Previously I told you that after undertaking a little research I decided to include some of the most nutrient rich foods into my diet. My last post showed you how easy it was to include Spirulina into your diet by adding it to fruit shakes, much to the amusement of my colleagues at work!
This weekend I've been experimenting with Goji Berries. I already include them in my diet as they are an ingredient in my home made muesli, but I wanted to see what else I could make so that it wasn't just breakfast that I ate them.
I gave up drinking back in September after one mother of a hangover suffering with a nasty headache and nausea. I didn't use to drink a lot, but I had found that the units per week had started to creep up. After a bad day at work I would pour myself a glass of wine instead of having my usual green tea with jasmine. So after the mother of all hangovers, I decided enough was enough and stopped! And do you know what I haven't missed it in the slightest even over the Christmas break! I've been enjoying my tea a lot more and trying different blends and drinking lots more water. Some people have even said too much water!
I wondered if I could make a drink using the Goji Berry and started experimenting.
The Goji Berry is a powerhouse berry! My research has found out that they have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 5,000 years. These little berries are regarded as a strength building food, can you imagine how strong Pop-Eye would have been if he ate them! They are also associated with longevity and they contain 18 kinds of amino acids, of which 8 are considered as essential amino acids. Other nutrients they contain, to name a few, are:
- over 20 different trace minerals,
- significant amounts of antioxidants,
- iron and
- B & E vitamins.
We can only get dried berries over here, but they can be purchased from supermarkets or health shops so they are easy to find. As I was making them into a drink I soaked them over night so they would be easier to blend.
The Goji Berry has quite a powerful taste when dry and to some it may taste a little bitter, personally I like them and could snack on them on their own but as a drink I figured it needed sweetening up. I also wanted to include another health improver ingredient, which I had read has anti-inflammatory effects; ginger. As you know this has a very strong taste so I was careful with the amount I used as I didn't want it to overbear the other flavours. Here's what I did:
50g Goji berries, dried
100ml Cold water
1 Orange, zest only
Small knob of ginger, finely grated
(I used about 3g after peeling)
1 Tsp Agave nectar
Soak the Goji berries overnight in the water. They plump up nicely!
Transfer the Goji berries and the soaking water to a powerful blender, I used my faithful vitamix but any powerful blender should do the trick.
Add the zest of the orange, the grated ginger and finally the agave nectar.
Blend until you have a smooth liquid, you may still have a few flecks of berry, but don't worry.
Add at least a teaspoon of the mixture to a tall glass and top with sparkling water and serve with a sprig of mint.
If the flecks of berry bother you then filter the drink through a fine mesh sieve, but remember if you do you'll be throwing out goodness.
Play around with the ingredients, the above will give you a hint of orange to take away the bitterness of the Goji and the ginger just gives it a very subtle hum of warmth.
I'll definitely be trying more drink creations with this little berry, I think mint would work too instead of the orange, but you could also try lemon or lime.