Goji berries, also known as wolfberries, have become very popular superfoods in recent years, but you may have noticed that you rarely see them fresh - here’s why.
Why don’t you see fresh goji berries in stores?
Pop into any fruit and nut store, or search for goji berries online, and you’ll soon realize that you can only buy dried or powdered goji berries. The reason for this is straightforward - goji berries perish extremely easily and do not travel well over long distances. With most goji berries still produced in northern China, this means that producers needed to find another way to transport them so that they would last longer in transit and remain in good condition for the consumer when they reach their final destination.
With more countries now cultivating goji berries, including the US and the UK, some stores such as Whole Foods have started to stock fresh goji’s, youtube warned - they cost a lot more than dried berries and do not store well at home.
Is there any nutritional difference between dried and fresh goji berries?
The short answer to this question is no. When goji berries are dried, only their water content is affected, and all of their other nutrients remain intact. During the drying process, goji berries lose a large amount of their mass, which is why the recommended serving size for dried goji berries is just 28g.
Is there any nutritional difference between dried goji berries and powdered goji berries?
At first glance, there is very little nutritional difference between the same serving of dried goji berries and goji berry powder. However, if the goji berry powder was dried and heat-treated during the grinding process, some of the berries’ heat-sensitive phytonutrients, such as vitamin-C, may have been destroyed. Fortunately, most of the antioxidants in goji berries, such as vitamin A, zeaxanthin, and lycopene, are not heat sensitive and will remain intact.
The best way to eat dried goji berries
Dried goji berries are often quite hard, and some people find them unpleasant to eat. The best way to eat dried goji berries is to rehydrate them first if you don’t like their chewy texture.
How to rehydrate goji berries
- Measure out a 28g serving (approximately 3tbsp) of goji berries into a bowl or a cup.
- Add 3oz of room temperature water and place them in the fridge.
- Leave the goji berries to soak for at least two hours so they can absorb the water.
- Once plump, strain the goji berries from the liquid, and enjoy!
The bottom line
In an ideal world, we would all be able to get our hands on affordable fresh goji berries, but in the meantime, dried goji berries are a great alternative. Powdered goji berries may not be quite as nutritious as dried goji berries, but they are more convenient and are perfect for adding to smoothies and recipes.