Berry Good Blackberries
These deeply pigmented berries are precious commodities due to their short shelf life and delicate nature. Held together by nearly microscopic fibers, these berries must be handled gently to retain their plump shape. Known by several other names including brambleberries, dewberries and thimbleberries, blackberries are considered â€ścane fruit,â€ť growing from a perennial vine-like branch.
Providing 7 grams of fiber, half the daily recommended value for vitamin C and only 60 calories per cup, these fruits are an excellent choice for a snack or meal component. Remember that like all other fresh fruits, blackberries are cholesterol, sodium and gluten free!
- How theyâ€™re grown: Most blackberries are grown in the Pacific Northwest. The climate brings warm days and cool nights, which contribute to an extra sweet fruit. Blackberries turn from red to deep purple on the vine, and soften as they mature.
- How to shop for them:Look for berries that are not bruised or leaking. Berries should be plump and not mushy.
- How to store them:Fresh blackberries can be refrigerated for 3-6 days; make sure not to wash until just before use. If you want to stock up during peak season, rinse berries in cool water in a colander, allow to air dry completely, and place on a baking sheet without allowing the berries to touch. Freeze the berries for an hour or until mostly frozen, then remove from the baking sheet and transfer to a plastic bag. Berries will keep when frozen for up to 6 months.
- How to eat them:
- Drizzle hot chocolate sauce directly over frozen berries for a dessert that provides fiber and vitamin C, with all the indulgence you crave!
- Try overnight oatmeal! Combine 3 cups oats, 2 cups yogurt, 2 cups frozen blackberries and Â˝ cup 100% fruit juice in a covered container. Keep in the fridge overnight and itâ€™s ready to go for breakfast.
- Use blackberries that may be past their prime to flavor water alongside fresh mint leaves.
- Pureed and strained blackberries pair well with hoisin sauce, garlic, ginger, red pepper and vinegar for a unique meat glaze.
- Dress up your next salad with whole, fresh blackberries, blue cheese crumbles, green onion and crumbled bacon.