Ask Judy – Goji Berries

October 25, 2012

This post is brought to us by guest blogger Judy Fowler, Recipe Developer, Tester and Food Stylist.  Do you have a question for Judy?  Post it below in the comment section.

Goji berry bush is being grown beside a raspberry bush at Freefield Farm. The raspberry bush gives the goji berry bush some support during the first growing year.

Have you heard about Goji berries?
I have looked at dried goji berries so many times in the bulk food stores and wondered what they would taste like. What would I do with them? Today, I took the plunge. I scooped about one cup of berries into a plastic bag and threw it into my cart.

I really should have looked at the price!! The price per kg of goji berries rings in at $47.29!!! The price for about one cup of goji berries…get ready…$5.67. I tried really hard to contain my shock at the till.

I returned home and started to research goji berries. I checked out the internet for some information. I found three sites which I consider to be reliable. According to the information I obtained, I can tell you this:

The goji berry is considered to be a superfood, along with other foods, such as cinnamon, pumpkin seeds, rhubarb, shallots, quinoa, tumeric, milk thistle (more on that at another time) and psyllium.

According to the bulk food website, this superfood contains many of the proteins, vitamins, minerals and amino acids that our bodies need on a daily basis. In other words, the berries purportedly pack a nutritional punch.

Goji berries (or wolfberries, or western snowberries) are grown in the Himalayan Mountain region. I have just recently discovered that these same berries are growing in the gardens of the Freefield Organic Farm in Inglis, Manitoba.  I had an opportunity to visit the farm while I was on the Be Well Camp with the Manitoba Canola Growers.

The berries grow on low lying deciduous plants which produce berries in the summer. The berries are orange-red in colour, resembling the grape tomato. The dried berries taste like a mix of raisins and cherries. The consistency is quite chewy/gummy and dry with just a hint of bitterness. They can be eaten raw or cooked or they can be reconstituted in hot water before using.

I also read that they can be used in soup; paired with chicken, pork, vegetables; or they can be used in cereal, yogurt or ice cream, pastries, pies, cookies or muffins.

I chose to experiment with my favourite banana bran muffin recipe.  I usually add 1 cup of raisins or 1 cup of blueberries to this recipe. For this experiment, I added 2/3 cup of the dried goji berries to the batter.

The goji berries softened so nicely, and gave a very different blast of flavour to my favourite muffins. I will definitely try a few in my next batch of homemade chicken soup.

Be Well…Judy

Judy is a food stylist, recipe developer & tester, mom, lazy gardener and Zumba enthusiast.  She welcomes the opportunity to experiment with new food items and share her passion and creativity with her clients, family and friends.

She is the food stylist for www.canolainfo.org, and www.canolaeatwell.com as well as many other clients.  If you have a recipe or ingredient question for Judy be sure to send it in to info@mcgacanola.org or leave it in the comment section below. 

 

 

Chocolate Banana Bran Muffins

Chocolate Banana Bran Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour (250 mL)
  • 1 cup bran flakes (250 mL)
  • 1 tsp baking powder (5 mL)
  • 1 tsp baking soda (5 mL)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (2 mL)
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa (30 mL)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil (75 mL)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar (125 mL)
  • 2 eggs (2 )
  • 1/4 cup sour milk (1 tsp (5 mL) vinegar in measuring cup add milk to make it 1/4 cup) (60 mL)
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (approximately 3 medium bananas) (250 mL)

 

 

Directions:

  1.  Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, bran flakes, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa. Stir to combine. Make a well in the centre.
  3.  In a medium bowl, mix together canola oil, sugar and eggs until well blended. Mix in sour milk and bananas.
  4.  Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Don’t over mix. Mixture will be lumpy.
  5.  Spray canola oil into the muffin pan cups. Fill the pans ¾ full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

About the Author

Jenn

Jenn

A Professional Home Economist, mom of two, avid baker and passionate about yoga. Follow Jenn on twitter @jeniferdyck.

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2 thoughts on “Ask Judy – Goji Berries”

  1. Jenn

    Jenn

    30. Oct, 2012

    I’m going to ask the first question (actually 3)-
    Judy, how do you stay on top of all t he current recipe trends?
    What is your favourite food magazine or website?
    What’s the difference between black strap molasses and fancy molasses? And Does it matter which one I use in my recies?
    Be Well…Jenn

    Reply to this comment
  2. marisa

    08. Nov, 2012

    How do you come up with ideas?

    Reply to this comment

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