A beautiful berry full of antioxidants - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

A beautiful berry full of antioxidants

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These are not blueberries! They're the latest health craze called aronia. Aronia is a native Eastern, North American shrub. You might know it as choke cherries. This is a low-growing shrub (3 to 5 feet tall), and it's a different species and different version of the traditional choke cherry. What's great about this shrub is that it's widely adapted. You got dry soil, it loves it. You got wet soil, it loves it. Full sun or part shade, it will grow pretty much anywhere for you! This beautiful plant grows up into a hedge and it looks really nice as a mass planting. Also in the fall, it has beautiful colored leaves, too.

But the big selling point is the berries! These beautiful, black berries are high in vitamins A, C, B, E and they have more antioxidants than blueberries and pomegranates! Before you eat them, you want to freeze these berries, and then strain the juice out almost like you're making apple cider or apple juice. You don't want to get any of the pulp in it because the pulp is really astringent. But if you just get the juice, it's got a flavor of a blackberry or blueberry, especially if you sweeten it a little bit.

So you get the health benefits of the berries and a tasty juice from a beautiful native shrub.

~by Charlie Nardozzi

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