Who doesn’t love the wild, sweet flavor of a good berry? The blackberries in my yard have been delicious this year. And I’m not the only one who is loving them; several small bird species, foxes, and even turkeys have been gleaning their share of the bushes’ abundant crop.
Its easy for me to know what I’m picking, but with over 2,000 varieties worldwide, what you see as a blackberry in the market changes with the season, source, and region. They all look similar, but it’s tough to know which varieties you like best. I suggest you ask for a sample at the market and ask about the variety they are growing or buying. This way you can, through trial and error, come to find the ones you like.
Some worth trying are Marionberry, Kotata, Waldo, Loganberry and Boysenberry—the last two being raspberry-blackberry crosses. Besides being absolutely delicious blackberries are great for you as well.
One cup of fresh blackberries contains:
- 60 calories
- 50% of your Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of vitamin C
- 22% of your RDA of fiber
- A well-rounded offering of iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamin A.
- High ORAC, or Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity: a measure of antioxidant activity
(This is a huge bonus as antioxidants scrub our blood of toxic free radicals that make cells vulnerable to aging, and diseases such as cancer. Vitamins A and C are antioxidants; but so are ellagic acid, quercetin and catechins – all cancer fighters found in blackberries.)
- Salicylic acid: an anti-inflammatory similar to aspirin, and thought to help prevent arteriosclerosis is also present
Whether you gather your blackberries wild or buy them, store them unwashed and use within a few days. Though it’s hard not to eat them right away, make sure you rinse them well before eating, because the little nooks and crannies and soft skin make an easy resting place for bacteria & crop residues.