Learn how to use blackberries in the kitchen with this guide that answers all of your blackberry questions, including storing blackberries, how to wash blackberries, and blackberries recipes.
What could be better than a handful of glistening, deep-purple blackberries, perfectly sweet and ripe? You probably have memories of fighting the bees to pick blackberries on the summer vines, their flowery-sweet smell filling your nostrils, and purple-black juice staining your fingers (I know I do). But these gem-like berries offer much more than just good taste. Blackberries are packed with nutrition, and oh so versatile in the kitchen.
Blackberries contain nutrition properties that have been associated with protection against heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Because of their high fiber content, eating blackberries can be extremely filling, helping to keep your blood sugars more stable. In fact, blackberries glycemic index is low (25). Their deep purple pigments come from a polyphenol called anthocyanin, which functions as a natural antioxidant because it helps protect cells from free radical damage. Blackberries are a low-carbohydrate fruit just jam-packed with great nutrients. Snacking on 1 cup of blackberries provides you with only 62 calories and 15 grams of carbohydrate, but it will also reap you 8 grams of fiber, 50% DV for vitamin C, 47% DV for manganese, and 36% DV for vitamin K.
Wondering about storing blackberries? When you bring your fresh blackberries back from picking, the farmers market, or supermarket, refrigerate them in a container that allows them to breathe. Do not place them in an airtight container, as they may collect moisture and spoil more quickly. Place the berries on a shelf rather than a refrigerator storage drawer. How long do blackberries last? It depends on how mature they were when harvested, and how long they’ve been stored before you purchased them—but you should be able to enjoy them for a few days before they start to soften and spoil. You can also freeze blackberries in airtight storage containers for several months.
Fresh blackberries ripen in the summer—July through August, depending on your location. They are ripe when they are deep purple-black, plump, and soft in color. Enjoy then when they are fresh and in season! But when fresh blackberries are out of season, turn to frozen or dried in cooking.
You just won’t believe how many things you can do with blackberries, too! These gorgeous berries are perfect for desserts, salads, baked goods, marinades, and even cocktails, and are stunning show-stoppers as either a main ingredient or a simple garnish. And by the way, can dogs eat blackberries? The answer is yes! These are superfoods for dogs, just like humans.
Check out these Top 5 Ways to Use Blackberries to unleash the purple-black power into your life. And make sure to check out my 5 Ways to Enjoy Summer Berries video today and read more about berry benefits here!
1. Top Your Favorite Power Bowl
Power bowls and grain bowls have become more and more popular as an easy and fun way to create healthy, delicious balanced meals in a bowl. Similar to a composed salad, power bowls are supplemented with nutrient-rich grains, nuts, seeds, fruits or vegetables, and a healthy protein to provide energy to sustain you throughout your day. Try making this Berry Bowl to start your morning off right!
2. Bake a Cobbler or Crumble
Ooey, gooey cobblers, crumbles, or fruit bars are quick to make and can be an instant favorite at any gathering. Plus a healthy vegan version is good enough for a snack or even breakfast, when it consists of whole fruit, whole grain oats, whole wheat flour, and hemp seeds. Try my classic recipe for Summer Fruit Skillet Cobbler, which calls for fresh seasonal summer fruit, including blackberries.
3. Infuse Sparkling Water with Blackberries
A great way to stay hydrated is mixing blackberries with ice cold, sugar-free club soda, sparkling water, or mineral water, topped with herbs and citrus slices. Just add blackberries, herbs such as mint or basil, and wedges of lemon, grapefruit or lime into a pitcher of bubbly water and mix. You can even smash them to get a more intense flavor!
4. Toss Blackberries into Your Next Salad
A cool salad is such a nice respite on a warm day, and these berries add a pop of color, texture, and sweetness to the mix. You can even make a balsamic vinaigrette by mixing mashed blackberries with balsamic vinegar and EVOO to toss into your salad greens. Check out my Forest Berry Salad from Plant-Powered for Life for inspiration.
5. Add to Chia Pudding
Chia seed pudding is the ideal healthy, cold, creamy dessert made with chia seeds mixed with plant-based milk until a pudding-like texture is achieved. It’s easy—just a few ingredients does the trick. Try my Chia Seed Pudding recipe and top it with fresh berries and you will not be sorry!
For more inspiration on using whole plant foods, check out the following:
How to Grill Artichokes
How to Cook Bitter Melon
How to Use Sweet Potatoes
How to Use Carrots
How to Cook with Stinging Nettle
How to Use Tomatillo