Goji Berry Plant
Goji Plants will fruit heavily throughout Summer and Autumn. The plant is a deciduous, long living perennial that will develops a trunk will multiple fruit bearing branches. Goji Plants can grow to 3m and can be pruned to suit your garden or landscape – even small gardens!
The plant can also tolerate frosts and high temperatures with a range from -15 oC up to 40 oC, making it a very hardy plant. Goji Berry Plants prefer a well drained soil, but will need protection from slugs, snails, and other pests during its first year of growth.
Goji juice, dried berries and chocolate coated Goji Berries are the latest health trend around the world. World-wide demand for the berries have made them expensive to buy, so why not grow your own!?
Why are they so healthy? Goji Berries have been used throughout China and Tibet for thousands of years as a longevity/medicinal food and are approximately five times higher in anti-oxidants than any other fruit. They also contain a full range of fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
Goji berries are high in Vitamin C, which supports the immune system. They also contain Vitamins A and E, which promote skin health, and Vitamins B1, B2 and B6 which increase metabolism and improve cell growth.
How to Dry Goji Berries
Goji berries are one of the newest super fruits. These tiny berries contain large amounts of antioxidants. By drying them, you concentrate their potency, as you would with any dried food. Some people grow their own goji berries instead of buying them. It’s possible to dry these home-grown goji berries as well.
What you’ll need:
- Baking sheet with at least 1/2-inch high edge all the way around
- Baker’s cooling rack to fit over the baking sheet
- Cheese cloth to completely cover the baker’s cooling rack
- Zip top storage bags
What to do:
- Rinse and dry the Goji Berries. Discard any that are not fully ripe or those that have become moldy.
- Place the baker’s cooling rack across the top of the baking pan.
- Cover the cooling rack with a layer of cheese cloth.
- Spread the goji berries across the cheese cloth. The berries should not be touching.
- Place the baking pan with the cooling rack and the berries on top inside the oven.
- Leave the oven door open and turn it to the lowest possible setting. Some ovens can only be turned on at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Others have a 150 degree “Warm” setting. Use the lowest on your oven.
- Let the berries dry in the oven for 4 to 12 hours until they are pliable and leathery. The drying time will differ depending upon the temperature you used, the amount of berries you are drying, the humidity in your kitchen and the amount of water that was initially in the berries.
- After the berries are dried, let them cool completely before transferring them to a zip top storage bag. Store them in the pantry or the freezer.
Goji Energy Bars
Below is recipe for you to make your own energy bars using your own Goji Berries!
What you’ll need:
- 1 Cup Pine Nuts
- 1/4 Cup Soaked Buckwheat
- 1/4 Cup Agave (Can substitute for same quantity of Honey)
- 1 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 Cup Almonds
- Dried Goji Berries
What to do:
- Put pine nuts, soaked buckwheat, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and some Goji Berries (your preferred amount) into a blender or food processor and blend for a few seconds.
- In a bowl, mix these ingredients with the agave and add a little more water to moisten.
- Add more dried Goji Berries.
- Mold the mixture into energy bars.
- Use cookie molds or make balls with your hands or use a fork on a plate to make compact energy bars.
- Let sit for awhile.