Aronia berries

Aronia berries have been added to the list of super foods.

Very few people have heard of aronia berry. Some people have heard of the chokeberry, but due to the unpleasant name the berry has been renamed aronia berry. Following kale and coconut water, it is being promoted as a new “superfood.” The aronia berry is a black-purple berry taking over supermarket shelves in the form of juice, supplements and other food products.

The aronia berry is very high in antioxidants. According to the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry the aronia berry has more antioxidants than blueberries. Antioxidants may help protect cells from free radicals. Michigan State University Extension advises to always consult your physician before changing your diet while under medications.

According to a study by Science Daily, aronia berries have the following health benefits:

  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Reduce oxidized LDL cholesterol levels
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Reduce the chance of a heart attack
  • Reduce recovery time following a heart attack
  • Reduce weight gain
  • Reduce eye inflammation
  • Reduce muscle recovery time after workout
  • Regulate blood sugar
  • Reduce the chance of developing cancer.

There is ongoing research about the various health related companies to use aronia berries to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and heart disease of former smokers.

Aronia berries grow very well in the Midwest, on shrubs, much like blueberries. There are over 400 products using the aronia berry; during 2015 Beechnut Baby Food introduced an apple an aronia berries puree.

New marketing is being put into place for this bitter berry such as recipe and product development. The following is a tried and true recipe from Deep Roots at Home.

Aronia Bars

Yield: 16 servings

Ingredients:

2 eggs

3/4 cup sugar or Sucanat*

1 cup flour of choice

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 cup fresh or frozen Aronia Berries

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1 teaspoon citrus peel

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch baking pan. Beat eggs in a medium mixing bowl until thick. Gradually add sugar, beating until thoroughly blended. Stir in flour and melted butter; blend well. Add aronia berries and walnuts, mixing gently until combined. Spread evenly in pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool and cut into bars.

*Sucanat is a natural sweetener and the name stands for sugar cane natural. It is a brand name owned by Ragus Holdings Inc. for their particular type of whole cane or unrefined sugar product.

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