Ingredient Love | Goji Berries

Happy New YEar 2013{ White Sands, New Mexico }

It is a brand New Year! Hope it has started well for you…

2012 left on a bitter note with gut wrenching events to swallow and us mute spectators with a ton to learn from.

I want to start this year not by turning back but by learning from the past, looking ahead a little, staying in the present a lot, living well every moment, laughing often, loving much holding dear ones even closer.

In food and eating, to consciously reduce microwave usage (this one is hard, I know!) and have no regrets about indulging whenever I do! (borrowed this from Chinmayie on facebook).

Looking ahead, now for the ‘New” part in the New Year for the blog…

One of my biggest inspirations and motivations to cook, I have realized is ingredients. The whole journey is simply exhilarating from the unstoppable curiosity and excitement that takes over me when I spot a new-to-me ingredient at the grocery store or a specialty supermarket, the anticipation of how it can be used in dishes – savory or sweet, the possibilities of pairing with other ingredients or exploring the choices of how it can be “Indianized” best, researching recipes and nailing “the” one to cook with it and finally sharing the sheer joy with those I love!

I read somewhere that the best way to learn a new cuisine is to get to know the key defining ingredients and learn how to use them well. Whoever said that wasn’t lying, it seems. Coming from an orthodox family, if I have gained a broader interest in cuisines foreign to me, it has most definitely got to do with the curiosity aroused by the ingredients. (I won’t blame you if you are blinking. it isn’t evident on the blog!)

There is an endless list of ingredients I would like to share with you but haven’t been able to, for the lack of recipes to associate with. So I start this new segment with a focus on Ingredients I love, how I like to use them or intend to use them in future. Hope you will like this segment as much as I am excited about!

goji berries

Goji berries, the name itself is intriguing enough to try, don’t you think?

Goji berries are quite like cranberries (or simply raisins) minus the tang and stickiness, with a hint of bitter aftertaste. These tiny crinkled crimson reddish orange berries have become a favorite snack in our household. If you love dried cranberries, you can safely assume you’ll love these too. We have been enjoying these sprinkled over old-fashioned oatmeal for breakfast or simply snacking on them as is, though I would definitely love to bake a cake, cookies or muffins with them. I bet they will be good tossed in salads and trail mixes too.

They keep very well on the shelf for a long time without the need for refrigeration, if they are handled with dry hands or spoon and stored in an air tight jar.

They are considered an antioxidant anti-inflammatory anti-aging super food and are mood elevatorsSo if it is damp, cold and glum outside and you are feeling a little down, you know which berries to pop?

Tip for those of you living in Houston Whenever I get the chance, I buy conventionally grown berries at Caninos Produce on Airline drive (1 lb for $13)

Otherwise, TJ Maxx or Marshalls are good places to buy Sunfood Organic Goji berries at bargain prices.

Organic Goji berries don’t come without a huge dent in the pocket though. You’ll find them at Whole Foods for sure. If you are unsure about buying the whole 8 oz package, just try buying a little from their bulk bins.

Are you a Goji berry lover, how do you love to eat them?

Treat yourself to more :

23 thoughts on “Ingredient Love | Goji Berries

  1. rkramadh says:

    I love snacking on goji berries. They have much much higher antioxidants than the blue berries. Many Costco stores sell these in 1lb bags for a reasonable price. It’s been a while and I don’t recall if they are organic or not….

  2. Sharanya says:

    Happy New Year to you as well! I love goji berries too. What a nutrient packed ingredient to start with! I like to drink goji berry tea. — just soak a few berries in hot water for a hydrating hot beverage. Really came in handy when I banished caffeinated drinks from my diet during pregnancy. One way to avoid the huge dent in your pocket change is to look for these berries in chinese medicine stores. They are all over the place here in Canada. I would ask an Asian colleague for store recommendations, They are really popular in traditional chinese medicine.

    Btw. Thanks for your kind words on one of my blog posts a while back. I am just getting around to moderating some comments hence the late acknowledgement. I will be checking your space often!,

    • Radhika @ Just Homemade says:

      Thank you so much Sharanya and wish you a blissful year ahead as well!
      I do remember that I enjoyed reading that post of yours.
      And I am very happy to see you here..

      I will surely give Goji berry tea a try for what it is worth!

  3. Sayantani says:

    I recently was able to lay my hands on these berries. mostly from the China town. love them soaked and with my regular bowl of fruits with little honey and candied ginger.

  4. PJ says:

    Nice post. I prepare goji berry tea which I love and also use it in sweet potato mash.Its a great addition to porridges too.[All these posts are in my blog {http://seduceyourtastebuds.blogspot.in/}].Looking forward to the next post in this series….

  5. chinmayie @ love food eat says:

    Love this new series! Looking forward getting a peek into your kitchen cupboard 🙂

    I have never really tried Goji berries as I haven’t seen it in any stores here in Bangalore. Would love to try it if I get a chance though.

  6. indiraganesan says:

    bitter indeed, but as you, with much to learn.

    I seem to remember goji berry “super juice” as an add-on in smoothie places–delicious, but I might be thinking of another “Himalayan berry.” I will try them again, though yes, again, bitter.
    Thank you for the post.

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