Goji berries! Have you heard of them? I’m sure you have! They have become increasing popular here in the U.S. over the past few years. These little berries are so versatile and can be used in various ways in cooking. I, personally like to blend goji berries into my smoothies.
But recently I decided to do something a little different with my chicken salad. Instead of putting raisins or cranberries in my salad, I decided to switch it up and put goji berries into my chicken salad. What a genius idea!
But before I share my Superfood Chicken Salad recipe with you, I thought it would be nice to dish out some healthy facts about this tiny little red super berry.
The History & Health Benefits of Goji Berries
Goji berries, also known as wolfberries have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years in Tibet and China both as a culinary ingredient and medicinally.
The numerous health benefits of these tasty berries truly place them right at the top of the superfood list.
In traditional Chinese medicine, the goji is said to act on the kidney and liver meridians to help with lower back pain, dizziness and eyesight. They are most often consumed raw, made into a tea, or an extract. These little red berries are alleged to boost the immune system, brain health, and protect against heart disease. There are many claims that goji berries can prevent and cure cancers. But I think we need to take these claims with a grain of salt because these claims have not been proven.
This amazing little superfruit also contains natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal compounds. Their powerful antioxidant properties and polysaccharides (big word there) help to boost the immune system. That’s probably why they are well known for increasing strength and longevity in traditional Chinese medicine.
Goji berries are most commonly available in dried form, and make a great snack, added to trail mix muesli, or oatmeal. These bright red berries are sold in many health food stores as well as online in dried form. In China, goji berries are eaten raw or dried, juiced in wines, or cooked into herbal teas.
Please note, if you are on any medications for diabetes, blood pressure, or take a blood thinner such as Warfarin, there can be adverse interactions if you consume goji berries.
How to Eat Them
You can cook with dried goji berries in both sweet and savory recipes. You can also soak dried goji berries in hot water for a few minutes until soft. You can also blend a spoonful of soaked goji berries into smoothies, tomato sauces, or frozen desserts.
You can buy dried goji berries or goji berry powder at most health food stores, but if your health food store doesn’t carry them, then you can find them online.