Did you know blackberries are an excellent source of dietary fiber and vitamin C? Just one cup has approximately 60 calories, 7 grams or 1/3 daily recommendation for dietary fiber, and one-half the daily recommendation for vitamin C.The drupelet (cluster of fruit) seeds inside each helps to boost fiber content. Blackberries are also a good source of vitamin K. They are packed with antioxidants which help protect our cells from damage and prevent diseases like cancer.
Blackberries are native to Louisiana.Besides grocery stores, you can find them at Pick-Your-Owns, roadside,and farmers’ markets from June through August. Some varieties produce blackberries from September through November.
When purchasing blackberries, look for berries that are firm, plump, and shiny with no bruises or leaking. A dull appearance or soft juicy berry means it is old. Stains on the container indicate crushed or bruised fruit. If picking your own, harvest when blackberries are entirely black. They will not ripen after they are picked.Immediately cool blackberries by storing in your refrigerator.Gently handle the berries to avoid bruising and place them in a shallow container to allow air to circulate and prevent crushing. Refrigerate blackberries for 3- 6 days;washing before using. To freeze blackberries: place rinsed berries on a paper towel- lined baking sheet in a single layer and freeze for one hour. Place berries in a container with a lid and freeze up to nine months.
Looking for new blackberry recipes? Why not try this Blackberry Balsamic Chicken Wraps
For the chicken:Prepare a quick marinade by combining the chicken with the balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper and marinade in a sealed plastic bag or bowl for at least 15 minutes.
Grill the chicken for approximately 5-8 minutes per side depending on thickness, grill until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Allow the chicken to cool and then slice into thin strips.
For the blackberry sauce: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and roast the blackberries for 15-18 minutes until the berries expel their juices. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
In a food processor, combine the berries with honey and a squeeze of lemon juice and blend until smooth. If you would prefer to strain the seeds, you can do so through a fine sieve. Keep covered in refrigerator.
To prepare the wraps: Layer the chicken together with your arugula and avocado and drizzle with the prepared blackberry sauce, finish off with a sprinkle of goat cheese. Keep refrigerated before serving.
Recipe and Photo Source: www.beyondfrosting.com
LSU AgCenter Publication #1553