The Goji berry originates from Asia and has been used for over 5000 years in the Chinese, Mongolian and Tibetan cultures. The small, overgrown tree grows luxuriantly in alkaline soil and is nowadays found in the wild in the mountainous regions of Asia and Europe...
The Goji tree is hardy and survives the most extreme temperatures, varying between -26°C in winter and 40°C in summer. After 2 years of growth, the first berries are produced. When in bloom the tree has small white flowers in the shape of a trumpet, which grows into the fruit in the autumn.
Also known as the Wolfberry, the Goji berry owes its name to the Chinese character 'golden', which means dog or wolf. Most goji berries are harvested in the Ningxia area in Asia, where more than 7 million are dedicated to the cultivation of this fruit. In the rural areas of China, the plants are also found in the wild. The local population has been making grateful use of them for hundreds of generations.
Our Goji berries are grown on a plantation along the Yellow River in China, where the nutrient-rich soil provides everything the trees need. Per hectare about 3000 trees are planted, where they can grow in width (like vines) to a length of about 1 meter high. This makes picking the ripe berries much easier. Each tree produces about 1 kilogram of berries per season, which are harvested between June and November. The delicate ripe berries must be picked carefully by hand, taking care to avoid the sharp thorns present on the branches. Legend has it that unripe berries will oxidise and turn black. Therefore, despite modern techniques, handpicking is still preferred.
Since its discovery by Western cultures in recent years, the goji berry has become a popular part of almost every conscious healthy diet. Its versatility makes it easy to use in all kinds of dishes. For example, goji berries are mixed by stews for a subtle sweet taste, eaten loose as a healthy snack or used in desserts to replace chocolate.
Goji's are full of fibre, protein and iron. They are also a source of vitamin C. Proteins are important for the growth and maintenance of muscle mass and strong bones. Iron contributes to the circulation of oxygen throughout the body, supports the immune system, helps with fatigue and contributes to the cognitive functions of the brain.
Our dried goji berries are a good snack in themselves, but try them mixed through a breakfast smoothie for a good start of the day.