The Gogi Berry, or lycium Barbarum, is a tiny, tart, and nutrient-packed berry native to the Himalayan region of Asia. This sweet and tangy superfruit is a powerhouse of nutrition, packed with antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals. It boasts a unique flavor and is a versatile ingredient that can be enjoyed fresh or added to recipes. Not only can you enjoy the delicious taste of the goji berry, but you can also grow it in your own garden!
The goji berry is closely related to the wolfberry, with similar nutritional properties. Historically, it has been used in food and medicine for over 2000 years. The goji berry has become more and more popular in the West over recent years and can be found in many health food stores. The name “goji berry” comes from its place of origin, the “goji area” in Tibet, where people have been growing and consuming the fruit for thousands of years. The name “goji” is also used to refer to the entire plant, including the roots, leaves, and flowers. The red fruit is the most commonly eaten part of the plant, yet it is also used to make medicine.
How to Grow Goji Berries
If you are interested in growing goji berries, you’ll be happy to hear that they are easy plants to grow! This drought-tolerant fruit thrives in warm and arid regions and prefers a warm, partially shaded spot. However, if you happen to live in a cooler, wetter climate, growing this berry plant in a well-drained pot will suffice. Ideally, the soil should be a sandy loam with a pH between 6 and 7.5. If your soil is very sandy, you may want to add some compost to help the soil hold moisture. With the correct planting timing, one can expect harvestable fruit in about 4-7 months.
Benefits of Eating Goji Berries
The goji berry is a powerhouse of nutrition and a superfood in the kitchen. This superfood has high levels of carotenoids, flavonoids, and vitamin C and is rich in minerals, like iron, zinc, and selenium. The goji berry is also a good source of protein and fiber. Some of the most notable benefits of eating goji berries are their anti-aging properties, their ability to boost the immune system, and their powerful antioxidant properties.
The goji berry is referred to as an “elixir of youth” in China, where it has been used for thousands of years to maintain good health and combat aging. The high vitamin C content of the goji berry helps increase collagen levels in the skin. Hence, helping reduce the appearance of wrinkles and keeping the skin smooth and vibrant.
Goji Berry Recipes
The goji berry has a unique flavor and can be used in many different recipes to add a sweet, tart, and nutty hint. It pairs nicely with apples and pears, is a delicious addition to trail mix, and can be used in smoothies and coffee. You can also try making a goji berry jam or using it in your baked goods. Dried goji berries may even be used as a replacement for raisins!