Blackberries are THE free food of the Pacific Northwest. They are so prolific that you are hard pressed to find a space where they won't grow. When they are ripe, there are loads of berries ripe all at once. Of course, most of you already know this. I think these buggers are pretty much everywhere and most all of you are going to be familiar with them.
The thing is though, I don't think most people know about the fabulous things you can do with these berries. Think beyond jam and a whole new world opens up! Here are some of the ways I'm planning on using this bounty of free berries to bless my family in the coming months:
- Pancake Syrup
- Ice Cream Topping
- In Granola
- In Hot Cereals
And that's just to name a few. Blackberries are very high in Potassium and also a good source of Vitamin K and Riboflavin. Add to it that they are low in sodium, high in fiber and tasty to boot~ it just makes for a winning combination.
The last couple mornings we've been heading out, picking pails in hand. With the 6 or 7 of us picking we make short work of the chore. As you can see, the vines are just loaded and the berries are quite large. It's kind of a race to get as many picked as possible in the short time that they are ripe and get them put away.
My favorite way of processing them?
In gallon bags in my freezer :) I can store them in here, all cuddled up to the ice packs, sliced peaches and extra croissants from Costco. Later, when the weather cools off, i can make them into jams and jellies, sauces and syrups, pastries and pies.
Jams and sauces are some of my favorite gifts to give at the Holidays. They are such a nice, bright spot in the middle of Winter. Make a pot of coffee, take some bread out of the oven and smear it with fresh butter and delicious jam. No, there isn't much that gets better than that.
And to think, it all comes about because I took the time to pick the free food nature provided.
Now that's something to be thankful for!!! :)