Aronia berries have an incredible range of uses in the kitchen. The fresh berries can be made into jam or juice as a soft fruit, while the dried varieties can be used for cooking and baking. Aronia pomace can be used as a natural dye in various dishes.
Fresh fruits and berries
The raw fruit has a bitter and astringent taste. It can only sometimes be sold as a fresh berry, but it can be added as soft fruit to various fruit mixtures grown in home gardens.
The fresh berries can be used to make liqueurs, spiced fruit with rum, fruit-based sauces and dessert toppings. They can also be juiced to enrich your daily diet. Adding a little sugar will let you create delicious jams and syrups to complement your breakfast or desserts. They’re the perfect match for sweet fruits.
You can even freeze and defrost aronia berries without them losing their colour or shape. They won’t develop any brownish discolouration either. Tip: The fruit’s aroma is not as bitter after freezing. Why not try our recipes?
The berries can be mixed with lots of different fruits to make jam. Aronia jam tastes really great with redcurrants, apples, apricots, quince and sea buckthorn.
Aronia jelly is made using a mixture of aronia juice, other wild berry juices (e.g. elderberry and blueberry) and thickening agents. It has a semi-solid, jelly-like structure.
Fruit sauces and dips
The strained fruit can be served as a fruit sauce with venison, grilled meat, sausage, cheese, pâté and baked Camembert. It’s also great for refining desserts, quark dishes, ice cream, yoghurt, pastries and puddings, and it tastes delicious with yeast dumplings.
Aronia compote is made with stewed berries. The berries are gently cooked in water, syrup, fruit juice or wine, and then sugar and spices are added. The compote has a slightly bitter and acidic flavour. It can also be made with various other fruits. We recommend pears, pumpkins and apples.
Dried aronia berries
Aronia berries can be dried and added to cereal, dairy products and baked foods. They can also be used as dried fruit for small snacks. They can be marinated in alcohol to create a delicious addition to desserts and sweet dishes.
Crushed berries can be enjoyed as tea. Coarsely ground berries also taste great in hot chocolate. Dried berries can also be added to salt, mustard and vinegar.
Candied and chocolate-coated fruit
A warm, boiled sugar solution is repeatedly poured over the dried fruit until a sugar crust is formed. Alternatively, the fruit is coated in chocolate. This can be enjoyed as a little snack throughout the day.
The crushed berries create a very fruity tea. They can also be mixed with apple pieces, orange peel and hibiscus blossom.
The chokeberry has a juice yield of 75 – 80%. This can be increased by 6% if the fruit is kept refrigerated at -5°C. A fruit press or juicer can be used to extract the juice.
The pressed juice usually has quite a bitter taste and strong flavour.
You can make pure aronia juice or blend it with apple, pear, plum, pomegranate, sea buckthorn or quince. It can be processed to make fresh juice, nectar, concentrate, syrup or lemonade.
Sugar can be added to aronia juice to make syrup. This will keep for several months in a dark bottle. Bottles must be stored in the fridge once opened.
The syrup can be diluted with water and drunk. It can be mixed with Prosecco or sparkling wine to create a refreshing, colourful aperitif.
Aronia syrup can be used to sweeten dairy products and porridge (e.g. semolina, oatmeal, rice pudding and millet gruel) and gives tea, coffee and hot chocolate a fruity note.
Aronia wine, liqueur and other alcoholic drinks
Aronia can form the basis of a fruity wine. Its ruby red colour is reminiscent of a dark red wine.
The juice can also be used as a basic ingredient in liqueur. This is done by mixing the juice with a high-proof brandy and sugar. Once this mixture has matured for a while, it’s filtered and left to mellow for a few weeks.
Aronia juice can also be added to mead, Prosecco and alcoholic mixed drinks.
Aronia is used to add flavour to various types of sausage.
The following types of aronia sausage are already available:
- Liver sausage with aronia
- Aronia sausage from the Ernst-Ulrich butcher’s shop
- Aronia knackwurst
- Aronia wiener
- Aronia salami
Aronia juice leaves a strong stain, making it a very popular natural dye. It can be used to add colour to food (e.g. desserts and pastries) and drinks. Its deep red colour is great for making glossy icing for cakes, biscuits and marzipan.
Aronia dye is also suitable for wool, yarn and knitwear.
In Canada, aronia berries have traditionally been used to produce vinegar, relieve cold symptoms and add a final touch to various dishes.