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Blackberry

Blackberry is an edible clustered fruit, consisting of many small fruits, called drupes or druplets with a juicy core. The fruit has a fragile skin and is very dark purple in color. The fruit turns into deep red blackish color when it ripens. It is popularly used in the preparation of jams, desserts, crumbles, pies, and seedless jellies.  Blackberry fruit is native to the northern part of the old and new world. It is majorly found in the Eastern part of North America and towards the British Isle, Pacific coast, and Western Europe. The shrub grows to a height of 3m, which can be grown on hill sides, woods, and wastelands.

 

Culinary Uses

Blackberries are eaten raw as fresh fruit, however, there are many dishes that have the fruit as their primary ingredient. It is commonly used in the preparation of cakes, yogurt, jelly, ice creams, and jams.

It is sometimes used in the preparation of wine.

It is used to make fresh blackberry juice or blackberry concentrate.

 

Popular Recipes

Blackberry Sauce :  It is a very easy dish to make, which is prepared by putting the sugar and blackberries together in a pan and then sieving the cooked mixture through a sieve. It is then served hot or cold.

Blackberry Pie :  It is made of flour, sugar, blackberries, salt and lemon juice. The dessert tastes good and goes well with the blackberry sauce.

Blackberry Jam :  It is an easy recipe that is popular amongst people of all ages. It is made of blackberries, lemon, and sugar where the blackberries are heated with lemon juice until cooked and then the sugar is added to it.

Blackberry Frozen Yogurt : A tasty dessert to be served on summer afternoons, blackberry frozen yogurt is a flavorsome and easy recipe. It is made of yogurt, sugar, skimmed milk, and blackberries.

Blackberry Cake : The cake is made of sugar, eggs, blackberries, flour, baking powder, shortening, and cinnamon. The cake is easy to prepare and a preferred tea time snack.

Blackberry Pudding : This pudding is made of breadcrumbs, sugar, milk, blackberries, nutmeg, and cinnamon.  These ingredients are blended together and put in a baking dish to get the tasty and healthy pudding in minutes.

Blackberry Jelly :  Made of ripe blackberries, fruit pectin, and  sugar, this flavorsome jelly is most favored by children.

Blackberry Fluff:   Blackberry fluff is made of evaporated milk, gelatin, blackberries, and sugar.

Blackberry Smoothie :  Made with low-fat milk, blackberries, sugar, and ice cubes, this tasty drink is best for summer days and is favorite amongst people of all ages.

 

Nutritional Value

 

144 gm of blackberries consist of 62 calories, 6% vitamin A, 50% of vitamin C, 4% Iron, and 5% calcium. It is low in cholesterol, sodium, and saturated fat. It also consists of magnesium, dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin K, folate, copper, and potassium.  It has a high level of antioxidant due to tannins, ellagic acid, gallic acid, cyanidins, anthocyanins, and quercetin.  Per 100 gm of the fruit contain ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) value of 5347, which makes this fruit as one of the top ranked ORAC fruits.

 

Health Value

 

Blackberry has many health benefits and it provides soluble and insoluble fiber which helps in the smooth functioning of intestines. Due to this, the stool is bulky, avoiding constipation leading to a better digestion.  

Blackberries have known to fight cancer due to the phytochemical ellagic acid present in them. As per the American Cancer Society, phytochemical ellagic acid is one of the new promising treatments for cancer as during the initial stages of testing the treatment ellagic acid killed cancerous cells and malignant tumors in the bodies of animals.

The fruit is known to lower the cholesterol level in human bodies.

Since, the fruit contains vitamin C in good amount, it is known to fight cold.

The pectin and fiber present in blackberries improves the cardiovascular health by reducing the cholesterol levels in the body. Magnesium in the fruit helps relax the blood vessels, arteries, and allows oxygen rich blood to move easily to the heart. This further reduces the chances of heart attacks.

It also helps in preventing gout, which is caused by the increased levels of uric acid. Blackberries have high amount of vitamin C, which reduces uric acid in the blood, further leading to the prevention of gout.

 

Medicinal Use

The stem of blackberry fruit is used In herbal medicines for treating dysentery and diarrhea.

Blackberry fruit can be applied directly on acne and boils. Its leaves can be boiled, made into a paste and applied to skin conditions including rashes, and boils.

 

Trivia

 

  • Oregon in the United States is the biggest cultivator and producer of Blackberry, producing 56.1 million pounds on the land measuring 28km square.
  • Blackberry species - Rubus laciniatus, and Rubus armeniacus are considered serious weeds, and invasive species in Chile, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • The fruit has the highest amount of antioxidants in them due to polyphenolic compounds.
  • Blackberry can easily be grown in wasteland as it tolerates the poor land conditions.