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    Ask the Chef: How to Use Goji Berries

    By Julie Morris, Superfood Chef | November 5, 2014

    Q: What are some ways to use goji berries?

    More often than not, goji berries are often referred to as a “super-charged raisin.†I get it: they're about the same size as a raisin, and sweet and chewy (although their bright red hue defers any real confusion). The “super-charge†part comes from the fact that unlike raisins, goji berries offer enormous (low sugar) nutrition … ranging from body-building protein, to immune-boosting vitamins, to longevity-promoting antioxidants.

    But did you know there's an infinite amount of additional ways to use goji berries outside of simply munching on them straight from the bag? Below are some of my favorites:

    Teas: Originally, goji berries were used primarily if not exclusively in Chinese medicine. Here, the dried berries were often soaked in hot water for a few minutes where they would soften and being to sweeten and flavor the liquid like a tea. Today this remains one of goji's best simple uses: combine them with other herbs and teas like chamomile or green tea for a complex flavor, or steep goji's all on their own! Bonus: you can eat the goji berries after they've been steeped.

    Baking: Here's where goji's do act a lot like raisins: baked goods. Anywhere you'd look to use raisins or dried fruits is an excellent place for goji berries, too! Oatmeal cookies are a great place to start, or try this great gluten-free recipe for Goji Berry Orange Pancakes!

    Bowl Toppers: From oatmeal to smoothie bowls, rice bowls to salad bowls, bowls are big these days, and the universal appeal of goji berries makes them an ideal topping for bowls of just about any variety. Sprinkle them on top of your next porridge or warm grain and vegetable bowl for a colorful and nutritious topping.

    Energy Bars: Goji berries truly belong in every energy bar - they are the definition of an energy snack! When you're making a batch at home, toss in some goji's into the food processor and mix them into the remainder of your ingredients - it's that easy. One of my favorite combos - goji and cherry - lies within these chunky, chewy Cherry Goji Squares.

    Soups and Savories: Believe it or not, goji berries blend surprisingly well with many savory flavors. Root vegetables like carrots, tubors like sweet potatoes, squashes, onions, and most herbs are all great flavor friends of the goji berry. They can be used very similarly to tomatoes once hydrated in water.

    Smoothies: Of course! When all else fails, simply add a handful of goji berries to your next smoothie. Goji berries go with just about every flavor, but are particularly great with fruits like bananas or other berries, and cacao/chocolate.

    There's no excuse not to deliciously better your day with goji berries!