Phew, hot summer, yes! Remember to drink water and be hot weather-safe. Berries feel like a light, summery treat, so this month will be about blackberries. Many storage and preparation recommendations are similar to raspberries.
Nutritionally, 1 cup of blackberries contains around 60 calories, 14g carbohydrate, 8g fiber, 2g protein, and is a source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K, folate, and potassium. Blackberries contain almost no fat or sodium.
- Buy: Look for firm, plump, and dry blackberries. Avoid mushed or shriveled berries or those with mold. If buying frozen blackberries, look for those without added sugar (unsweetened). If you buy canned, this is usually as pie filling and know the berries will have added sugar.
- Price: According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, fresh blackberries cost around $5.75 per pound (or about $1.90 per 1 cup) on average. Like raspberries, blackberries are more expensive fruits, so look for them in-season to get the best value. Buying frozen helps reduced the cost to around $1.12 per cup.
- Store: Fresh blackberries are delicate fruits with a short shelf-life. Use a clean towel to dry blackberries and remove any mushed berries. Store in the refrigerator in a shallow container for just a few days.
- Prepare: Wash fresh blackberries only when ready to eat. Storing with moisture on the berries speeds up decay and reduces quality.
- Eat: Blackberry recipes range from salads to desserts and sauces to jams and jellies. Of course, you can always eat them whole. (Using raw vegetables and fruits makes it very important to wash produce and follow food safety recommendations.)
- Ohio State University Extension, Selecting, Storing, and Serving Ohio Blueberries, Blackberries, and Raspberries, N/D
- University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, Blackberries, N/D
- University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Raspberries and Blackberries, 2008
- USDA, Agricultural Research Service, National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 27
- Virginia Cooperative Extension, Eat Smart, Move More at Farmers Markets, Blackberries, N/D
Blackberry-Peach Crunch (Serves 8)
Peaches are coming into season too. If you do not have oat bran, use quick or rolled oats (oatmeal) instead. The texture may be a little different.6 ripe medium peaches
1 pint blackberries
1/2 cup brown sugar, divided
1/2 cup oat bran
1/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tsp vegetable oil
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 9x9 inch baking pan; set aside. (Depending on the size of your peaches, you may need a larger or smaller pan.)
2. Peel and slice the peaches. Rinse the blackberries. Put the fruit in a bowl. Add 1/4 cup brown sugar and stir to coat.
3. In another bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, oat bran, pecans, and oil in a bowl until crumbly.
4. Spread berry mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture evenly over the fruit.
5. Bake in oven for 30 minutes, or until fruit is bubbly. Eat hot and refrigerate leftovers.
Source: Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Foods with Fiber, EFNEP program
Nutritional analysis per serving: 160 calories, 5g fat, 0mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 3g protein