Aronia Melanocarpa - Black Chokeberry
What are Aronia Berries?
Aronia berries are a native berry. They are also called chokeberry. Not to be confused with chokecherry, which is an entirely different fruit. Chokeberries were commonly used by Native Americans as a staple food in their diets. In addition, European settlers used them in jams, jellies, wine and syrups.
What does Aronia taste like?
That’s a complex question. The best description we’ve come across is this:
“a combination of a tart apple, an unsweetened cherry and a dry red wine”
The flavor has components of tartness & dryness with earthy undertones. While the high tannins contribute to it’s astringency, much like a dry wine.
Some people enjoy the berries fresh off the bush, while others feel that the fresh berries taste too astringent. Either way, they definitely cause your mouth to pucker!
Why do we want it?
Aronia is gaining in popularity among health conscious individuals looking to add more superfoods to their diets. Chokeberries are packed with nutrients and antioxidants. In fact, they are currently thought to have the highest level of antioxidants of ALL fruits and vegetables, therefore, they are definitely on the list of “superfoods”. Antioxidants help protect your body’s cells from free radicals, which are unstable molecules that cause damage to cells. Aronia berries are polyphenol rich, which means they are packed with micro-nutrients, antioxidants and potential health benefits.
Important Nutrients in Aronia Berries
Vitamin C strengthens the immune system and has anti-viral properties. The Potawatomi Indians used chokeberries to help cure colds.
Fiber helps prevent digestive problems, slows down glucose absorption, and helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Potassium helps regulate cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
Anthocyanins help minimize oxidative stress on the brain which may help reduce the risk of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimers and Dementia.
Carotenes & Luteins are beneficial to the eyes.
Aronia is a nutrient dense berry containing a wide variety of vitamins and minerals including zinc, magnesium, iron, vitamins C, B & K.
Learn more about the healthy properties of aronia berries here. The internet has a wealth of information…… simply “google” Aronia Berries for tons of articles.
Where can we get some?
Fresh Aronia Berries are available here at the farm, during the season. They typically ripen sometime in August. U-Pick berries are offered during specific times.
We also make a variety of products featuring this wonderful berry. We’ve found that the taste of aronia is greatly improved with the addition of other fruits or a bit of natural sugars. Look for our other products such as Concord Grape Aronia Jelly, Chocolate Aronia Cherry Preserves, Aronia Juice & Aronia Syrup.
What to do with Aronia Berries
Freezing the berries first and then using them in baking greatly improves their sweetness and flavor. They can be used in place of blueberries in your favorite recipes. The berries, or the juice, are great in healthy smoothies too.
You can find recipes quite easily on the internet, but here are a few of our favorite Aronia Berry Recipes.