Top 5 Ways to Use Blackberries
What could be better than a handful of glistening, deep-purple blackberries, perfectly sweet and ripe in the month of August? You probably have memories of fighting the bees to pick blackberries on the summer vines, their flowery-sweet smell filling your nostrils, and purple-black juice staining your fingers (I know I do). But these gem-like berries offer much more than just good taste.
Blackberries contain properties that have been associated with protection against heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Because of their high fiber content, eating blackberries can be extremely filling and can help keep your blood sugars stable. Their deep purple pigments come from a polyphenol called anthocyanin, which functions as a natural antioxidant because it protects cells from free radical damage. Blackberries are a low-carbohydrate fruit just jam-packed with great nutrients. Snacking on 1 cup of blackberries provides you with only 62 calories and 15 grams of carbohydrate, but it will also reap you 8 grams of fiber, 50% DV for vitamin C, 47% DV for manganese, and 36% DV for vitamin K.
You just won’t believe how many things you can do with blackberries, too! These gorgeous berries are perfect for desserts, salads, baked goods, marinades, and even cocktails, and are stunning show-stoppers as either a main ingredient or a simple garnish.
Check out these Top 5 Ways to Use Blackberries to unleash the purple-black power into your life. And make sure to check out my 5 Ways to Enjoy Summer Berries video today!
Sharon Palmer, The Plant-Powered Dietitian, shares her 5 favorite plant-based (vegan) recipes for enjoying summer berries in all their glory! Get the full recipes on the site at SharonPalmer.com and in her book Plant-Powered for Life. Video Editor: Christian Javryd Editing
Posted by Sharon Palmer: The Plant-Powered Dietitian on Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Top 5 Ways to Use Blackberries
1. Top Your Favorite Power Bowl with Blackberries. Power bowls have become more and more popular as an easy and fun way to create healthy, delicious meals. Similar to a composed salad, power bowls are supplemented with nutrient-rich grains, nuts, seeds, fruits or vegetables, and a healthy protein to provide energy to sustain you throughout your day. Try making this Berry Quinoa Power Bowl to start your morning off right!
2. Make a Crumble Bar. Ooey, gooey crumble bars are quick to make and can be an instant favorite at any gathering. Plus a healthy vegan version is good enough for a snack or even breakfast, when it consists of whole fruit, whole grain oats, whole wheat flour, and hemp seeds. Try my classic recipe for Red Raspberry Crumble Bars, which calls for fresh raspberries, but it works great with any berry, including blackberries.
3. Infuse Seltzer Water with Blackberries. As we are well into summer, a great way to stay hydrated is mixing blackberries with ice cold, sugar-free club soda or mineral water, topped with herbs and citrus slices. Just add blackberries, herbs such as mint or basil, and wedges of lemon, grapefruit or lime into a pitcher of bubbly water and mix! You can even smash them to get a more intense flavor!
4. Toss Blackberries into Your Next Salad. A cool salad is such a nice respite on a warm day, and these berries add a pop of color, texture, and sweetness to the mix. You can even make a balsamic vinaigrette by mixing mashed blackberries with balsamic vinegar and EVOO to toss into your salad greens. Check out my Forest Berry Salad from Plant-Powered for Life for inspiration.
5. Add Them to Chia Pudding. Chia seed pudding is a cold, creamy dessert made when sweetened liquid is thickened with chia seeds until a pudding-like texture is achieved. It’s easy—just a few ingredients does the trick. Try my Super Berry Soy Chia Pudding recipe and top it with fresh berries and you would not be sorry!
For more inspiration on using plant-powered produce, check out the following:
Image: Blackberries at the Ojai farmers market.
, Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN
Written by Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN with Jenny Nguyen, Dietetic Intern