Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!
Nutritional and Other Information
About Blacberries from
the Barren County Farmers' Market

Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!

Blackberries are a popular fruit in jams, jellies cnd cakes just to mention a few of their uses. They are available in early summer. If you are buying local wild blackberries, chances are they will be a little pricey. They are hard to pick because of thorns, weeds, snakes etc., and they are smaller than tame berries. But some people swear they are a lot better and will not eat tame berries.

There is a superstition in the UK saying that blackberries should not be picked after September 15th as the devil has claimed them, and has left his mark on them. There may be some truth behind this legend, as after this date, the weather gets wetter and cooler and this often allows the fruit to become infected by various molds such as Botrytis, which give the fruit an unpleasant flavor and may be toxic.

Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!

Selecting a quality product

When you buy berries in a store, look for ripe, colorful, yet firm berries, with no sign of mold or mushy spots. Blackberries should have a slight shine to them, if dull, they are usually old.

Picking your own berries is a good option. The quality is much better than any store, when you choose the fruit yourself and get it fresh from the plant. It looks and tastes better. It's is healthier, too, because it is fresher.

The costs are usually substantially less because the farmer doesn't need to pay farm hands to pick, and he usually has no packaging or shipping costs. And if you plan to can or preserve any jam, fruit or vegetables, this is the best way to buy. Some people take their whole families and make a day of it.

Gently wash the berries before you serve them. Berries can also be found in the frozen foods section of the grocery store. Once they thaw, they will not be as firm as freshly picked berries, but they will still contain all the nutritional benefits of fresh berries.

Tips on Storage

Berries don't store very well so prepare to use them soon after purchasing. Never wash them before putting them in the refrigerator. It will only serve to hasten spoilage or molding.

Honorable Mention

Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!

A boysenberry is a cross among a blackberry, red raspberry and loganberry. It was created by Rudolph Boysen, and first commercially cultivated by Walter Knott. In the late 1920s, George Darrow of the USDA began tracking down reports of a large, reddish-purple berry that had been grown by a man named Rudolf Boysen in Napa, California. He enlisted the help of Walter Knott, a Southern California farmer known as something of a berry expert. Knott hadn't heard of the new berry, but agreed to help Darrow in his search.

The pair soon learned that Rudolf Boysen had abandoned his growing experiments several years earlier and sold his farm. Undaunted by this news, Darrow and Knott headed out to Boysen's old farm, where they found several frail vines surviving in a field choked with weeds. They transplanted the vines to Knott's farm where he nurtured them back to fruit-bearing health. Walter Knott began selling the berries at his farm stand in 1935 and soon noticed that people kept returning to buy the large tasty berries. When asked what they were called, Knott said, "Boysenberries". As their popularity grew, Mrs. Knott began making preserves which ultimately made Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California world famous.


Blackberry Grunt

---For The Berries---

6 cups fresh blackberries
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

---For The Dumpling Dough---

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbsps butter; melted
1/2 c buttermilk or more as needed

Place the berry mixture in a deep 8 or 9-inch skillet and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. While berries are cooking, make the dumpling dough: In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in the melted butter. Add enough of the buttermilk to form a soft, sticky dough that is slightly wetter than a biscuit dough. Cover the skillet with the berries in it and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a steady simmer, uncover, and spoon the dough over the fruit, forming small dumplings. Sprinkle the dumplings lightly with the cinnamon sugar. Tightly cover the skillet with the lid or a sheet of foil and steam the mixture over medium-low heat, without opening the lid, until the dumplings set and the surface is dry when touched with a fingertip, usually about 15 minutes.

To serve: Spoon the warm grunt into serving bowls with top with whipped cream or ice cream.

Yield: 4-6 servings

Blackberry Jam Bars

1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup quick-cooking oats; uncooked
3/4 cup blackberry jam

Cream butter; gradually add sugar, beating well at medium speed of an electric mixer. Combine flour, soda, and salt; add to creamed mixture, mixing well. Stir in oats.

Press half of mixture into a lightly greased 8-inch square pan. Top mixture with jam, spreading to within 1/4-inch of edge. Press remaining crumb mixture firmly on top. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool and cut into bars. YIELD: About 2 dozen.

Blackberry Coffee Cake

3 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup strawberry preserves
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup nuts
1/2 cup milk
1 pack blackberry muffin mix

Cream together cheese & sugar. Stir in preserves, coconut, nuts & milk. Then add muffin mix, stirring just to mix. Pour into greased, round 9" cake pan. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or unitl done. The top can be sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Blackberry Pudding

Yield: 4 Servings

1 1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp butter
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup milk
Sweetened blackberries or cherries
Cream 1/2 cup sugar and butter; blend in flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in milk; pour into greased 8 x 8 inch baking dish. Cover with blackberries. Bake at 325 to 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Sprinkle top with remaining sugar; bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer.

Skillet Blackberries And Dumplings

1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp plus 1 cup sugar
1 lg egg
2/3 cup buttermilk
3 tbsp butter
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 qt fresh; canned or frozen blackberries

In a small bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 2 teaspoons sugar together. In a large bowl combine the egg yolk, buttermilk, 2 tables butter, nutmeg, and mix well. Add the set ingredients to the dry ingredients alternating dry with wet, mixing after each addition until just barely combined. (do not over mix) beat the egg white in small bowl until soft peaks form. gently fold into the batter. Use the remaining tablespoon of butter to grease a deep skillet, I like a cast iron skillet for this, 10 inches wide. Drop large spoonfuls of the dumpling batter into the skillet and cook, about 5 or 6 at a time, over medium-high heat, turning once,until both sides are browned, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove from skillet and set aside. Continue this process until all the batter has been used up. Pour the blackberries into the same skillet. Add the remaining cup of sugar or less to YOUR taste and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, place pan-fried dumplings on top and cook for 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Boysenberry Syrup Pie

Yield: 8 Servings

1 cup boysenberry syrup
1 cup water
3 tbsp cornstarch
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp butter
1 Nilla Wafer pie crust
2 egg whites
1 tbsp boysenberry syrup

Combine syrup, water, and corstarch and bring to a boil, stirring until thick. Remove from heat. Beat egg yolks, add a bit of the hot syrup mixture to the yolks, whisking constantly. Add the yolk mixture to the hot syrup and reheat until pudding consistency. Add the butter, and stir until melted. Cool slightly. Pour into pie crust. Beat egg whites stiff, adding slowly the tablespoon of syrup. If soft peaks do not form, add a little more syrup. Pile on pie and place in 400 F oven until peaks have browned.

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