Summer is almost here and so are the blackberries! Known for their deep purple color and sweet juicy flavors, this fresh fruit is a popular warm weather snack the whole family can enjoy! Blackberries have grown natively across Europe and the United States and historically have been used in a variety of ways from food to cloth dyeing to medicine. Today, we use their versatility and deliciousness to our advantage for tasty treats.
As May’s seasonal item, we are showcasing some tips and tricks on enjoying fresh blackberries right now and all year long!
Given many different names like brambleberries, dewberries, and thimbleberries, one thing remains the same: their delectable flavor. We are here to help you get the most out of this sweet and nutritious fresh fruit.
How to Buy Perfect Blackberries
When standing in the Fresh Produce Aisle trying to find the sweetest and juiciest blackberries, look for ones that are deep blue or purple in color; the darker the color, the higher antioxidant levels the berry has. Look through the entire container to check for white or green patches – this is mold that can easily spread throughout the entire pack.
How to Store Blackberries
After purchasing blackberries from the store, it is important to refrigerate immediately in their original container, or some type of vented or perforated box. Do not wash until you are ready to consume. Water laying in the berry will grow mold more quickly than if left completely dry.
Blackberries can also be frozen for extended storage. The best way to freeze blackberries is flash freezing – an initial freezing period. To flash freeze, line a baking pan with parchment paper and spread clean blackberries out on a single layer. Freeze the berries overnight. Once frozen, transfer them into a Ziploc® bag. Since they were pre-frozen individually, they are less likely to freeze in one big clump. They should last up to one year, so unpack the blackberries from the freezer and enjoy a bite of summertime any time of the year!
Health Benefits of Blackberries
There is nothing better than when a food is delicious and has health benefits, and the blackberry fits the bill! This fruit is packed with vitamin C, E and K, along with calcium, potassium and fiber! With high levels of antioxidants, this superfood is antiviral, antibacterial and aids in digestive health. To get the full amount of these nutrients, it is best to consume blackberries in their natural state.
Ways to Enjoy Blackberries
Try blackberries in several different ways! From nutritious foods to sweet desserts – their tart flavor shines through.
• Eaten raw
• Added to yogurt, smoothies and fruit salads
• In tea or water for an infused flavor
• Make jellies and jams
• Pies or Cobblers
We even put together some recipes to help you incorporate blackberries into your weekly eating plans!