Aronia berries are not simply one of the healthiest whole foods found anywhere on the planet, they are also one of the most interesting, challenging, and, in many ways, rewarding ingredients you need to be using in the kitchen. With a bit of knowledge and trial and error, you can be using aronia berries in adventurous ways that will please both your palate and your body.
One of the greatest things about so many berries being a superfood is that berries are so darn delicious. However, not all berries are equally tasty with some, such as the aronia berry, having well deserved reputations of being bitter. In fact, the aronia berry is so bitter that it has also been called the chokeberry for generations.
Due to the aronia berry’s choke factor, most aronia berry recipes include extra sugar or natural sweeteners. But, I am here to tell you that if you are a tad bit adventurous there are plenty of other ways to prepare aronia berries that do not have to include additional sweeteners.
Baking with Aronia Berries
Aronia berries can replace other berries in any baking recipe as long as you make the switch understanding the caveat that the final product will be more bitter than what you are used to.
One of my favorite aronia baking recipes is an oatmeal cookie one that uses one cup of chokeberries instead of raisins. In addition to the berries, the recipe calls for half a cup of softened butter, an egg, one cup of flour, one cup of brown sugar, one and a half cups of quick-cook oatmeal, a quarter of a teaspoon each of salt and of baking soda, one-half of a teaspoon of baking powder, one teaspoon of vanilla extract, and two teaspoons of ground cinnamon.
After mixing the brown sugar, butter, vanilla, egg, add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix well. Then add the berries and stir them in. Drop the mixture by spoon and bake on a lightly-greased baking at 350 degrees for close to 15 minutes when they should be starting to brown.
As all recipes are merely starting points, so is this one. If it turns out the final cookie is too bitter, try again with, say, using half a cup of raisins and half a cup of aronia berries. You will find that the more you play with these berries the more you will appreciate them and their uniques flavors. Enjoy the journey and the good health!
Aroniaberry Oatmeal Cookies
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup quick-cooked oatmeal
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the brown sugar, butter, vanilla, egg, and the rest of the dry ingredients. Add the berries (you may want to dry excess juice off the berries otherwise your batter will become purple). Drop the mixture by spoon and bake on a lightly-greased baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the cookies are just beginning to brown.