Goji Berries – A Superfood Growing Adventure

Posted on April 19, 2013. Filed under: Food Made Simple, Health, Plants | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Food - Goji Berries 1I’ve been munching on dried goji berries now for a few months.  I’ve also included dried goji berry powder into my superfood fruit smoothies.  I found lots of health benefits to eating goji berries in just a little research.  They include:

  • Antioxidant levels that could help prevent cancer, heart disease, boost the immune system, and lower cholesterol.
  • Vitamin A levels that could have anti-aging effects, protect vision, prevent heart disease and improve immune function.
  • Goji berry compounds may boost brain health and may protect against age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
  • Preliminary studies that show benefits in mental well-being, and calmness, athletic performance, happiness, quality of sleep, and feelings of good health.

So, I wondered if it was possible to grow these wonders myself.  Again, a little research revealed that people all over the U.S. are doing this very thing!  The bushes they grow on are easy to grow and propagate.  They even tolerate harsh winters!  All I had to do was soak a few dried berries for 24 hours in water, then slit open to get the seeds out and pop them into some soil.

Food - Goji Berries 4          Food - Goji Berries 2

Well the little buggers are coming up gangbusters!  The photo above is of seedlings that are only 2 weeks old.  When they get their second set of leaves I will transplant them to individual containers.  I did read, though, that although this seedling method will work, I might not have plants mature enough this year to give me very much fruit.  Hmmm.  I didn’t like the sound of that.  So I hunted around and found someone selling little 2-3 year old plants for about $10 per plant delivered.  That sounded like a fun alternate approach.

Food - Goji Berries 3The arrived today!  They are still getting unbent from their pack into a box, but they have many, many green buds on them!   Now if I could just be patient for the snow to stop and the temperature to rise.

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Superfoods – The Stash Builds

Posted on March 29, 2013. Filed under: Food Made Simple, Health | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Food - Superfoods

I met with my doc yesterday and we both agree that veganism is just too hard!  That said, I am eating no red meat nor dairy, and very little animal products at all.  Some days are vegan for me, but I’m not killing myself to keep it up.  So all in all I have still reduced the inflammatory load on my system by making my diet very clean.  On top of that, I’ve boosted my intake of this new category of foods known as superfoods which are chock full of nutrients the body loves.

Here is my growing stash:  nutritional yeast (yummy, rich flavor component to put on salads), chia seeds (for smoothies and oatmeal – 1 T. keeps me full for hours!), hemp seeds (so delicious as is, but an easy addition to a salad and/or smoothie), goji berries (crunchy and good for a little snack – little because they are very expensive!), and golden berries (puckery tart and chewy, also pricey, so small quantities.)

It’s been fun to play with these new foods.  I’m still enjoying the Superfood Kitchen book and now I’m looking forward to Julie Morris’ new book on using superfoods in smoothies.  Today I made a rice milk, frozen strawberry/blueberry/kale, stevia, vanilla, chia/hemp smoothie.  I wondered if the kale would kill it with yucky greens taste, but no, I couldn’t even tell it was in there!

By the way, I had a cholesterol test done at the local Walmart clinic because I didn’t want any dubious results in my medical record since I pay for my own insurance and it could be disastrous if I got a bad result recorded in my record.  So, I was Mary Smith for the day and for 70 bucks I found out I have a perfect cholesterol panel and perfect glucose as well.  The nurse practitioner said, “I wish I had numbers like these.”  I replied, “That’s a lot of vegetables and exercise!”  She admitted, then, that she should give up junk food.  Well, at least there was an acknowledgement that my lifestyle has at least contributed to those numbers!

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