A goji berry by any other name is just as tart, but you may see these puckery fruits referred to as lycium fruits, wolfberries or occasionally Chinese matrimony berries. Ripe goji berries are oblong, like an olive-meets-strawberry shape, with smooth, orangey red skin. Their flavor is sour and craisin-like. The goji berry’s health benefits are stuff of legend, making these a favorite powerfood to everyone from health nuts to fruities like us.
Most often, goji berries (Lycium barbarum) are sold dry to be enjoyed as a snack or ingredient. Goji berries grow across Asia on a shrubby species of boxthorn that’s also cultivated for its edible shoots and leaves.
Goji berries are red, fruity little berries that have a lot to offer. Often consumed in their dry form, goji berry tastes a lot like cranberry, with more sourness and a bit of sweetness. Goji berries have a reputation as a superfood because they're packed with protein (yes, protein), antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Goji berries are a deep, orangey-red color that is similar to saffron or annatto.
Ripe goji berries look like plump, oblong, red grapes. Their skin is shiny and red throughout, with no green or yellow spots. Fresh goji berries can be red and still not ready to eat, so they tend to be harvested when they become sweeter. That means fresh and dried goji berries are almost always ready to eat when you get them.
Most often, goji berries are found in their dried form. Gogi berries can be eaten raw, whether fresh or dried, and cooked in recipes. Dried goji berries can be used in many ways, including being rehydrated with flavorful liquids, used whole or chopped in recipes, or incorporated raw into snacks and desserts.
Dried ripe goji berries are eaten whole, with seeds, skin and all. Goji berry seeds are small, flat and round with a yellowish tan color.
Goji berries are native to China and grow across much of Asia. Goji berries are now cultivated in the United States and Canada as well.
Goji berries are adored by fruit fans and nutrition geeks the world over for their sour berry flavor and unique nutritional profile. They’re known for their high protein content, something fruits and berries don’t typically have. Bright, orangey-red goji berries are loaded with other antioxidants, vitamins and minerals as well. According to the USDA, here is the nutritional information for dried goji berries.
One serving of 5 tablespoons of dried goji berries contains:
Fans of goji berry who may be on certain medicines should talk with their doctor. Goji berries could interfere with blood thinners and medicines used to treat diabetes and blood pressure issues.
Summer is peak season for goji berries and lasts through fall. Goji berries grow on a thorny shrub that can also be harvested for leaves in the spring and fall. Spring leaves can be used to flavor soups and other uses, while fall leaves are known for use in making tea.
Goji berries are easy to incorporate anywhere you already like to use dried fruits. Goji berries are particularly good in their dried form when tossed into salads, added to trail mix snack mixes, granola, and cooked or baked into countless recipes.
Goji berry has a tart, sour and bitter flavor that isn’t very sweet at all. Their flavor has a garden fresh taste that makes goji berries distinctively earthy, with a soft and somewhat chewy texture.
Goji berries can be eaten fresh or dried, with the latter being the most common way to find the tiny fruit. You can eat them alone as a snack, brew them into beverages, add them raw to salads and toppings, or cook them into sweet and savory recipes. Goji berries add a flash of bright color, pleasantly bitter flavor and a chewy texture to snacks, meals, baked goods and other dishes.
Goji berries add a sour and bitter flavor to shakes, smoothies, cocktails, juices and teas. Fresh goji berries can be juiced and dried goji berries can be used to impart flavor to other beverages.
Dried goji berries can last in a sealed container in your pantry for about twelve months. If you live in a more humid climate, check on them often to prevent them from spoiling too soon.
Good news for good dogs! Goji berries are safe for dogs to eat in moderation, whether they’re fresh or dried. The canine lovers at FruitStand encourage you to talk with your veterinarian about any new fruits offering them your pooch.
Goji berries aren’t particularly messy fruits, but they could leave a red stain if dropped on certain fabrics. If you get goji berry schmutz on your clothes, treat the spot with a stain remover that’s safe for the fabric . Then pop it into the washer as soon as you can. Surface spots can usually be handled with basic cleaners.
Did a goji berry make an escape from your granola bowl only to land on your white t-shirt? If you drop a bit of goji berry on your clothing or other fabric, treat the spot with a stain remover that’s safe for your fabric. Follow the directions on the product to prevent the spot from setting, and pop the item into the washer as soon as you can.
Goji berry is often compared with its good pal, the cranberry, because of their similarities in look and flavor. Both berries boast a deep red color, tart taste and are known as nutritional powerhouses. Try using goji berries in your favorite cranberry recipes to get to know these more sour-tasting berries better. Goji berries will provide that familiar bitterness with a more tart and sour flavor. Dried goji berries are slightly larger and fleshier than crasins, which gives them a chewier and more datelike texture.
If goji berries spoil, you may smell something a little funky. Toss any turned goji berries into the compost, and provide aeration if there are lingering odors. Pop a new, old-fashioned box of baking soda for your fridge every two to three months to capture unpleasant aromas before they set off any fog horns.