King Aronia Berry Farm is located in Northeast Missouri. It’s a 3rd generation family farm that was diversified in 2011 when the King family planted over 5500 Viking aronia berry plants. Viking was the variety of choice because it’s native to North America and a hardy and proven producer.
A North American Native
The berries grow in clusters of 12-20 berries and the bushes can grow to be as tall as 8 feet. The berry can be tart right off the bush, but freezing reduces the tartness. Why so tart you wonder? That is the result of the high content of tannins.
Aronia berries are somewhat new to the health food trend and continue to grow in popularity as their nutritional value and numerous health benefits continue to be discovered.
These phytonutrient-rich berries are also very high in anthocyanins and continue to be studied in research programs seeking to improve health through natural ingredients for food and medicinal use.
Aronia Berries Are Superberries
Aronia berries have one of the highest polyphenol (antioxidant) counts of any berry, including blueberries. They’re also high in vitamin C, which is a useful nutrient and antioxidant when going into cold and flu season, not to mention that they have a whopping 17 grams of fiber per 3 ounce serving.
Since adding the berries to our diet, we’ve noticed they have a tonic effect on the body as in: increasing vitality, helps to relieve inflammation, boosts muscle recovery and bone regeneration. It also has antiseptic qualities as a powerful immune system booster, preventing colds, viral and bacterial infections.
Having all these benefits aronia has been highly recommended amongst: children, diabetics, athletes and patients who have underwent complicated surgeries.
Aronia Berry Recipes
Aronia berries contain an enormous amount of vitamin C antioxidant, flavonoid, rich in vitamin B2, B6, Vitamin P (Flavonoids) and many minerals.
Part of the fun of growing these berries is filling the freezer every fall after the harvest and experimenting with different recipes through the winter months. We’ve tried our hand at exchanging honey for sugar in some recipes. I’m happy to say most recipes were between 4-5 stars. We also juiced some of the berries. We drank some juice and froze some for future use.
Our favorite ways to consume these superberries are by adding frozen berries to any smoothie, cereal, muffin mix, pancakes, waffles, yogurt, granola, quick breads, salad dressings, barbeque sauce, salsa, marinades, lemonade, tea and wine.
My new favorite is to puree 2 cups of aronias and mix with 1/4 cup honey. I keep this concoction in a covered jar in the refrigerator and use it multiple ways. (Lately that’s been on a peanut butter sandwich!)
Following are a couple of our family favorite aronia recipes. We hope you’ll give them a try.
Purple Power Bites
- ¼ cup sesame seeds (lightly toasted)
- ½ cup dried Mission figs, chopped into ¼-inch pieces
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 3/4 cup frozen aronia berries, pureed in a food processor while frozen
- ½ cup smooth almond butter
- 2 T. Honey
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 T. Non-fat dry milk
- Line the bottom of a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a 6-inch skillet, toast sesame seeds over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally with a spatula until lightly browned. Let cool for about 10 minutes.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine sesame seeds, figs, oats, almond butter, aronia berries, honey, cinnamon and dry milk. Using a large spoon, stir until all ingredients are combined.
- Measure a tablespoon-sized portion and roll it between hands to make a 1½-inch ball. Place ball on parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Place baking sheet in the freezer for 2 hours until balls are frozen, then transfer to a freezer-safe container.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer. Makes about 14.
Use your own preferences or substitutes. I’ve also added dates, coconut, pecans, pepitas, sunflower nuts or tahini. Raisins and dried cranberries are also popular choices.
Aronia Fruit Salad
- 4 Apples (I prefer 2 Jonagold and 2 Granny Smith)
- 3 Bananas, sliced
- 1/2 Large Pineapple, cut into small chunks
- 1/2 Cup Pureed Aronia Berries (mixed with 1 1/2 T. Honey)
Mix all together and serve immediately. Nuts are optional. We also use any fruit in season. Refrigerate leftovers.
We served this at Thanksgiving Dinner last Thursday and it was a huge success. The next day, my great nieces and nephews requested more of this fruit salad. The fact that it had turned purple overnight didn’t stop them from finishing it off!
By: Connie Raymond of King Aronia Berry Farm
King Aronia Berry is located in Northeast Missouri on a farm that has been in our family for over 100 years and is nestled near the Salt River in Shelby County. In 2011, they began raising a plant that is native to North America with unrivaled nutritional value . . . ARONIA BERRIES!!