05 May 2009

Adventures in Superfoods

You may have heard goji berries are one of the hottest things in healthy living. They provide all kinds unproven of health benefits and I expect will be added to the list of "superfoods." I am large fan of berries. I could eat strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries for days. I have yet to learn how to eat a raw cranberry, but those are fine enough juiced or dried. I even have an olallieberry jelly I found at a farmers' market. I find berries to be sweet and delicious, and I applaud them for fighting free radicals and keeping me cancer free. Berries tend to be that rare combination of "good" and "good for me." So I feel I should eat them as often as possible. The idea of a "super" food that's also a berry is almost too much to handle. But I'm doing my best.

Step 1: Find A Berry
I've wanted to try the goji berries for a while, but never knew how to find them. They weren't in produce next to strawberries and blueberries. They weren't in dried foods next to the cranberries. They weren't in the frozen section near the berry medley. I scoured my grocery store for the gojis, and realized I had no idea what they looked like. People talked about them in such a way, I thought they'd be impossible to miss. So I went to Whole foods and they delivered. It turns out goji berries are dried. They're packaged like trail mix, or you can get you own from a self-serve silo.

Step 2: Prepare The Berry
Since they're dried, I first approached the gojis as if they were craisins. I just started eating them. The taste reminded me of dried apricots, only not as juicy, since they're not as big. It was a disappointment. And I left the gojis in the cabinet for nearly two weeks. Jesse suggested I reconstitute - or rehydrate - them. He cooks, so he uses very technical food terms these days. He boiled some water and poured it onto the berries. We let them sit for more than an hour, even though there was noticeable plumping after 10 or 15 minutes. I wanted them to return to their original luster, but I don't think that's possible.

Step 3: Enjoy The Berry
I was pleased with the end result, although I'm not sure it's what I should have expected. There was a stronger flavor, but I'm not sure how to describe it. Jesse is not a fan. Typically, that means I will be. I just think I first need to find a way to eat them. I added them to a protein shake, but may have drowned out the flavor with strawberries and blueberries. I think I may add them to oatmeal or bake them into a bread. I'm excited to have added them into my diet, and hope to reap some benefits. Super powers from a super food would be awesome.

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