Wildcrafting Wednesday: Chokecherries

Wildcrafting Wednesday is a special installment in addition to this week’s Tuesday post! It doesn’t happen every week, but when it does, you don’t want to miss it. Wildcrafting is gathering herbs, plants or fungi from the wild; foraging. I love being able to walk out into creation and reap the benefits that He provided. It is the epitome of reaping where you haven’t planted. So thankful for the myriad of ways we are provided for!

On Monday, I told you that we went and gathered chokecherries.

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These little berries have several other names including aronia berry and wild cherry. They have huge health benefits! If there are any in your area, it would be worth it to go pick a quart just to store in the freezer. Here’s why!

Chokecherries are super high in ANTIOXIDANTS! This makes this berry widely desired. The world we live in is causing more and more free radical problems in our bodies. From EMFs in our homes, fumes on our roads, and chemicals in our water, it is impossible to avoid the cell damage that happens all the time. That is why we must be proactive and give ourselves regular doses of ANTIOXIDANTS to combat the rapid cell changes.

These beautiful little berries are known to support the digestive tract, support healthy blood pressure, support healthy eyes, aid a healthy body in blood sugar regulation, as well as support healthy weight management! As if that’s not enough. Your brain. Anthocyanins found in chokecherries are just what the brain and neural pathways need to support the body’s natural defense against oxidative stress. I don’t know about you, but myself and everyone I know can use help with cognitive function!

I recently learned that aronia berries, chokecherries, are a key ingredient in my favorite antioxidant infusion, NingXia Red! In a single ounce, this powerhouse drink provides you with dense nutrition equal to way more than you could ever attempt to eat in a day. And, you don’t have to go find a chokecherry bush. My children drink it, I drink it, my husband drinks it… in fact, I need to go hide some!

Here’s the original reason we went to the high country in search of bitter berries… Immune health! Beginning now, August, we start gearing up for fall and winter and the ramifications that can have on our immune systems. We stock up on immune boosting oils, herbs, supplements, and more. When we are constantly giving our cells the nutrition and antioxidants they need, our immune systems thrive. In turn, our bodies are able to do what life requires of us… be it play, work, proper rest, and so much more!

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I had the best little helpers! They picked for about 45 minutes and then played the remainder of the time we were out picking. I love being able to go the high country with my children. It affords such freedom for them to play, often without the worry of a ditch or road.

Altogether, we gathered 3 gallons of chokecherries! This was part of their homeschool. Isn’t that awesome? They learned about foraging, being thankful for what the Lord has provided, reaping and sowing, the benefits of chokecherries, and how we preserve them for use later. Practical life skills that I get to instill in my children.

Our plan is to make jelly to use through the winter. Yesterday we juiced all of them usingour steam juicer. I really appreciate this unit. It has juiced everything from peaches (weird, I know) to plums and grapes. It is a workhorse that I love. My favorite feature is the glass lid. This lets me teach my little helpers without steam in our faces. And, I like to see how my fruit is looking.

We have a gallon of juice in our refrigerator ready to become jelly. I can’t wait! Are you next? Are you off picking chokecherries? Drinking Ningxia Red? Wherever you’re going, I wish you health! Blessings, see you next time for Wellness Wednesday.

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