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Goji Berries

BY: Andrea Nakayama

DATE: 2010-03-01

This month’s featured ingredient: Goji Berries

This month was the launch of Cleanse Cafe with a class highlighting the Top Ten Superfoods for Women! (free eBook)

In preparation for the class, I delved into the history, health benefits, and nutritional profile of ten chosen superfoods. Among them, the goji berry.

I have to admit that I’d never been a fan of goji berries. The texture of the dried berries was often too hard for me. The flavor didn’t quite satisfy. I know people who snack on trail mixes of goji berries, coconut flakes, and nuts or seeds. I was never among them.

Yet as I poured over the information about goji berries from myriad sources, I was both reminded of their phenomenal nutritional attributes and reinspired to try them again–this time in forms that I would enjoy. I created a delicious OhGee! Goji Nakayummy(for my growing line of sweet candies) that I’ll debut at the Sweet Tooth, Bitter Truthclass this Sunday the 21st. And I’m super excited to introduce you to the Ginger Goji Granola that I spent the weekend perfecting. It fueled me for an early Sunday morning hike in the gorge. I know it will fortify your mornings as well.

Goji Ginger Granola

There are several options for this recipe. Pick the version that is right for your tastes and your lifestyle. The live option is italisized
1-1/2 cups soaked buckwheat 


3 cups gluten-free rolled oats

3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked for 2 or more hours, if desired

1 cup raw almonds, soaked for 2 or more hours, if desired

1/4 cup coconut oil, gently melted

1/2 cup ground goji berries (I used a spice/coffee grinder)

2 oranges, zested and peeled

(I used blood oranges)

2 tspns vanilla

1/2 tspn sea salt

1 Tbspn ground or freshly grated ginger (good!)

1/4 – 1/3 cup raw honey

1 cup soaked goji berries
1) If using buckwheat, start the sprouting process first. If not, skip to step #2.

2) Preheat dehydrator at 115F or oven at very lowest setting, using dehydrator mode if possible, ideally less than 200F.

3) In a large bowl, mix together the drained sprouted buckwheat or gluten-free rolled oats, the sunflower seeds, and almonds.

4) In a blender or mini food processor, blend gently melted coconut oil, ground goji berries, orange zest, orange segments, vanilla, salt, ginger, and raw honey. Pour this mixture into the large bowl with the “dry” ingredients. Add the strained, whole, goji berries.

5) Mix the entire mixture with a spatula or your hand to integrate the sauce into the grains, nuts, and seeds.

6) Spread on teflex dehydrator trays or baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

7) Place in dehydrator or oven and allow to cook for 10 to 12 hours. This is easy to do overnight so you have granola first thing in the morning!

Why the Goji Craze?

The goji berry, also called the wolfberry, is one of the most nutritionally rich foods on the planet!

• Gojis can grow in remarkably diverse conditions—from the tropics to the deserts. When I think about the energetics of a food, and consider the adaptability of the goji berry, I know that it would be beneficial to be consuming more of these morsels. I want that adaptability in my life!

• The Chinese, Tibetan, and Mongolians have been growing gojis for over 5,000 years; drying them to raisin-like texture for preservation. This makes gojis a traditional food.

• Goji berries have also been grown in America—mostly in the southwest. They were an important food source for several native American tribes.
Nutritional benefits:

• Goji berries are actually a complete source of protein—including 19 amino acids and all 8 essential amino acids. So they’re a great way to add protein to your daily snacks or to throw into your AM smoothies.

• Goji berries contain a wide array of trace minerals, including zinc, iron, calcium, & selenium.

• Goji berries contain 2-4 times the amount of antioxidants found in blueberries!

• They contain more carotenoids than carrots.

• The goji berry has anti-inflammatory properties.

• Goji berries are a great digestive aid—they draw the digestive juices into the stomach and intestines.

If you live in Portland, you can order your gojis monthly from Our Community Pantry.

Andrea Nakayama

By: Andrea Nakayama, FxNA Founder & Functional Medicine Nutritionist

Functional Nutrition Alliance provides the comprehensive online Functional Nutrition training in the Science & Art of the Functional Nutrition practice. Learn to address the roots of your clients’ suffering with client education, diet & lifestyle modifications.


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