Goji Berry: An Ancient Chinese Aphrodisiac?
The goji berry is a fruit that many of us over here in the Western hemisphere have never heard of. In fact, it's not berry-like at all. At least compared to the berries we normally eat, like strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. The goji berry is actually most closely related to the potato, tomato, eggplant, deadly nightshade, chili pepper, and tobacco. Crazy, right? But what's even more crazy is that this not-so-sweet berry is actually a sweet pleasure in China....for sexually active couples.
Branded as "happy berries" in China, the goji berry is known to increase male fertility, help out with erectile dysfunction, and increase sexual libido for both men and women overall. Modern research undertaken in Beijing has shown that the berries contain a complex of polysaccharides known as LBP, which offer protection to the sperm cells and allow for increased stimulation of the male sex organs. Also, it has been found that goji berries really aid the body’s adrenal system, which is what controls how the sex hormones operate.
Looking to spice things up with your S.O.? Maybe add this goji berry, kale, and quinoa salad over a romantic candlelight dinner to get the sparks going ;)
- 1 cup raw quinoa
- 1 large head of kale (I used curly leaf kale)
- 3/4 cup dried goji berries
- 1 cup pine nuts (you can substitute another seed or nut you prefer)
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced very fine
Add dried goji berries to 2 cups of room temperature water, and allow to soak for about 20 minutes. Gently pour gojis into a fine metal strainer when plumped to discard water.
Add pine nuts to a seasoned very hot pan, and stir quickly. These burn easily, so as soon as you begin to smell the aroma, pull the pan off the heat and continue to toss.
When toasted, pour into a small bowl to cool.
Boil water for quinoa, (2 cups water to 1 cup quinoa) and add quinoa. Reduce heat to simmer, and cover your pan. This should take approximately 12 minutes to cook. Remove pan from heat, and allow to cool. Fluff quinoa with a fork to loosen grains.
Trim kale from tough stalks and center stems, and slice into ribbons, approximately 1/2 inch wide. Add to a large bowl.
In a smaller mixing bowl, whisk your dressing together. Add lemon juice, Dijon mustard, olive oil, and seasonings and whisk until well blended.
After the quinoa cools, add to the kale. Set aside about 2 tablespoons of goji berries for garnish, and add the rest of the gojis, along with the nuts to your kale and quinoa. Add dressing and toss to mix.
Garnish with goji berries for a pretty red color!
Serve and enjoy! :)