What is an Aronia Berry?
The aronia berry “chokeberry” has become a popular and valuable shrub to add to your landscape. Aronia is a shrub native to the United States. They are called chokeberries because when you eat them, they have an astringent, sweet-tart flavor that makes your mouth dry. They are good neutralizers for the landscape and are a decent all-around shrub, offering clusters of white flowers with waxy green leaves in the spring and they have a beautiful fall color. They are easy to grow with little care needed and will make an excellent addition to any landscape. The shrubs will start bearing fruit in their second year and mature at 4 to 5 years, depending on weather and soil conditions. They are low maintenance; drought and disease resistant, no pruning or thorns to deal with, and they are cold hardy. They not only will beautify your yard, the round black berries they produce, contain remarkable health benefits, to keep you healthy.
There have been multiple studies done on the health benefits of aronia. Results of these studies are astonishing, aronia has prevented the growth of colon cancer, reduced cell damage caused by breast cancer, lessens inflammation, helps the body maintain insulin levels preventing diabetes, improves damaged liver conditions, and improved damaged stomach linings. Also, these berries attribute to increased blood flow reducing blood pressure and known to protect our bodies against plaque, helping to prevent coronary artery disease. They have higher amounts of quinic acid than cranberries, indicating that aronia berries are five to ten times more effective against urinary tract infections than cranberries. They are high in carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthins to keep eyes healthy and protect them from macular disease. They are a superfood, rich in vitamins and minerals, high in polyphenols, higher in antioxidants than blueberries all attributing to their magnificent healing powers.
Aronia for Profit
In the Midwest, it is becoming a widespread trend to plant these amazing berries in landscapes, shelterbelts and as a profitable crop. On a large scale, they use a mechanical aronia berry harvester which attaches to a tractor, for ease of picking large quantities of berries. If you decide you would like to grow aronia on a large scale Aronia Berry Market might be interested in hearing from you, they buy large amounts of harvested berries. Because of the valuable health benefits Aronia is sold in local markets in forms of fresh, frozen, juice, and dried. Aronia berries are bringing a good price, around $10 a pound, and with a bush capable of producing 10-20+ pounds of fruit per year, they are a good alternative crop choice that is capable of filling a niche market with an excellent profit potential.
Aronia Berry Oatmeal Cookies
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons butter
2 eggs beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup buttermilk
1 cup aronia berries fresh or frozen
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Use large cookie sheet, spray with cooking oil or use parchment paper.
- Using a stand mixer, add to the mixing bowl flour, oatmeal, coconut, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and blend well on low speed, or you can mix well by hand in a large bowl too.
- To this mixture add beaten eggs, room temperature butter, and buttermilk and blend well until smooth, add vanilla and blend a couple more minutes. Add frozen aronia berries and fold quickly, to keep them from turning the cookie dough purple or lightly coat them with flour before adding to the cookie dough mixture.
- 4.Spoon 1 1/2″ balls on baking sheet two inches apart
- 5.Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove when edges begin to turn.