Blackberries

Image courtesy of: thesleuthjournal.com

Image courtesy of: thesleuthjournal.com

Did you know blackberries are native to every continent except Antarctica? With up to 2,000 varieties and with more than 300 wild species in Europe alone, these berries can adjust to thrive with a wide range of climate, soil and other environmental factors. Since prehistoric times, blackberries have been used for many uses, namely food, medicinally and also as natural barriers due to their heavy growth and thorns. In fact, they were originally known as bramble or brambleberries (and still are in England!).  

Best Storage Practices: 

Shelf life for blackberries is short and they should be consumed within 2-3 days of purchase. Store covered and dry in the refrigerator, but eat at room temperature for fullest flavor.  

Fun Ways to Eat and Cook: 

Blackberries are a delicious snack raw, but can be cooked. When cooked, some nutrients are lost but blackberries still retain many of their antioxidants. Steam, boil, or stew to tenderize and soften berries. Cooking will release juice and blackberry honey.

Selecting Blackberries: 

Select blackberries that are unblemished, dry and in an unstained container. Blackberries should be shiny and black - avoid those that are dull or reddish. Moisture will increase spoilage, so the berries themselves should be relatively dry. 

Why it's Good to Eat: 

  • Great source of antioxidants
  • Great source of vitamin C, vitamin K and folic acid
  • Good source of dietary fiber and various other essential nutrients

When it's in Season:

Blackberries thrive in warmer, temperate climates and are often found in markets beginning in spring and throughout the summer. 

How it's Harvested: 

Blackberries are incredibly delicate and are therefore harvested by hand. Harvesting by hand ensures protection of the fragile fruit.  

Recipes: 

Mixed Berry Smoothie - Wash and mix blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. Mash and/or puree in a blender with ice. Drizzle with honey or sugar.