Blackberries: How To Select, Store & Serve
Here are the 3 main reasons why I love Blackberries:
1. Blackberries are always in season
This fruit is grown in both the Northern & Southern Hemisphere, so the harvest simply transitions to new regions during Summer, Spring, Winter & Fall. North Bay Produce makes it easy to understand this concept with their Seasonality Chart. American consumers must understand that it is impossible to have produce items sourced from the USA 12 months out of the year. We must rely on other growing regions & the Southern Hemisphere to provide us with year-around fresh produce variety. I don’t know about you, but I personally like eating berries in the Fall, Winter & early Spring. Bring on the Mexican & Guatemalan-grown blackberries! This is a fruit I want to enjoy all year long!
2. Blackberries are full of nutrition & antioxidants
Blackberries are a true superfood! What does this even mean? Superfood is a word created by the food industry marketers to help distinguish the most nutrient-dense foods. Blackberries are simply full of nutrition & antioxidants! This infographic from Naturipe makes it easy to quickly identify “I should be eating more blackberries.” Did you know… a 1/2 cup serving of blackberries has the same fiber content as a 3/4 cup serving of brown rice! Blackberries are also rich in antioxidants. While scientific evidence is not able to prove the benefits of antioxidants & the relevancy of the ORAC values (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), the nutritional value of all berries, especially Blackberries, has never been questioned or argued. Blackberries are a leading natural source of Vitamins A, B, C, E calcium, iron & fiber!
3. Blackberries taste good & bears eat them too
Blackberries are delicious! If you aren’t a fan of blackberries, it’s typically because of the edible (yet noticeable) seeds – not the actual flavor of the fruit. I don’t know if bears really eat blackberries. I’ve never spent time with bears in the wilderness. But this line does get my sons to eat blackberries! If I were a bear, I would eat blackberries.
How to Select Blackberries
Think “dark & plump”
- Blackberries should be deep purple & black in color
- Look for plump berries that are firm to the touch, not wrinkled or dried out
How to Store Blackberries
Think “cold & dry”
- Blackberries need to be refrigerated – they will dehydrate & lose their “plump-ness” if stored at room temperature
- Blackberries should NOT be washed prior to storage – they will begin to break down when they are wet. Only wash blackberries right before you plan to serve & eat.
How to Serve Blackberries
Think “raw & beyond”
- I almost always eat my blackberries raw, out-of-hand. They are a convenient, affordable, tasty and healthy snack for me & my boys.
- Blackberries, like all berries, are very versatile. You can use them for topping or garnish, bake with them, create amazing sauces with them & more. Some of my favorite blogger recipes are featured below & some of the growers’ favorite recipes can be found on Naturipe’s website.
Some of my favorite Blackberry Recipes from fellow bloggers:
xoxo The Produce Mom