On their own, Aronia berries are extremely tart. They are certainly not a berry most people want to just pop in their mouth. Typically, sweeteners are used to produce a good flavor and a sweet-tart combination.
The best sweetener to use is stevia, not sugar. From a health standpoint sugar is your enemy. Stevia is an all-natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners. When reaching for the Aronia berry products chose 100 percent or mixed with other juice such as apple juice with no added sugar. By using stevia as a sweetener you produce a healthy product that even those with diabetes find helpful and healing. The use of stevia will limit the calories that otherwise come from using sugar.
The big question is: Are Aronia berries good for your health? The answer is, without question, definitely YES. They are the new super berries gaining in popularity because they have more antioxidants than any other fruit grown in North America. They have many health benefits. The Aronia fruit is a great source of vitamin C and antioxidants. It also has properties that may be protective of cholesterol levels, heart disease, kidney stones, gum disease, bone health, blood clots, cancers, and stomach ulcers.
An important benefit of Aronia fruit, like cranberries, is they protect against bacteria that cause bladder infections and urinary tract infections. Since they have many health benefits, include them in your diet and enjoy the many benefits of this fruit. However be cautious if they are sweetened with sugar instead of stevia. Sugar is your enemy when it comes to your health. Taking refined sugar out of your diet is one of the best things you can do for your health.
Aronia fruit products you can enjoy:
- Juice – Use 100 percent Aronia fruit juice or Aronia berry juice mixed with other juice, such as apple juice or some other fruit. Results from some studies suggest you take about 1/4 cup of sugar-free 100% aronia juice three times a day to help reduce blood pressure and help lower blood sugar levels for diabetes patients.
- Make your own juice. – Fresh Aronia juice can be easily made from the Aronia fruit. If the fruit is not masticated in a juicer, the juice made with fully ripened berries will have little of the astringency of the fruit. Using a cider press is the recommended method to make juice. The fruit should be frozen before making juice to produce more liquid and reduce the astringency of the juice. It takes about 16 pounds of fruit to produce 1 gallon of juice. The juice should be sweetened with stevia, not sugar. From a health standpoint sugar is your enemy. Your juice will ferment into a hard Aronia cider within a week if it is not frozen or canned right after it is made. The juice is often mixed with apple or other fruit for improved flavor. Freeze your juice concentrate in small freezer containers. Or seal it up in pint jars processed in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.
- Use aronia berries on entrees – Aronia berries can be added to your salads, yogurt, cereal, or any entrée. Aroniarisins (dried Aronia berries) can be used in trail mix.
- Aronia fruit jelly – Make your own healthy Aronia berry jelly and jam. Again be sure to control the sweetener by using stevia, not sugar. One type of pectin, low-methoxyl pectin, is required to thicken jams and jellies with little or no sugar. This pectin makes it possible to create jams and jellies sweetened with stevia. Use Pomona pectin, not regular pectin. Pomona pectin has been proven to gel well with stevia.
- Sauces- Make your own sauces such as Aronia Berry Salsa, and Aronia Berry BBQ sauce. When using Aronia berries for sauces on meats and fish.
- Baked goods – Bake fresh or frozen Aronia berries into your homemade baked goods using stevia instead of sugar. Also use coconut oil or real butter not margarine in you products.