Introducing the Aronia Berry
Superfood alert! Did you know one of the world’s healthiest berries could be growing in your backyard? I just visited Melissa’s Produce in downtown Los Angeles and discovered Aronia Berries. What is this mystery food? Read on to find out why you should be eating it and how to incorporate them into your diet.
Aronia Berries (also called black chokeberries) are native to North America. They grow on deciduous shrubs mostly in the Midwest, which gives them the added benefit of having a low-carbon footprint. These berries are slightly astringent if you eat them fresh. But in their dried form, Aronia Berries are sweet, slightly tannic, sort of like a current or raisin. They’re about the size of a dried blueberry.
Health benefits of Aronia Berries
The most exciting aspect about this berry is it’s high level of polyphenols: micronutrients derived from plant-based foods that are packed with antioxidants. In a study where scientists analyzed 143 different plant samples for polyphenols, the highest contents of these compounds were found in them.
According to Medical News Today, a variety of studies have shown that Aronia Berries have many possible health benefits. These include inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, reducing inflammation related to diabetes, reducing liver damage, and protecting against heart disease. Additionally, they also contain vital vitamins and minerals like zinc, magnesium, iron, and vitamins C, B, and K.
Cooking with Aronia Berries
How should you incorporate these beautiful berries into your everyday diet? I recommend start using them how you would any dried fruit. Firstly, mix them into your oatmeal or yogurt in the morning. Moreover, they offer a nice burst of flavor in salads and other vegetable dishes. Finally, you can mix them in with your rice for added flavor, or even add them into a curry.
Most importantly, here is a recipe for inspiration:
Roasted Delicata Squash with Arugula and Aronia Berries
Have you ever eaten Aronia Berries? Let me know how you like to use them in the comments.