Originally written by Kimberly Cripps , former SDSU Extension Family & Community Health Field Specialist, with contributions by Megan Erickson, former SDSU Extension Nutrition Field Specialist, and Hope Kleine, former SDSU Extension Health Education Field Specialist.
- Ripe chokecherries are black, ¼ to ½ inch round and grow in clusters similar to grapes.
- Look for chokecherries that grow wild in areas that have not been sprayed with pesticides.
- Choose the best cherries and clean them in fresh water removing leaves and stems.
- Refrigerate to keep cool or freeze fresh for later.
- Snack by eating raw, spitting out the seeds, do not eat too much or it can clog your throat and stick in your teeth. Your teeth will be blue for a little while!
- Boil chokecherries and remove seeds to make a pudding or syrup.
- Remove seeds and use fresh in muffin or pancake batter.
- Finely grind chokecherries, including seeds, to make patties to dry in the sun to preserve for later use.
- Use the leaves to make a soothing tea.
Like it! Wild Chokecherry Pudding
- 2 quarts of chokecherries
- 1 gallon of water in a large pot to boil the chokecherries
- Sweetener to taste
- Wash and de-stem the chokecherries.
- Add chokecherries to water and bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer. Stir occasionally.
- Boil until seeds fall out.
- Use a colander to separate the seeds keeping the pulp with the juice.
- Add flour or corn starch to pulp/juice mixture.
- Heat slowly, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches a pudding-like thickness.
- Add sugar or other sweetener as desired. Serve hot.
Source: This is an adapted version of the traditional wojapi made by the Lakota/Dakota/Nakota people of the Plains.
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