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Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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What's in season: blackberries

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The end of summer is synonymous with blackberries, which are in abundance across the UK until October. You can pick wild ones – often called brambles – yourself for free from hedgerows around the country, even in towns and cities.

 

Plump and juicy, the freshly picked wild varieties have a depth of flavour that’s rarely found in shop-bought varieties, which tend to be bigger and taste better when cooked.

 

Like other berries, blackberries are packed with anti-oxidants, are rich in fibre and bursting with vitamin C. 

 

Here are our top tips on buying, storing, preparing and eating blackberries. 

Buying and storing

  • Blackberries grow as red fruit, before turning a dark purple when they’re ripe and ready to be picked. They don’t ripen once picked.Blackberries grow as red fruit, before turning a dark purple when they’re ripe and ready to be picked. They don’t ripen once picked.
  • Whether they’re wild or cultivated, blackberries should be plump, shiny and tender – but they’re easily damaged, so handle with care. If you’re buying a punnet, check underneath. If it’s stained with juice then the berries in the lower half of the punnet have probably been crushed.Whether they’re wild or cultivated, blackberries should be plump, shiny and tender – but they’re easily damaged, so handle with care. If you’re buying a punnet, check underneath. If it’s stained with juice then the berries in the lower half of the punnet have probably been crushed.
  • Blackberries don’t keep well for more than a couple of days from when they’re picked or bought. Arrange on a plate of kitchen paper, ensuring they’re not touching, and store in the fridge to keep them fresh.
  • Wash, dry and freeze on a plate and then transfer to freezer bags, to have a supply for the winter months.

Tips for preparing

  • If you’ve put the blackberries in the fridge, remove around an hour before you plan to eat them – they’re at their best when eaten at room temperature.
  • Wash thoroughly before use but be careful when rinsing them – they’re delicate and bruise easily.
  • Blackberries are versatile little fruits, and work just as well in savoury dishes as they do in sweet bakes. Their tart flavour complements rich meats, like lamb, but they also hold their own in salads.

5 ways with blackberries

  1. Add to a salad for a little bite.
  2. Eat raw with a spoonful of 0 per cent fat Greek-style yogurt.
  3. Mix with raspberries and blueberries and enjoy on top of porridge.
  4. Pair with chopped apples for a classic, comforting crumble or pie.
  5. Make your own chutney or jam. 

Recipes for you to try:

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Blackberry and apple cake

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Blackberry upside down puddings

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How to cook: apple and blackberry crumble

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