Aronia, also known as the Chokeberry is an important antioxidant and completely effective natural remedy for many health problems. It is very effective in fight with high blood pressure, cholesterol, stress. It slows down aging and contains a lot of vitamins that are essential for the organism. Recipes from Aronia appreciate anyone who wants to make a right step to strengthen the health.
Chokeberry has widely used
Chokeberry or Aronia is a shrub or small growing tree growing up to 3 meters height. It has black fruits of approximately 1 cm which grows in grapes. The colour of the berries is black so the chokeberry or Aronia is also known as black chokeberry.
Aronia fruits are harvested in late summer and early fall and are widely used in the kitchen. You can prepare from them delicious marmalades and jams, syrups, juices, canned fruit, liqueurs, wine, it can by dried or it can be used in desserts. The actual berries taste a little bitter, by adding sugar it will lose bitterness and it will taste very similar as blueberries.
Even the leaves of black chokeberry can be used. A decoction of the leaves is used as to lower blood pressure. It has anti-inflammatory effects and it encourages the formation of bile.
The origins of Black chokeberry - Aronia
Origin Aronia we seek in eastern North America, where it was used for its curative effects as a food by American Indians. This plant got into the Europe around 1700, and even then its fruits were widely used in the treatment of digestive tract.
Nowadays when humankind is slowly, but surely starting to return to natural treatment, is Aronia again gaining its place among the miraculous plants replacing (and in many ways excelling) many chemical drugs. It's very hard to find out plant that holds so many beneficial substances at once.
Types of Aronia
Of these three species of Aronia has the most significant effect on human health Aronia Melanocarpa, but if we want to grow black chokeberries as ornamental trees, all of them makes beautiful decoration in any garden.
Aronia fruits are very rich in essential vitamins
And for this reason is Aronia sometimes called as a vitamin bomb. Besides large amounts of biologically active substances it also contains:
- Vitamin P - encourages compaction and elasticity of vein walls, it is recommended within the treatment of varicose ulcer and haemorrhoids. It is ideal in combination with vitamin C because both substances support each other in effect.
- Vitamin C - the most important vitamin for human health. Supports proper function of cells, bones, tendons, blood vessels, skin, muscles, helps to heal wounds, it is a very powerful antioxidant and has other many positive effects on the human body.
- Vitamin B group – are essential substances for the proper functioning of the metabolism and enhancement of immunity.
- Vitamin E - very powerful antioxidant that has been provable in fight against tumour proliferation and this vitamin also supports the nervous system.
Furthermore black chokeberry fruits or Aronia fruits also contain organic acids, sugars, anthocyanins, iodine, pectin and other substances. This "cocktail" of active ingredients makes from Aronia miracle of family medicine
Black chokeberry as a family doctor
Because of the many curative effects of Aronia berries we can use this miraculous herb against many diseases or as prevention.
The most substantial effects of Aronia on human health:
- Lowers the blood pressure
- It regulates blood circulation
- It is very powerful antioxidant
- Helps to reduce cholesterol
- It encourages the treatment of hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis)
- Helps to improve proper function of liver
- Relieves problems of varicose veins, swellings and haemorrhoids
- Replaces sweetener for diabetics
- Its is very helpful against stress
- Slows down the aging of organism
Growing and harvesting Aronia
Black chokeberry occurs in nature very rarely. It is rather planted and graded in gardens or orchards. It's very unassuming wood to soil type, it only needs sufficient sunny place and protection against birds who are attracted by its tasty fruits which they are very happy to harvest usually sooner then you.
When choosing the type of Aronia it is necessary to consider whether it should be just for decoration or if you want to use its fruits too. If you grow Aronia berries for its healing powers, the best kind of Aronia is Aronia melanocarpa. Seedlings can be obtained by division, offshoots, layering, division or shrubs or from quality seed.
