Aronia Berries: The Rediscovered Super Fruit for Consumers and Farmers
As anyone who really knows me knows, I’m always eager to try out the latest “superfood” crazes and health trends. I told you about my love for coconut oil and why some people believe oil pulling is an healing therapy. So when I was offered a free trial sample of aronia berries concentrate from Superberries, I couldn’t pass on the opportunity.
Commonly referred to as “black chokeberries,” aronia berries (Aronia melanocarpa) are one of the first fruits originally grown in North America. In fact, researchers estimate the small, dark purple berries were first eaten by Native Americans to improve their well-being. Now many generations later, aronia berries are nudging out more popular berries like cranberries, blueberries and strawberries. Due to their high levels of antioxidants and vitamins, those who frequently eat the berries claim to have more energy and less illness, among other health benefits.
This fruit can easily be incorporated into a variety of dishes, including berry crumbles, salads and pancake toppings. I like to pour a couple ounces of aronia berry juice into my morning smoothie for an all-natural pick-me-up. Continue reading to find out why consumers aren’t the only ones reaping from these “superberries”.
Farmers in the Heartland Make Big Profits Growing Aronia Berries
As many of us are concerned about where and how our food is produced, farmers are plowing a successful path into the marketplace. They are able to diversify their crops and earn additional income for their families by growing aronia berries. Some agriculturalists have calculated that an acre of these nutritionally-potent fruit can yield up to $12,000 per season. That’s a cash crop sure to perk a lot of people’s interest! The Midwest Aronia Association, which is led by female president, is one group helping to make this business venture a reality for commercial farmers in 11 states and Canada.
While you may not want to grow aronia berries to sell to others, you might consider planting some bushes in your backyard. They can grow in full sun or half shade and can withstand harsh winters. They also are resilient to insects and diseases. Don’t worry if your bushes don’t produce berries soon after they are planted: it typically takes three to five growing seasons to have an edible harvest. Be sure to start with high-quality, two-year-old bushes from a reputable nursery or garden center to avoid frustration later on.
Do you have any aronia berry recipes and gardening tips you’d like to share? If so, leave me a note in the comment section. Learn more this fruit on Superberries’ social media pages on Facebook and Twitter.