As we come into the Thanksgiving holiday, at Bamboo Pharmacy we like to try new recipes that incorporate superfoods! While the superfood label is still under debate, we consider anything with at least 8 documented health benefits pretty darn super. So what's super about Goji Berries?
Known in traditional Chinese medicine as Gou Qi Zi and casually called Wolfberries, you may compare the Goji berry to a cross between a cranberry and grape. The Goji has the tartness and beautiful red color of a cranberry, but is slightly sweeter like a grape. When dried, they look very similar to craisins.
Inside the Goji you will find vitamin C, fiber, iron, vitamin A (lots of it!), zinc, and antioxidants. But if that's not enough, these berries contain all 8 essential amino acids. And a 4 ounce serving provides nearly 10% of your daily protein requirement. That's a lot of protein for a fruit!
There has been a lot of hype around Goji berries in the last few years regarding supporting a healthy immune system, their weight-loss benefits as a healthy snack option, and the antioxidant benefits for the eyes and skin. But for thousands of years, the Chinese have been using Goji berries for eye health and supporting healthy liver and kidney function. Perhaps they've known much longer than their western neighbors that Goji berries in the diet are a great addition.
If you have health concerns, you may want to talk to your doctor first before adding Goji berries into your diet. There have been some studies showing that the powerful Goji may support improved blood circulation, help the body regulate blood sugar, and they have not been proven safe during pregnancy or while breast feeding. But for some, these cautions are actually health benefits! As with most healthy food options, they are generally considered safe for most people.
So how can you incorporate Goji berries into your diet? We've included a delicious Apple-Goji Pie recipe below. And since you will typically find them dried in the U.S., merging Goji as you would raisins into your diet is your easiest option. Here are some ideas:
- Add a handful of berries into your smoothie
- Put some on top of your yogurt
- Mix them into your cereal
- Stir them into your oatmeal
- Infuse them into your tea or water
- Cook them with lean pork or turkey to add a savory sweetness
We hope you enjoy much health success with your new Goji health tips! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Apple-Goji Pie Recipe
- 1 cup dried Goji berries (we prefer the Plum Flower brand organic Gou Qi Zi)
- 2/3 cup white sugar (can be substituted with granulated Monk Fruit sweetener as a reduced calorie option)
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 4 large apples (we used 2 granny smith and 2 honeycrisp) peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 9-inch pie crusts (one for the bottom, one for the top)
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium bowl, toss the Goji, sugar, flour, and spices together. Add in apples and vanilla and toss well. Place your bottom crust in a 9 inch pie pan hanging over the edge. Pour your apple filling into the crust (you may find your berries are at the bottom of the bowl - just spread them evenly across the apples). Place your top crust, seal the edges and flute. Cut small slits into the top with a knife for venting. Bake in your preheated oven for 55-60 minutes, or until apples are tender and crust is golden. Allow the pie to sit until warm but not hot before serving. Enjoy!