AUGUST Feature Food: Blackberries
By: Suzanne Brett, RHN – Victoria, BC
Hi everyone! My sweet babe is due in a couple weeks, so this is the last month of posts for me until I have a baby with a somewhat regular sleeping schedule. So read up and take this time to review last years posts too! Don’t forget to comment and share!
We finally had a tad of rain…or shall I say a massive thunder storm, here in Victoria last week. Lightning hit just down the street from us! WHOA! It was fun! Out of that lovely storm, came bright juicy blackberries! Thank you rain, just what we needed after a drought.
As we know, many berries are known for being high in antioxidants. Antioxidant-rich foods are foods that are proven to reduce free-radical damage to our cells. These free-radicals can be disease (especially cancer) causing. Did you know, that blackberries are one of the highest in antioxidants and most available to us? Most places in Canada are flourishing with this invasive delicious bush. Don’t just walk by…make sure you carry a jar or a basket on your walks, just in case you run into some trail-side or road-side berries.
Blackberries, like many other berries are rich in nutrients and not so much in calories. So, munch away! The high amounts of vitamins and minerals like A, C, K, manganese, folate, magnesium and potassium make these berries particularly helpful in supporting our bones, tissues and mucous membranes, as well as the G.I. tract and the immune system, and our production of collagen production, iron and enzymes.
Not enough reason to eat them?…How about for lowering your cholesterol levels? Blood sugar control? Or for brain power?
Blackberries are an amazing brain, hormone and heart food whose flavanoids and high fiber help to increase blood flow to the heart and brain; therefore decreasing harmful inflammation that can lead to high cholesterol, memory loss and learning difficulty. Like many other berries, they are also known for decreasing insulin spikes and drops, helping balance blood sugar levels.
So, find a friend or take the family and go pick some local blackberries! If you end up with so many that you can’t just snack on them, try my tasty popsicle recipe:
Blackberry Fig Popsicles
So, I’ve been planning on making popsicles for when I’m in labor. Today, I finally had my chance. I made blackberry fig popsicles. I added lemon and used maple syrup as the sweetener so that I’d have a few extra electrolytes to increase my endurance. The same thing could be done for anyone who’s been working, playing or training hard, especially in the sun.
Feel free to use just blackberries and forget the figs, or use any other berry/fruit as well.
- 1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries
- 4 peeled fresh figs
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sweetener (maple syrup, honey, agave… your choice!)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (or less if you prefer them less tart)
- Heat water, sweetener and lemon juice in a small sauce pan over medium heat until slightly syrupy. Approx 15 mins.
- Purée the blackberries and figs in your blender.
- Strain the purée through a fine-mesh sieve. Press down with a spoon to push the juice through. You should be left with aprox. 2 cups of purée. Discard the seeds.
- Stir the lemon syrup into the purée.
- Spoon or pour the purée into your popscicle molds.
- I used these awesome silicone push pops (Figured they were less messy for holding during contractions 😉 )
- If you decide to use wooden popscicle sticks, make sure you have a place in your freezer where they can stand straight, so the sticks stay in place. Or freeze them half way (about 30 mins) and then insert the sticks to continue freezing.