Where to find blackberries? Everywhere! In woods, hedges and roadside verges, usually in a straggly clump with long branches snaking along the ground at trip height! The thorns can easily snag into clothing and the plants general wild habit makes the berries better foraged for rather than planted in the garden. According to Greek mythology Belleraphon was thrown into brambles after he dared to ride the Pegasus to Mount Olympus. He was blinded by the thorns in his fall and wandered alone and outcast thereafter. So trip hazard is the least of our worries!
The berries are ripening beautifully in The Borders this September and are a shiny a deep, purple-black when they are ready to pick. If you are collecting below dog level, then definitely wash them before eating. Freezing before eating or cooking also gets rid of any wee beasties that might have made their home in the berry.
Blackberries are really good to eat and they are good for you! Just one cup of raw blackberries has 30.2 milligrams of vitamin C. That’s half the daily recommended value. They are rich in anti-oxidants which promote the healthy tightening of tissue, making your skin less likely to wrinkle. And they are high in fibre (for healthy digestion), Vitamin K (which helps your blood to clot) and Manganese (for a healthy immune system).
There are hundreds of different blackberry recipes but here are a few to get you started:
- The apple harvest isn’t looking great this year but there should be enough for a Blackberry and Apple Crumble
- Or Apple and Blackberry Pies
- Blackberry Jam is a great way to preserve the fruit
- How about a Blackberry Coulis sauce for Ice Cream
- Blackberries and Chocolate come together perfectly in cup cakes
- And for something to warm those winnter evenings, Blackberry Liquer.