The other day, my mom came over to tell me there were berries hanging from the goji berry bush in her garden. She showed me a little box of bright orangered berries. Woohoo! There was just one thing on my mind — SMOOTHIE TIME!
I am particulalrly fond of goji berries ever since I read that they're so great for your skin.
As you probably already know, since I became deeply involved with healing my skin naturally, I've been incorporating more of certain foods into my diet of which I know that they're specifically good for protecting skin health.
However, there's only a small amount of foods with which I can immediately see and feel the effects, that is with:
- Green juices
- Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir and coconut yoghurt
- Melons like watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew
- Extra virgin olive oil
- And goji berries! :)
Goji Berries — Health Benefits
Goji berries have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years. They've been used as a general nutritive tonic as well as for its specific eyesight-improving, liver-detoxifying, energy-boosting, anti-aging and cancer-fighting properties. (via Chinese Herbs Healing)
Goji berries (also known as wolfberries or Tibetan goji) are high in vitamins A, C & B2. They're also rich in iron and selenium and they contain phytochemicals like zeaxanthin, lycopene, cryptoxanthin, lutein and polysaccharides, all of which are especially beneficial for skin and eye health. (via Dr. Axe)
Goji's high antioxidant content makes them a real anti-inflammatory superfruit. Goji berries strengthen your immune system, making them a welcome seasonal fruit to feast on as weather conditions are becoming more harsh.
Goji Berries — Origin
Goji berries are native to Asia, particularly North- and South China. But as goji berries became recognized in the West as a so-called 'superfood', more and more people all over the world are introducing these exotic species into their own home garden.
Growing Goji Berries At Home
Goji berry bushes are easy to grow. All you need to do is buy some organic berries and follow these steps (via The Superfoods):
- If you have bought fresh or dried goji berries, you can get the seeds from them. Soak the berries to soften them.
- Then cut and remove the seeds. The seeds are very small. So, place them in a fine sieve, rinse and dry them. To get seeds from the fruit, purchase bulk berries which are better than the packaged ones.
- The seeds can be directly planted in the soil or soaked until they begin to germinate and then planted. Some seeds might not germinate. This is due to the treatment of store-sold berries. The other alternate is to check local or online stores for goji berry seeds that are ready for planting. Another way to sprout seeds is to wrap them, for 10 days at least, in a damp paper towel or spread them on a tray and cover with a moist cloth. Make sure you keep moistening the cloth until the seeds germinate.
- Next get some small starter pots ready and fill them with seed-starting mixture that has been sterilized. Cover the planted seeds with a little soil and spray on water using a spray bottle.
- The pots must be kept in a warm area and periodically moistened until the seedlings emerge. A good way to keep the seeds moist is to cover the pots with paper towels or newspaper. This helps to retain the humidity within the pots. Keep checking the seeds frequently and the seedlings will appear in 4-6 weeks.
- Transfer the starter-pots to a more sunny location, continuing to water them gently. When the plants reach 2-3 inches in height, they are ready for transplanting into small containers. These need to be filled with loose organic soil and placed in full sunlight.
- When the goji berry plants are tall enough, transplant them into the ground or bigger pots. Make sure you only use organic soil, which can be mixed with organic compost. The soil must be nutrient-rich and loose to allow the roots to grow freely.
- Plant goji seeds in spring. Select a location in the garden that has plenty of room for the mature plants to grow freely and which gets plenty of sunlight. The top layer of the soil can be covered with mulch to retain moisture. Make sure you water the plants well especially in the first growing season. This will ensure you get healthy plants.
- The leaves of the goji plants are gray-green in color. In about three years, you will get the first flowers which are purple and white. Soon after the first bright red-orange goji berries will appear and cover the shrubs.
So how do these wonderful orangered jewels taste in a smoothie? De-lish! I sugest you simply follow the recipe and taste for yourself.
FRESH GOJI BERRY SMOOTHIE (serves 2)
- 1 banana
- 2 oranges
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 handful fresh goji berries (sub w/ dried gojis if fresh not available)
- 3 tbsp flax seeds
- 1 tbsp maca
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 3 cups spring water
Combine all ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth. Taste it. Not sweet enough? Add a date. Too thick? Add more water.
Enjoy — and watch your skin glow within minutes ♥
Did you like this recipe? How do you like to eat goji berries? Tell me about it in the comments section below. As always, I'd love to hear from you!
Get the best quality goji berries available in Europe from the Lion Heart Herbs online store.
Need more smoothie inspiration? Check out my other delicious smoothie recipes here.