Aronia berry often takes backstage to the more well-known elderberry. Maybe the Aronia berry’s (Aronia melanocarpa) more common name, “chokeberry,” prevent the shrub from moving to health food celebrity status. But it’s just a matter of time before this super berry gets the attention it deserves. Interestingly, the antioxidant capacity of Aronia berry exceeds that of elderberry. So, this season, make Aronia berry a part of your health-wellness protocol.
Aronia Berry Super Powers
I know when my Aronia berries are ready for harvesting. The branches bend with the weight clusters of dark purple berries. The color is a tell-tale sign of high concentrations of flavonoids, including phenolic compounds.
Plant phenolics provide antioxidant benefits. Therefore, eating plants rich in antioxidant fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of many oxidative stress-related diseases like cancer, heart diseases, and diabetes.
Fresh Aronia berries contain the highest antioxidant capacity among berries and other fruits.
Recent studies show that chokeberries inhibit the growth of colon cancer.
I like the anti-inflammatory health benefits of Aronia berry. Eating influences inflammation. Vegetables and fruits, like Aronia, contain antioxidant properties, which gives them their anti-inflammatory qualities.
Ways to Use Aronia Berry
These days, you can find bottled Aronia juice in supermarkets throughout the U.S. and Canada. My only caution is to pay attention to the type of sugar used to sweeten the juice. After all, you want to distance yourself from refined sugar so focus on the amount of “added sugar.”
Often, industrially made Aronia juice is expensive, so when you see it discounted—stock up.
A few years ago, I decided to grow Aronia berry. The fruit is native to my area, so it performs well. You could try your hand at growing a few Aronia shrubs. Before investing in buying plants, check to see if the plants thrive in your zone.
Also, I figured if I grow it myself, I can be sure that berries are organic. I suspect that if supermarkets stocked Aronia berries, I am sure that the thin-skinned berry would land on the Dirty Dozen list.
Because of Aronia’s powerful medicinal qualities, try to consume it in as many forms as possible.
Syrup, Tonics, and Teas
Syrup, tonics, teas are easy to make and store. But, again, the trickiest part of making syrups, tonics, or teas is choosing the healthiest sweetener. Word of caution, choose the sweetener with the maximum health benefits.
My favorite sweeteners for syrups and tonics are raw honey and date syrup. Dates provide potassium, calcium, and magnesium. In addition, because of their high fiber content, dates are a healthier sweetener on the glycemic index.
Juice, Jams/Jellies, and Wine
I hesitate to list this category because the recipes often call for an excessive amount of refined sugar. Which of course, around here, we foster an eating plan void of refined sugar. As you search for jam and jelly recipes, collect only those recipes using plant-based sweeteners.
Aronia Berries in Smoothies/smoothie bowls
Wellness boosting ingredients like fruits and vegetables are the essential ingredients in a smoothie. Adding Aronia berries to your blend increases the nutritional value.
Nutritionally, the best way to use smoothies in your eating plan is to view them as a supplement, not as a replacement for real food. However, if you need to skip breakfast or need a quick snack, smoothies serve as an excellent fallback.
Aronia Berry Recipes
Aronia Berry Healing Syrup
25 minPrep Time
45 minCook Time
1 hr, 10 Total Time
- 1 cup Dried or fresh Aronia Berries
- 6 cups Filtered Water
- 1/8 cup Cut & Sifted Astragalus Root
- 1/8 cup Cut & Sifted Echinacea Root
- ½ cup Dried Orange Peel
- ½ cup Dried Rose Hips
- 10 Cloves
- 1 tbsp Cinnamon Bark Chips
- 1 tbsp Dried Ginger Root
- ? cup Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 cup Local Raw Honey
- Bring filtered water, Aronia berries, elderberries, and all of the dried herbs to a boil in a medium saucepan on the stove.
- Once the herbs and berries are boiling, cover with a lid, and turn down the stove to bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Simmer the herbs and berries for about 30 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half.
- Strain the berries and herbs from the mixture using a fine metal sieve or an unbleached cheesecloth making sure to carefully remove all of the juices. A metal potato masher, wooden spoon, or silicone spatula can help remove them without the mess of the juice and getting burned from the heat of the herbs. Pro Tip: If you have a French press, it works well in place of a sieve to get all the juices removed from your decoction.
- Once strained, dispose of the pulp in your compost pile, and let the Aronia berry juice cool to room temperature. It is important to allow the juice to cool. Otherwise, the heat will kill the beneficial enzymes and nutrients in the raw honey and apple cider vinegar.
- After the juice has cooled to the touch and is no longer hot, add raw apple cider vinegar and local raw honey.
- Whisk in well or use an immersion stick blender to incorporate the honey and vinegar well.
- Pour into a quart-size Mason jar and store in the refrigerator. It will safely store up to two weeks. This recipe can be doubled or cut in half to accommodate your needs.
- Supplement 1 tablespoon daily for adults. When fighting a cold or flu increase to 1 tablespoon every 2 hours until symptoms subside.
Shop for supplies for your Aronia berry health syrup at Mountain Rose Herbs.
They offer organic, responsibly sourced herbs, spices, teas, and oils.
Add a handful of fresh or frozen Aronia berries to any of my Healthy Smoothie Recipes.
This year, let Aronia berry occupy shelf space in your refrigerator and medicine cabinet. Include Aronia in your smoothie, muffins, and granola recipes.