The British summer might be elusive, but when it does make an appearance, it brings with it one of the most iconic seasonal fruits – the blackberry. From late summer to early autumn, hedgerows and woodlands across the UK are adorned with the deep purple-black fruits, ripe for the picking. In this article, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about blackberries, from their nutritional benefits to fantastic recipe ideas.
What are Blackberries?
Blackberries are small, soft fruits that are commonly found growing wild in the UK. They belong to the Rubus genus and are closely related to raspberries. Unlike many other fruits, blackberries are simple to forage, which makes them a popular choice for those who enjoy the great outdoors.
Blackberries are a powerhouse of nutrients. They’re rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, fibre, and antioxidants. These humble berries are also low in calories, making them an excellent choice for those looking to maintain a healthy diet.
How to Pick the Perfect Blackberries
When foraging, look for plump, firm, and fully black berries. Avoid those that are red or have yet to ripen fully. Freshly picked blackberries are best consumed within a few days but can be frozen for long-term storage.
Recipe Ideas with Blackberries
Here are some delectable recipe ideas that perfectly capture the essence of blackberries:
- Blackberry Jam
Make a delicious, homemade blackberry jam that preserves the goodness of fresh blackberries. Find the recipe here.
- Blackberry Crumble
A quintessentially British dessert that pairs perfectly with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Find the recipe here.
- Blackberry Gin
Infuse gin with blackberries to create a delightful adult beverage with a fruity twist. Find the recipe here.
- Blackberry Smoothie
Combine blackberries with yogurt and other fruits for a nutritious smoothie. Find the recipe here.
- Blackberry Salad
Toss blackberries into a fresh salad for a burst of colour and flavour. Find the recipe here.
Other Creative Uses for Blackberries
Besides the usual jams and desserts, blackberries can be used in a variety of other ways:
You can use blackberries as a natural dye for fabric, giving it a delightful purple hue.
Blend blackberries into a face mask to benefit from their antioxidant properties.
Fresh or dried, blackberries can be used in floral arrangements for a touch of rustic charm.
Blackberries make an elegant and colourful addition to cocktails.
Blackberries are more than just a tasty fruit; they are a symbol of the British summer. Whether you enjoy them fresh off the vine or incorporate them into your culinary creations, these versatile berries are sure to delight. Happy foraging!