A friend of mine asked me a really good question recently. She said, “I know that aronia berries have the nickname of chokeberry. So, what’s the best way to prepare them so that they actually taste good?”
Since I am just starting to grow aronia berries this year at our new house, I don’t have much direct experience preparing them… yet. So, my friend’s question kept running through my mind and I decided to do a little research for anyone else interested in growing and preparing foods with aronia berries.
But first, how do aronia berries grow and where should they be located in your landscape?
Aronia berry shrubs are a beautiful addition to your home landscape. In fact, I used to include them in my ornamental landscape designs before I began designing edible, medicinal, and permaculture-based designs for clients.
Aronia berries grow in USDA Zones 3-8. They like full to part sun and moist locations. They typically grow 3-6’ tall (or more!) and about as wide. They are self-fertile and begin bearing fruit about 2 years after planting. Aronia berry bushes flower in the spring and turn bright red in the fall, so they add tons of beauty to your garden.
What are the health benefits of aronia berries?
This website (Medical News Today) contains a wealth of information about the health benefits of aronia berries. To quickly summarize, aronia berries have anti-cancer and anti-diabetic effects and they support organ, artery, and blood vessel health. The berries are also high in several vitamins and minerals.
What’s the best way to prepare aronia berries?
I’ve gathered some recipes that look delicious (although I have yet to try them myself). I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below if you make any of these recipes!
Aronia Berry Jelly (uses sugar)
Mixed Fruit Jam (create your own recipe and even use honey instead of sugar)
Aronia Berry Smoothie (video)
Classic Aronia Berry Pie + your favorite pie crust recipe
What’s your favorite way to eat aronia berries? Comment below!!