Chokeberries (also known as aronia berries) are a good source of vitamins and antioxidants. All natural organic dried chokeberries are small in size and pack a flavorful, tart taste with no sugar added. The name chokeberries refers to the flavor of the raw fruit which often makes mouths pucker. These dried chokeberries are perfect for use in baked goods, beverages, or as a snack. Chokeberries are also commonly referred to as aronia berries.
Health Benefits of Chokeberries
Although many enjoy dried chokeberries for their tart flavor, the fruit is also nutritionally beneficial. Here are some promising health benefits of chokeberries:
Antioxidant Protection: Chokeberries have an antioxidant content three times as potent as that of blueberries, and contain a high concentration of anthocyanins, which have strong anti-inflammatory properties and offer many protective benefits.
Blood Sugar Control: Many diabetics use chokeberries to regulate blood sugar, and studies show they may be helpful in lowering weight and cholesterol. A 2010 study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that pre-diabetic rats whose diets were supplemented with chokeberry juice for six weeks experienced less weight gain, lower levels of body fat, and lower blood glucose, plasma triglycerides, and cholesterol levels than the non-supplemented animals.
Although further studies are needed to observe the same benefits in humans, this research has positive implications for the effect of aronia berry consumption on lowering the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Organic dried chokeberries also contain a good source of fiber and many vitamins, including vitamins C, A, & E, beta-carotene, and folate.
Dried chokeberries have a tart flavor that works well with sweet and savory foods. Here are some versatile ways to enjoy them:
Beverages: Organic dried chokeberries can be added to juices, wines, teas, and other drinks. Let them steep in herbal teas to impart their natural tart flavor.
Salad Topping: The perfect addition to nearly any salad, dried chokeberries are wonderful tossed with fruit salads, potato salads, or simply one made with your favorite greens.
Baked Goods: For a twist of tart flavor, add 1/3 cup of dried chokeberries to the batter for cookies, muffins, breads, fruitcake or pancakes.
And More: Dried chokeberries are equally wonderful as a topping for oatmeal, yogurt, or ice cream. They also make a great addition to trail mix, granola, or scones.
Origins of the Chokeberry (Aronia)
The chokeberry bush is closely related to the rosebush, and is often used as an ornamental shrub in gardens. It grows in two varieties, the red chokeberry and the black chokeberry (our organic dried chokeberries are black) and was a traditional food of some Native American tribes. Chokeberries are known as such because they can be so bitter that they are difficult to eat raw.