Enjoy Fresh and Healthy Blackberries: A Nutritious Treat for Everyone!

Blackberries are a delightful and tasty gift from nature, filled with vibrant colors and bursting flavors. From June to October, these juicy fruits grace our tables, bringing a range of health benefits. Blackberries are a delicious treat worth exploring, packed with essential nutrients, vitamins, and fiber. In this article, we’ll dive into the nutritional value of blackberries, tips for selecting and storing them, and creative ways to incorporate these gems into your meals.

Nutrition-Packed Powerhouses: When it comes to nutrition, blackberries are a true powerhouse. With just 35 calories and zero fat in a half-cup serving of raw berries, blackberries offer an abundance of potassium, fiber, and vitamins. These luscious fruits stand out with high levels of vitamins C, K, and E. Not only are blackberries low in sugar, but they also contain beneficial phytochemicals and antioxidants. These non-nutrient components are believed to reduce the risk of chronic diseases and may help in the fight against cancer. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, it is recommended to consume 2 cups of fruits per day. Blackberries are a fantastic way to meet this goal. 

Selecting the Best: When choosing fresh blackberries, look for shiny fruits without bruises or leaks. Ensure they are plump, uniformly colored, and free from stems, leaves, mold, bruises, and excess moisture. Ripe blackberries are black in color, slightly softened, and sweetened. Avoid berries with a dull appearance or a soft, juicy texture, as they may indicate aged fruit. Check containers for stains, which suggest crushed or bruised berries. Remember these tips to pick the best blackberries for your enjoyment.

Storage Tips: Since blackberries are highly perishable, proper storage is essential. Keep unwashed and covered blackberries in the refrigerator, using them within 3-6 days. It’s best to wash them just before use. To extend their shelf life, store covered containers of blackberries in a cool, moist area of the refrigerator, such as the hydrator. Remember to consume blackberries within the recommended timeframe for optimal freshness.

Preserving the Harvest: If you have an abundance of blackberries, you can preserve them through canning, freezing, or turning them into delicious jams and jellies. For more information on these preservation methods, reach out to your local County Extension Office.

Creative Culinary Adventures: Blackberries are incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed in various ways. Add them to your favorite recipes or savor them fresh. Create delightful toppings by pureeing blackberries and using the sauce over peaches, ice cream, or frozen yogurt. Sprinkle a handful of fresh blackberries and nuts onto hot or cold cereals, or incorporate them into parfaits with plain nonfat yogurt and granola. Bake blackberries into muffins or cobblers, or combine them with other fruits for a refreshing salad or compote.

Blackberries not only provide a burst of flavor but also offer a wide array of health benefits. With their low-calorie count, rich nutritional profile, and abundance of antioxidants, blackberries are a nutritious treat that can be enjoyed by everyone. So, seize the opportunity to select, store, and savor these juicy gems for a delightful culinary experience that enhances your well-being and tantalizes your taste buds.

Source: LaToya Drake, Program Coordinator, KY Nutrition Education Program, University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service
Check out these tips for growing blackberries in Kentucky from Fayette County Cooperative Extension: