Seasonal Ingredient of the Week: Blackberries

From growing up in the countryside, blackberries are one of the first ingredients to come to mind when summer produce is being discussed. I have fond memories of spending afternoons picking baskets full of them straight from the brambles, hands stained purple from the juice. Luckily, they’re easy to come across in supermarkets, and can be found in abundance on the market stalls this time of the year, so a trip to the countryside is, although definitely recommended, not completely necessary.

Blackberries are packed full of vitamin-c to help boost your immune system as well as being lower in natural sugars than other fruits, making them a great, healthy choice. Being in season from early July to late September, they’re traditionally mixed with the first apples of the season to make a warm and comforting crumble as the days start to get cooler, but can also be enjoyed fresh during the warmer months.

To help you make the most of blackberry season, we’ve put together a few tips and tricks of how best to incorporate them into your meals, as well as the recipe for our healthy gluten, dairy and refined sugar free blackberry and apple crumble for a healthy slice of nostalgia!

 

TIPS

- The darker the blackberry the sweeter it will be - for the best flavour, try to look for shiny, plump blackberries that are completely black

- Fresh blackberries pair really well with light, creamy tastes - top your blackberries with coconut yoghurt or milk for a healthy snack

- Aside the the aforementioned crumbles, blackberries also go really well in galettes & pies which are a great choice when feeding a group

- For a delicious breakfast, try vanilla porridge topped with blackberries, toasted hazelnuts and honey

- Although blackberries tend to be used more in sweet dishes, they also work well in sauces or as a marinade for game such as quail or partridge. 


APPLE & BLACKBERRY CRUMBLE

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

- 4 apples, chopped
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp filtered water
- 3 cups fresh blackberries
- 2 cups gluten free oats
- ½ cup shelled hemp seeds
- 4 tbsp maple syrup
- 4 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract

METHOD

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF/gas mark 6) 
2. Add the chopped apples to a pan over a medium/high heat with 2 tbsp filtered water and cinnamon
3. Leave to cook for 5mins, stirring often, before adding the blackberries and cooking for a further 2 mins
4. Remove from the heat and add to an oven-proof dish
5. Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl with a spoon, until they start to form clusters
6. Sprinkle on top of the blackberry and apple mixture until completely covered
7. Bake in the oven for about half an hour, or until golden brown.