Organic Goji Berries | Whole
Wildly Organic Goji Berries are never sprayed with herbicides or pesticides and the berries are not fumigated, sweetened, or adulterated in any way. The goji berries are dried using large commercial driers inspected by organic certifiers. Not only do our goji berries have the organic certification and other inspections, but before we purchase these berries we have them tested for multiple organic compounds, which are found in America, Asia, and Europe. We want positive assurance that these berries are chemical-free, and only if they pass this test are they shipped to America.
These certified organic goji berries have been tested for multiple pesticides and herbicides to prove they do not contain any unwanted chemicals! Our dried goji berries have a low moisture content which gives them a long shelf life and preserves their nutrients. They easily re-hydrate when added to water, yet can be eaten as a snack right out of the bag.
Whole, naturally dried goji berries are about the size of a raisin. Though not as sweet as raisins, they are not tart like sour cherries or cranberries, either. Honestly, there is no fruit in the American diet that tastes similar to a goji berry, but because they are neither sweet nor tart they blend well in savory dishes (such as vegetable soups and casseroles) and equally as well in sweet dishes (such as fruit pies, relishes, and jams).
These organic goji berries are dried to a very low moisture content giving them the longest shelf-life possible. Some are actually crunchy. This is done to reduce oxidation, degradation, and inhibit fermentation of the berries. They can be stored at room temperature out of sunlight. Since they come in resealable foil bags, this can easily be done by simply placing them in a cupboard or pantry.
How Do I Use Organic Goji Berries?
In China and Tibet, the berries are usually eaten raw, made into teas, or added to hot cereals and soups. If you look for Asian recipes using dried goji berries, you will find such things as chicken soups or warm hot grain cereal that has goji berries added to it. Asians make a goji berry tea by boiling herbs and the goji fruit in water.
If you look at recipes from the U.S., you will find many people like to soak their goji berries overnight (or for at least 15-20 minutes to soften them) and whip them in a blender in the morning. This "goji puree" is then the base for a smoothie or delicious drink.
Where to Buy Goji Berries
Lycium barbarum is the genus and species (latin name) for the true goji berry. This berry predominantly grows in an area referred to as the "goji belt" which is located in northern China and flows into some mountainous areas of Tibet. Nature does not recognize political boundaries so the actual country is not as important as the soil and climate conditions.
Goji berries sold out of the "goji belt" are available in four grades — ‘super’, ‘king’, ‘special’, and ‘grade A’. The most expensive and the largest are the ‘super’ grade. ‘Super’ grade berries are 41% more expensive than ‘grade A’. To be classified as this size, there are approximately 240 berries per 50 grams. By contrast, there are approximately 480 grade A berries per 50 grams. The largest berries are produced by the longest established bushes/vines. The longer-established the bushes, the better quality the berry. This is very much like grapes used to make wine.
Optimal dryness for our berries yields approximately 10.0% moisture content. This ensures a tasty, ready to eat berry with a long shelf life. Goji berries are harvested during a six week period in the fall with a short, much smaller harvest season in July preceding it to catch the early berries. These berries must be dry enough to preserve them until the next harvest a year later.
Prior to figuring out where to buy goji berries, we sampled organic goji berries from a number of suppliers. Since that time, we have sampled even more. Originally, the berries from most companies in the U.S. had higher moisture contents and began to taste fermented as the year progressed, so that by August, I could find no moist plump organic goji berries that did not taste fermented. By contrast, the drier berries, like the ones sold by Wildly Organic, after 2 years of storage, still did not taste fermented. This is the sole reason we have chosen drier berries. They readily plump up when soaked in water and can be easily blended into a goji puree. They also soften quickly when put into soups or cooked cereal, like oatmeal, yet they store very well. Even though there is much you can do with organic goji berries, most people in the U.S. just eat them as they are — as a dried fruit snack right out of the bag. You can trust that we have learned where to buy the best goji berries for your cupboard!
Our Goji Berries arrive ready-to-use in 8 ounce (updated Wildly Organic branding) and 16 ounce and 5 pound (Wilderness Family Naturals branded) vapor-barrier, resealable packaging to maintain freshness. All packaging may include an oxygen absorber.