We had four young visitors from the UK and the East Coast just recently who raved that this was the best pie they had ever had! We were thrilled! Since we are really just learning how to add aronias to our diet, their confirmation spurred us on to continue collecting aroniaberry more recipes. (Pie recipe below).
I know many of you have the heart of a homesteader and love looking for ways to build your medicine chest, reduce your food bills, and become sustainable, and live healthier off the land. Like the elderberry, the aronia could be a small part of the puzzle.
It is very satisfying to learn of new ways to lessen our dependency on others for food and health care.
So if you’ll allow me to tell you why we are so excited about growing aronias, and finding recipes for them, we will get to the recipes in a minute
I want to rave a bit about the new super-food Aronia Berry, an amazing edible berry given to us by God for our health and vitality. It is ‘off the charts’ EXCELLENT for those interested in slowing down the aging process (that would be me and, maybe, you) and so many other health benefits.
“The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” ~ Thomas A Edison
The Aroniaberry contains a powerful natural blend of polyphenolic antioxidants. Antioxidants are important because they combat free radicals in our body that are created from daily living, stress, environmental pollution, medical x-rays and even exercise. Free radicals can damage cells which can lead to health problems. Consuming foods high in antioxidants like the Aroniaberry may help support the body’s defense against these radicals. Many studies show they are powerful in Alzheimer’s and other diseases.
Antioxidant levels in foods are measured by a test called ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity ). Scientists have found that antioxidants increase our bodies natural defense systems. The higher the ORAC, the higher the antioxidant activity.
But I am finding out that most people I talk to haven’t heard about the aroniaberry or:
- that you can grow it in your yard,
- that it is easy to pick,
- that you need only one plant,
- that is has almost no pests,
- they are very tart, but delicious when sweetened,
- they become sweeter naturally after freezing,
- it is a homesteaders dream for a reliable harvest,
- berries stay separate your freezer bag if drained when bagged,
- Aronia berries stand alone or blend compatibly with apples, red raspberries, peaches, strawberries, cherries, pears and oranges.
We grow Viking chokeberry/aronai.
And last, but not least, there are many delicious recipes (my adaptations) to use them in. I found several of them at Bellbrook Berry Farm.
1.) Super Antioxidant Aronia Smoothie:
Blend together and serve immediately.3-4 bananas
1 cup plain yogurt or kefir
1 – 1 1/2 c. coconut milk (or other milk)
1 cup frozen aronia berries
1 cup frozen raspberries or other fruit
2.) Aronia/Cherry Syrup:
1 c. Aronia berries
1 c. tart cherries (or blueberry, etc.)
sugar, maple syrup, or honey to taste
Add aronia berries and cherries to sauce pan and cook down while stirring over medium heat. Add sweetener to taste. Enjoy over cream cheese and crepes.
3.) Aronia Oatmeal Cookies:
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. packed brown sugar, Sucanat, or 5/6 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. instant rolled oats
1 c. flour of your choice
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 c. fresh or frozen Aronia Berries
In a bowl, cream butter and sweetener. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine oats, flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and baking powder; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in the aronia berries. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto lightly-greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 14 min, or until golden brown. Yield: 35 cookies
4.) Aronia Bars:
3/4 c. sugar or Sucanat
1 c. flour of choice
1/3 c. butter, melted
1 c. fresh or frozen Aronia Berries
1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans
1 tsp. citrus peel
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch baking pan. Beat eggs in a medium mixing bowl until thick. Gradually add sugar, beating until thoroughly blended. Stir in flour and melted butter; blend well. Add Aronia Berries and walnuts, mixing gently until combined. Spread evenly in pan. Bake for 40 to 45 min, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool and cut into bars. Yield: 16 servings
6.) Classic Aroniaberry Pie:
Pastry for 2-crust 8″ pie
2 Tbsp butter
4 cups frozen aroniaberries
2 cups sugar or 1 3/4 cups maple syrup or honey
5 tsp lemon juice
3/4 cup flour
Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in and heat berries, sugar and lemon juice. When juice of the aronia berries flows, stir in flour. Cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, line pie pan with crust. Pour in cooled mixture. Put on top crust; flute; slit. To catch juice, put foil on pie skirt or cookie sheet. Shape upward around pie pan without covering pie. Bake at 425° until browned, about 40 to 45 minutes. Cool. Refrigerate overnight. The filling should set up nicely.
I wish you could have been here for a piece of this pie
‘And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.”‘ ~Genesis 1:29