Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Picking Blackberries

Keeping me out of the garden besides the heat is BLACKBERRY PICKING! Today I picked over a gallon and a half of BLACKBERRIES. Now what to do with them?  A few ideas are, make a batch of Blackberry Wine, put some in the freezer and some into Jelly. We're not big jelly eaters but I can give them for gifts.

  • Black Raspberries, also known as "black caps" are a very healthy food; packed with anthocyanins!
  • The USDA says 1 cup of blackberries has about 62 calories.
  • 1 cup of blackberries, not packed down weighs about 140 grams.
  • Select plump, firm, fully black berries. Unripe berries will not ripen once picked.
  • Ohio State University's Article Regarding Their Prevention of Cancer
  • Blackberry tea was said to be a cure for dysentery during the Civil War. During outbreaks of dysentery, temporary truces were declared to allow both Union and Confederate soldiers to "go blackberrying" to forgage for blackberries to ward off the disease.
  • Blackberries were enjoyed by the ancient Greeks, who believed them to be a cure for diseases of the mouth and throat, as well as a preventative against many ailments, including gout.
  • The blackberry leaf was also used as an early hair dye, having been recommended by Culpeper, the English herbalist, to be boiled in a lye solution in order to "maketh the hair black".
  • Researchers have known for quite some time that berries contain antioxidants which help to fight cancer causing free radicals. A study at the University of Ohio has found that black berries are the most potent cancer fighting berries of them all, by nearly 40 percent!
  • Do the math and be careful not to over-purchase as Blackberries quickly mold when left at room temperature, and only last a couple of days in the refrigerator.
  • You can easily freeze berries that you can not use right away - just wash, cut the hulls off and pop them into a ziplock bag, removing as much air as possible. Those vacuum food sealers REALLY do a good job of this! The berries will keep for many months frozen without air.
1/3 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
2 cups flour, sifted (if you use gluten-free flour add 1/2 teaspoon xantham gum)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups blackberries

Cream the butter and 1 cup of the sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the milk and a mixture of the flour, salt and baking powder, mix well. Pour into a buttered 3-quart baking pan. Layer the blackberries over the top. Drizzle a mixture of 2 cups boiling water and the remaining 1 cup sugar over the blackberries. Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes or until top is golden brown. Yield: at least 12 servings.

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