Goji berries are a delicious addition to green smoothies. They add a blend of cranberry and cherry flavor notes.
However, the main reason I add these berries to my smoothies is for the super boost of nutrients and protein they provide. They are ideal for making meal-replacement, protein-rich green smoothies that will fuel your body for hours.
Goji Berry Nutrition and Health Benefits
Goji berries are rich in beta-carotene with 283% RDA of vitamin A (as beta-carotene) in just 1/8 cup! You’ll also get 4 grams of protein too! Goji berries are also a good source of iron, with 1/8 cup providing 2.2 milligrams, as well as calcium at 6% RDA.
Goji berries are famous for their antioxidant and phytonutrient content. They are said to have “anti-aging” properties, likely attributed to their antioxidant activity.
Goji berries are calorie-dense, which is a GOOD thing! They pack a lot of calories into a small package, so you can make a proper meal-replacement or weight loss smoothie without adding a lot of bulk. Just 1/8 cup contains 112 calories (about the same in a medium banana), and it won’t make your smoothie much bigger. Goji berries also are low in sugar with only 4 grams in 1/8 cup.
I usually add 1/4 to 1/3 cup of dried goji berries to my green smoothies to make a super smoothie meal that will keep me active and energetic all morning long.
How To Use Goji Berries In A Green Smoothie Recipe
Goji berries are perfect for making weight loss and meal replacement green smoothies. Just 1/8 cup of goji berries contains 112 calories with 4 grams of protein. That sounds like a lot, but when you are transitioning to drinking a daily green smoothie meal, these berries really come in handy.
Usually, a 20 ounce green smoothie only contains about 200-250 calories – not enough to be a meal. In order to make a proper meal replacement smoothie, you’d have to almost double the size of the smoothie (32-40 ounces) to get to a proper 400-500 calories. But if you add 1/8 to 1/4 cup of goji berries, your green smoothie will only be slightly larger, but with enough calories to meet your body’s calorie requirements.
Since goji berries are a great source of protein and extra calories, I like to use them in my post-workout green smoothies.
In a high speed blender like a Vitamix, you can add dried goji berries and blend them up with your fruits and greens. In other blenders, I recommend soaking them for about 20 minutes or so to soften them up before blending.
Goji berries blend well with cacao and other fresh berries.
Goji Berry Green Smoothie Recipes
A simple goji berry green smoothie recipe is one medium banana, 1/8 cup dried goji berries, two cups fresh baby spinach and four ounces of water. Add a tablespoon of raw cacao powder for a superfood smoothie that wakes you up better than a cup of coffee.
Here are some other green smoothie recipes with goji berries:
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How To Select And Store Goji Berries
Goji berries can be purchased at natural food markets and online. They are most often available as dried berries, but sometimes as a powder or juice. I recommend purchasing and using dried berries over refined powders and questionable “juice” supplements.
It is extremely important to only purchase certified organic goji berries AND to look into the grower/distributor to ensure that the “organic” label really means that the berries were grown organically. Just about all goji berries are grown in China (even the ones that say “Himalayan” on the package), and organic standards in China are sometimes not enforced.
Also, look for goji berries that are raw, which means they have been dehydrated at low temperatures rather than “baked dry”, as most dried fruits are. Brands I use and trust include Sunfood and Navitas Naturals.
Browse more green smoothie recipes.
Tracy Russell is the creator of the Green Smoothie Weight Loss Program, the 30-Day Whole Foods Challenge and founder of Incredible Smoothies. She is passionate about helping people improve their health with green smoothies and a whole foods lifestyle.
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