Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Aronia berries - the free superfood

Posted by Ellen Dyb Wedeld | |
Last year I was fortunate enough to become aware of that there's free superfood to be found right here in my neighbourhood.

My partner had brought home some lovely and decorative branches with colourful autumn leaves and bunches of large and lovely black berries. The branches were meant for decoration, but as it turned out after some googling - the berries were black chokeberries, also called aronia, or "svartsurbær" in Norwegian.
Plucked aronia berries
Plucked aronia berries

It turned out, that not only are the berries edible, but they're also highly nutritious and is named "the new super-berry". For Norwegian readers I recommend reading more about aronia here at - the best source of information on medicinal herbs and plants in Norway.

I was so thrilled/excited/surprised to find that actual superfood, usually superexpensive, can be found in hedges and bushes all over the place.

As the aronia bush is very pretty, and its leaves turn all kinds of wonderful colours in the fall, people like to plant them around their gardens, or you can find them in roundabouts or by bus stops and such.
Aronia on oatmeal porridge, with pumpkin seed and coconut flower sugar :)
Aronia on oatmeal porridge, with pumpkin seed and coconut flower sugar :)

Here are some facts about aronia and all its wonderful traits and uses ♥

  • Can probably be found somewhere very near you, and are probably free (but ask first, if you find a private hedge ;)
  • Super-easy to pick; we picked 22 kg in 45 minutes...
  • Super-easy to clean and rinse!
  • They can be frozen, AND will separate very easily, so you can pick out just the amount of berries you like from the freezer.
  • Aronia has 3 x the amount of antioxidants found in blueberries (that's a LOT).
  • Rich in vitamins, i.a. vitamin A, E and B2, and catalyzes uptake of vitamin C. Aronia has 20 x the amount of vitamin P (bioflavonoids) as apples and oranges.
  • Rich in trace minerals such as iron, molybdenum, boron, iodine and calcium.
  • Helps strengthen your immune system, regulate blood pressure, lower cholesterol, has an astringent and expectorant effect.
  • There is absolutely no indication that there is any risk connected to consuming aronia berries or products made from aronia.
  • The bushes can grow from 1,5 up to 3 m height.
  • Grow wildly in North America. Is planted for decorative purposes in temperate parts of the world. Grown for its fruits in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.
Firm and easy-to-handle berries, around 8 mm in diameter.
Firm and easy-to-handle berries, around 8 mm in diameter.

My favourite uses of aronia (so far) has been...

  • Add to smoothies (obviously;)
  • Drizzle on porridge.
  • In crumble pie, with apples (yum!!) Here's a great receipe btw... (PS. Norwegian site, turn on Google translate)
  • Marmelade (also with apples - a perfect aronia companion!)
  • Syrup or juice - to make real power-shots and keep the cold away ;)
PS. The berries are slightly bitter (astringent), and taste better when picking after a night below zero. If you pick them before the frost sets in, just give them a night or more in the freezer :)

Happy "foraging" these not so wild berries!

Continue to read:
Recipe for yummy blueberry jam.

A newbie's guide to planning an urban vegetable garden.

Have your say about what you just read :)

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