Goji, Chinese goji berries, which have many health benefits. Want to know what they are?

Some claim that goji berries are the elixir of youth.

Is it really true?

And do they have any side effects?

We will also advise you how you can use them in the kitchen and much more.

Continue reading our article and you will find out a lot of new and interesting information about goji.

Goji, a radiant superfood full of antioxidants

Goji (goji) are the fruits of a goji plant (shrub), either a goji or a Chinese goji from the eggplant family. Goji berries are bright orange-red berries high in antioxidants that have been used by humans for thousands of years to treat many common health problems. They are often referred to as a “superfood” and can be eaten raw, cooked or dried. They are also a healthy addition to various supplements and juice mixes. They are popular not only for adding color to the dish, but also for their delicious, sweet, slightly sour and full flavor. The vast majority of goji comes from China.

Dried goji in a blender.

Health benefits of consuming goji

Goji has many health benefits such as:

  • They are a great source of nutrients, including vitamins and minerals.
  • They reduce inflammation in the body and protect against chronic conditions such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
  • They support immune function.
  • They improve eye health and protect against various vision disorders.

Adverse effects of goji consumption

  • In rare cases, goji can cause an allergic reaction.
  • It may interact with certain medications, including blood thinners and medications for diabetes or high blood pressure.
  • You should be careful with their consumption in case of pregnancy, as they contain betaine, a compound that can harm the health of the fetus.

Nutritional values of goji

In the following table, look at the nutritional values, vitamins and minerals that 100 grams of dried goji contains.

Nutritional values Dried goji
% of the recommended daily dose
Energy 349 calories
Fats 0.4 g 1%
Carbohydrates 77 g 28%
Fiber 13 g 46%
Proteins 14 g 28%
Vitamin C 48.4 mg 54%
Calcium 190.00 mg 15%
Iron 6.80 mg 38%
Sodium 298.00 mg 13 %

Where to buy goji and how to store it?

Here you can get goji mainly dried and you can find it in every major grocery store. They are also easily available online. You can also buy them in the form of powder, juices or various supplements in the form of capsules.

Store dried goji berries in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. Avoid exposing them to any type of moisture that causes goji berries to stick and clump together. With proper storage, dried goji berries stay fresh for at least a year. Some manufacturers add sulfur dioxide and other preservatives that can extend their shelf life. Fresh goji should be consumed shortly after harvest, you can store frozen for up to six months.

How to use goji in the kitchen?

You will most often come across dried goji berries , which are great for smoothies or other drinks. If you don’t have a high-powered blender, rehydrate the berries in a little water or apple juice first to soften them before blending them. You can also buy goji in powder form , which can be mixed directly into juices, herbal teas or just water. It is also better used in sauces, salad dressings and smoothies than dried goji.

You can then use dried goji in various pastries, from cupcakes to cookies to homemade energy bars. It is also suitable for granola and in breakfast bowls. They add great flavor to salads, salsas and soups. You can include them in sweet and savory recipes. It is ideal to use them in the same way as raisins.

Collage of goji recipes - sweet balls in a bowl, breakfast bowl with fruit and nuts and tea.

Store fresh, unwashed goji in the refrigerator just like other berries. Wash them thoroughly with cold water before eating. Since goji are quite small, use a colander with small holes or even a sieve to wash them. Keep a small batch in the fridge to grab as a healthy snack or to top off your morning cereal.

Tips to include goji in your diet

  • Add them to smoothies, oatmeal or yogurt .
  • Mix them with your favorite nuts and add chocolate chips or a little peanut butter if you like.
  • Sprinkle them on your avocado toast.
  • Mix raw walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, unsweetened desiccated coconut, dried goji berries, chocolate chips, oatmeal, and chia seeds, then bake everything into golden granola .
  • Eat them alone as a snack .
  • Add them to the salad . Get inspired by our best recipes for healthy and fresh vegetable salads !
  • Make a great sweet sauce from them.
  • Add them to muffins or various cakes just like raisins.
  • Stir a spoonful of soaked dried goji berries into the tomato sauce .
  • Add them to spiced rice or grain pilafs .
  • Make your own homemade ice cream and add goji to it.
  • Add them to the salsa .
  • Prepare a breakfast of goji , other seasonal fruit of your choice, unsweetened soy milk and chia seeds, top it all off with granola, seeds, nuts, coconut and other fruit.
  • Add them to soups . You can be inspired by our recipes for soups with chicken meat 10 times differently!
  • Use their bitterness to make marmalades and jams.

Recipe for homemade energy bars

  1. Blend a handful of goji berries in a food processor with a cup of walnuts, ½ cup of almonds and 5-6 dates.
  2. Form the mixture into balls or make sticks.
Energy bars stacked on top of each other and balls on a plate.

Recipe for goji juice

Make this healthy juice from dried goji berries, flavored with orange, that both children and adults will enjoy.

And what will you need for it?

  • 4 cups of water
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dried goji berries
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1-2 fresh oranges, any variety)
  • 2x 2.5 cm piece of orange peel

How to do it?

  1. Boil one cup of water.
  2. While the water is boiling, use a citrus peeler to scrape 2 large strips of peel off the orange.
  3. Put the peel aside and put the orange in the fridge.
  4. Pour the boiling water into a 4 liter resealable container along with the granulated sugar.
  5. Stir until all the sugar is completely dissolved.
  6. Add the remaining water.
  7. Stir until cool.
  8. Add the goji and the peel to the bowl and close the container.
  9. Refrigerate overnight, up to 12 hours.
  10. Juice the peeled oranges and set the juice aside.
  11. Pour the cold goji and liquid mixture into a high-powered blender.
  12. Blend on high until smooth.
  13. Prepare a jug and cover it with a bag for making plant-based milk.
  14. Pour the blended mixture into a jug and squeeze the pulp to extract as much liquid as possible.
  15. Add the fresh orange juice to the pitcher and stir to combine.
  16. Store fresh juice in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to three days.

Cultivation of Chinese gorse

If you want to have a goji plant in your garden that will produce your own goji, it’s a slow process, but once you’ve planted the plant, it’s highly productive. You will be able to harvest some fruit already in the second year of growth, but from the third year the harvest will be more abundant.

  • The planting time is between March and May or in autumn from September to November .
  • As the shrub soon grows to a height of up to 3 meters , it is a good idea to plant it somewhere where it will not oppress other plants.
  • Kustovnice is self-pollinating , so even a single plant will give you fruit.
  • It prefers relatively infertile, slightly alkaline soil with a pH in the range of 6.8 to 8.1 .
  • Avoid peat-based soils.
  • Fertilize Chinese gorse regularly – in the fall with manure and during April with the addition of urea.
  • It is also good to trim it regularly.
Goji growing on a bush and a hand holding them.

Milan & Ondra

We are both fans of good food and enjoy cooking. On this website, we want to inspire you with traditional, but also less common recipes. We will be happy if you try our recipes and let us know how you liked them. Bon appetite! :)