There are many fruits for the summer but one that will take you back to your childhood if you are over 40 is blackberries.  You don’t see many growing wild these days but 30 years and back you could walk the dirt roads and pick gallons of the seedy fruit. Of course, you had to wash the road dust from the berries and you probably took home more than a few redbugs. 


In the middle of the 19th century cultivated varieties of blackberries were introduced into the United States. They soon “escaped” from the cultivation and hybridized with wild American species. The fruit became very popular in the 1800s.

The blackberry is a treat for young and old, but it doesn’t get much attention these days. Its’ nutritional value hasn’t changed; they were good for you then and are good for you now. Blackberries are a good source of fiber, antioxidants, potassium, vitamin C and A.
You can find the berry in the grocery stores or just grow them in your garden. Your local County Extension Office can give you some tips on how to grow blackberries.
Ripe berries will be fully colored (black), firm and plump. Store at room temperature or refrigerate in a single layer. Their value is best if used within a day or two of purchase. They have a few more days of shelf life when picked fresh from the garden. However, wash the berries only when ready to use to preserve nutritional value and freshness.


They are great with fresh fruit desserts, salads, and smoothies. One of the favorites is the blackberry cobbler or crisp with cream (fat free of course). Also you can modify your blackberry cobbler or crisp by reducing the sugar added by ¼ cup. The is a small change but it helps by reducing sugar intake.
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Submitted by Valerie Conner, Regional Extension Agent - Human Nutrition, Diet & Health,, 334-361-7273



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