What are Aronia Berries?
Also known as, Chokeberries, (their PR guy suggested a name change was the first thing in order. Farmers and cultivators agreed.) Aronia berries are the fruit of a deciduous shrub that is native to eastern United States and Canada, and especially in swamps and wet wooded areas. Since the early 20th century, the berries have been cultivated in eastern Europe and Russia, where they are popular in wine and juices. The berries are currently cultivated in Iowa and other upper Midwestern states as their popularity grows, and now right in Maryland.
So, what’s so special about them?
Called the “new” super-fruit, Aronia berries have the highest concentration of antioxidants present in any fruit. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, aiding certain health conditions and promoting overall health.
Some of their benefits include:
- reducing occurrences of urinary tract infections
- reducing the risk of heart disease by improving the circulation of blood, make blood vessels stronger
- maintain normal blood pressure levels
- diabetes prevention and treatment
- weight control, by preventing the storage of belly fat
Great! What do I do with them?
Of the three species available, the black variety is the one most often used, fresh, dried, as a juice, concentrate, and powder. It is also the species that has the highest antioxidant content. Although they can be consumed raw, these little black berries are quite tart and so many people prefer to enjoy them in jams, salsa, ice cream, syrup, juice, wine, and tea.
For maximum health benefits, juice them and consume the juice straight. Just a quarter cup a day will meet your needs. To actually enjoy these tart berries, check out our suggestions below.
What are you inspired to make with Aronia Berries? Be sure to share your photos with us on Facebook!