Blackberries

There looks like there may be an abundance of Blackberries on the way this year so a good time to pick them and stock up in the freezer for use in smoothies and desserts in the coming months! Blackberries are also known as Bramble or Bramble Raspberry and belong to the rose family. They are known as an aggregate fruit, meaning that they are made from a number of tiny druplets, each of which contains a seed. This is where their high fibre content comes from.

Blackberries possess one of the highest contents of antioxidant phytonutrients in food, nearly as high as blueberries. Blackberries are also high in Vitamin C and E, folate and fibre, and are low in fat. They also contain a good amount of minerals including iron, magnesium, calcium and zinc. 

Health benefits:

– Anthocyanins provide the lovely colour to blackberries and this phytonutrient may work to prevent the effects of neurological diseases and aging.

-Gut health: blackberries contain both insoluble and soluble fibre which helps to remove toxins from the digestive tract.

– Heart protection: blackberries contain salicylic acid (a compound similar to asprin) which could help to lower blood pressure (something to check if taking certain medications).

– Skin-health: blackberries contain a compound called Ellagic acid which helps to prevent oxidative stress and helps to prevent the breakdown of collagen.

– Fertility wise: Blackberries contain a good amount of folate which is important in sperm formation and also in the prevention of neural tube defects in the developing foetus. Blackberries contain a good amount of the antioxidants Vitamins C and E. In studies vitamin E been shown to help increase fertility rates during ICSI and also to help women over 35 if her fertility problems are caused by her age.  Vitamin C helps to protect the sperm and eggs cells from oxidative stress and also their DNA too. It is also important in sperm health and in studies has been linked to improving sperm quality. Blackberries also contain a flavonoid called Rutin which is also important in fertility as it helps to improve blood circulation around the body, including the reproductive organs.

Enjoy blackberries in:

  • Smoothies
  • Juices
  • Blackberry fool
  • Salads
  • Dressings
  • Marinades and stir fries
  • Preservers
  • Overnight oats
  • Crumbles

Recipe ideas

Blackberry smoothie

  • 300 g of fresh or frozen blackberries
  • 200g tub Natural live yoghurt
  • 1 cup of milk chilled – your choice of milk

Combine the blackberries, yoghurt and milk in a blender and process until smooth. 

Why not make into a smoothie bowl and sprinkle with blueberries, strawberries and pumpkin seeds for that extra nutrient boost? Enjoy!

 

Black berry and chia seed pancakes (makes 4)

125g plain flour (go for brown/wholemeal if you can)

1 teaspoon baking powder 

240ml milk of your choice

1 large egg 

75g blackberries 

2 tablespoons chia seeds 

How to make your pancakes:

Whisk the flour and baking powder together in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the milk and egg. Whisk batter until combined. Fold in the blackberries and chia seeds gently.

Heat a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Grease the pan lightly and pour a ladle of the pancake batter into the hot pan; cook until the edges look dry and bubbles on top begin to pop, about 2 minutes. Flip and continue to cook for 1 minute. Enjoy!

 

Blackberry sorbet

Ingredients (makes 4 servings)

  • 8 oz Blackberries
  • 4 oz runny honey 
  • 50 ml of water
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice
  1. Over low heat in a saucepan, heat the blackberries, honey, and water until all mixed smoothly
  2. Place the blackberry mixture and lemon juice into a food processor or blend until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Freeze the blackberry puree in an ice-cream tub and enjoy!

 

Blackberry, feta, red onion and watercress salad

Ingredients
Serves: 6  

  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice 
  • 400g blackberries 
  • 100g feta cheese, crumbled 
  • 75g pitted Black olives (optional) 
  • handful chopped fresh mint 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 120g Fresh watercress


To make:

Place the onion slices in a small bowl with the lime juice. Leave to stand for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the blackberries, feta cheese, olives and onions with the lime juice and mint. Drizzle olive oil over it all and toss to blend. Place the watercress onto plates and then spoon the salad over the top. Enjoy!

 

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