Goji-berries, also known as Chinese Wolfberry, grow on the common matrimony vine, a shrub up to 4m high. The fruits can be harvested from August to October. The name "goji" is derived from the Chinese term "Ningxia gouqi", which apparently means something along of the lines of "from the region of Ningxia wolfberry". In China, they have been revered as a vitality and energy source for millennia.
Goji Berries are Good for You!
These amazing little berries are rich in high levels of iron including B12, vitamins and carotenoids (pro-vitamin A) B vitamins and other ingredients. Containing over 20 trace elements and minerals as well as all essential amino acids. It is especially valued for its "adaptogenic effect" (promoting vitality and resistance to stress). They can be eaten raw or used in any recipe to enrich your meal.
Western medicine is only beginning to discover the goji berry. In traditional Chinese medicine, the goji berry has been used for a long time.
Nu3 recently sent me some to try and asked me to make a recipe and so here I've made Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars with Goji Berries! I was really pleased with how well they turned out and if you keep them in a plastic airtight food container they should keep for up to a week. They are far better than any you buy in a shop and of course you can change the nut mixture to suit you. White chocolate goji berries and pistachios? Just a thought - but the combinations are endless.
To make 12 bars you will need:
235g rolled oats
50g whole almonds - chopped
30 walnut pieces - chopped
40g dates - chopped
60g goji berries
85ml runny honey
60g unsalted butter
50g soft dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
90g milk chocolate chips - divided 70g and 20g
How to do it:
Line bottom and sides of a 8-inch square pan with grease-proof paper smeared with a little butter.
Get a large frying pan and toast the oats, almonds and walnuts - keep stirring all the while so they don't burn. Keep stirring over a medium high heat until they start to toast and take on a bit of colour.
Once they are done tip them into a large mixing bowl.
In a medium sized saucepan add the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla extract and the salt. Stir to mix and cook to melt over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Now pour the butter mixture into the bowl with toasted oats and nuts and mix well. Let it cool for a few minutes then add the dates and goji berries along with 70g of the chocolate chips.
Stir to mix - the chocolate chips will melt a bit but they will help to hold the bars together.
Transfer the mixture into your lined pan then use the back of a large spoon to press the mixture into the pan. You need to press quite hard so that the bars will stay together once cooled and cut.
Scatter the remaining 2og of chocolate chips over pressed mixture and use a rubber spatula to gently press them into the top.
Cover and pop into the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight and then lift the set mixture from the pan and peel off the grease-proof paper. Cut into either 12 long bars or 9 squares.
Disclosure: The Goji berries sent to me courtesy of Nu3 GmbH. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.