat eye, liver and kidney issues) and has recently surfaced and regained popularity.

Goji berries, considered both a fruit and an herb are native to parts of Asia (popular in the Himalayas and Tibet) and Europe and are sometimes referred to as “wolf berries” and “Tibetan goji.”

Although they are tiny in size, they pack a powerful nutritional punch, are low in calories, fat-free and loaded with fiber (they have tiny seeds). They provide us with an army of antioxidants and contain all essential amino acids. With 15% more iron than spinach along with an abundance of trace minerals such as calcium, zinc and selenium, it’s no wonder that this little berry has become so popular again.

Similar to other berries, Goji berries are also packed with beta-carotene (for beautiful skin and healthy eyes), they are known to boost the immune system as well as your energy reserves. Goji berries also provide almost 10 percent of the dietary protein required daily and are an excellent source of vitamin C.

Goji berries are usually sold as dried berries (they look similar to red raisins), you can also find them fresh. They are packaged and sold by weight at bulk food stores, herbal and specialty food markets.

You can mix them into cereal, oatmeal or yogurt for an instant nutritional punch or they can be mixed with dark chocolate chips, raw nuts and grated desiccated coconut and other healthy ingredients (just use your imagination here) for a great homemade trail mix.

They make the perfect snacking food with their rich, sweet taste and since they are high in fiber, they keep us feeling full longer – keeping our weight in check.

Their increasing popularity has made them easier to find locally. However, they are not inexpensive so you want to be sure and use up any that you purchase.

Try this delicious recipe…

Carrot Goji Berry Protein Bars

Ingredients:

1 cup carrots, grated

½ cup cashews

½ cup goji berries, dried

½ cup desiccated coconut

¼ cup honey

½ cup protein powder (whey or plant based)

¼ cup coconut oil, warmed until liquid

Place cashews in food processor and process until broken down and crumbly. Add all other ingredients and process until mixture is well combined. Spoon out into a small (8 x 8 inch) glass dish or pan. Place in fridge or freezer to firm up and set then cut into bars or small squares.

Chocolate Coating

½ cup coconut oil, warmed until liquid

½ cup cocoa or cacao powder

2 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl. Let the mix cool down to room temperature so it will stick better. Dip the bars into the chocolate mix to coat. If a thicker layer is needed, simply place bars back in the fridge for a few minutes to set, then dip in chocolate again until the desired thickness is reached.

This recipe is one of 50 exciting new raw dessert and treat recipes that you will find in my newest addition: “Blended Bites” where I show you how to use a variety of fresh veggies in your sweet dishes to turn them into nutritional powerhouses.