One of my favorite times of year in the Pacific Northwest is upon us. That's right...It's Blackberry Season! These non-native invasive species of berries can be found in ditches, along bike trails, lining river beds and creeping over the fence of my backyard like the ones in this picture.
I know they are considered a nuisance and are a PNW problem, but I love them nonetheless. I always let a few tendrils grow over the backyard fence to let me know when it is time to go harvest these delicious gems. They are typically only around for a few weeks and the berries ripen at various rates, so it is best to visit your local berry patch multiple times over the harvest season.
Nutritionally, blackberries are antioxidant powerhouses, including Vitamin C and specific polyphenols with health benefits. They contain a lot of fiber to boot. Get them while they last!
Blackberries are delicious straight from the vine or can be cooked, such as in the crisp recipe below. They also freeze well and are a lovely treat in the Winter months. To freeze, simply wash and dry the blackberries well, then spread in a single layer on a rimmed cookie sheet and place in the freezer. Once individually frozen, transfer to a large container or plastic freezer bag for enjoyment throughout the year. Try a handful in your morning oatmeal or Greek yogurt. Enjoy!
PNW Blackberry Crisp
· Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of square 8 x 8 inch pan.
· Pour in blackberries and sprinkle with chia seeds, zest and lemon juice.
· Mix remaining ingredients together and sprinkle over the blackberries.
· Bake for about 30 minutes or until the topping is golden.
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