The best term for planting Aronia or Black chokeberry is from October till middle of November. There is no need to cut the branches or the whole shrub, while at the ends of the twigs are produced most healing berries that remain on the plant for a long time without losing its qualities. We can therefore harvest and process them gradually. Aronia fruits ripen in August. The leaves are collected in from April to May.
Aronia - black chokeberry in the kitchen
As mentioned at the beginning of the article the use of Aronia in the kitchen is really manifold. Because of bitter taste of the berries it is recommended prior the processing to sweeten it or directly parboil it in a sugar solution, which you simply make by boiling 1 kg sugar in 1 litre of water. Boil in this solution Aronia berries briefly so that is not overcooked. For extra flavour you can add cloves, star anise and cinnamon.
Aronia - Recipes
Liquor from Aronia
1 l Aronia berries
1 l fine vodka
1 kg caster sugar
Liquor Aronia - Preparation
Into a five-litre jar put black chokeberries, pour it with vodka and leave it for 14 days in a cool place. The blend should be mixed every day at least once. Weld sugar with 1 litre of water, let it cool and pour over the Aronia berries. Leave the blend another 14 days and again mix it every day.
Filter Aronia berries, fill the extract into eluted and dried bottles. Store it in a cool and dry place, preferably in the cellar.
Compote from Aronia
1 l Aronia berries
800 g sugar
1 vanilla sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 crushed cloves
1 large shot of rum
Compote of Aronia - Preparation
This method is very simple. Mix all ingredients except rum and place it for 30 minutes in the preheated oven (cut lemon into small pieces). Then add the rum, stir well and fill in small-cap glasses, for example from baby food. It is recommended to sterilize them for preventing against moulding. Such processed Black chokeberry is an excellent replacement to cranberry in cream sauce on sirloin which is a typical Czech recipe.
Dried Aronia for desserts
Strip a Aronia berries with stems and spread them on the paper in a warm room, preferably near a heating. Approximately about a week later strip the berries from stems and if it is necessary let it finish drying. Store dried Aronia in tightly closed glass containers.
If you want to use dried Aronia into cake, pour it with water, sprinkle with sugar, bring to a boil, switch off the flame and leave it soak in sugar brine for the next day. Then processed like other fruits.
Syrup from Aronia
2 l Aronia berries
80 g of citric acid
Syrup of Aronia - Preparation
Wash Black chokeberry under running water and place it in a four litre jar or glass. Mix it with the citric acid. Pour the top of glass with the cooled boiled water and leave for two days. Then mash berries through a clean cloth and leave to drain the juice. Per one litre of dripped juice add 1 kg of sugar and let it dissolve. Stir it occasionally. Fill the finished syrup from Aronia into washed out bottles and store it in a cool place. The syrup will keep for several months and is suitable for both preparations of juices and also as a sweetener.
Delicacy from Aronia
2 l Aronia berries
1.25 kg of sugar
0.5 litres of white wine
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3 crushed cloves
Delicacy from Aronia - Preparation
Thoroughly washed Aronia berries put into a larger pot, mix all ingredients and boil for about ½ hour. Stir it frequently. Still hot mixture pour into warmed glasses and store in a cool place.
2 l Aronia berries
1 l white wine
1 kg granulated sugar
1.25 dl rum
Aronia tea - Preparation
Rinse thoroughly Aronia berries with water and let it drain. Put into a pot, mix with the sugar and wine, stirring occasionally, for about ½ hour simmer. At the end, add rum and still warm mixture put into washed, dried and finely washed glasses. Put into a large cup 2 tablespoons of prepared Aronia, slices of lemon, pour with½ litre of hot water and leave to infuse for about 5 minutes. Afterwards you can eat Aronia berries.
Black chokeberries are excellent for the preparation of baked teas, especially in combination with other fruits. Aronia can be arbitrarily combined with red and black currants,
blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, apples, pears, grapes, plums, peaches, nectarines, cranberries, gooseberries, apricots, and even pineapple.