Mother Nature is donning her autumn cloak but the sunny rays of summer are hanging on, just like the last few juicy blackberries remaining on the brambles. Pick them before they go!
Blackberries are perfect in fruit salads and smoothies, vinegar, jam (make it with chia seed and less sugar if you don't want the high sugar content), with yoghurt on your breakfast granola and of course combined with seasonal apples in a warming autumn crumble or pie. Lovely just eaten as a snack but they don't last long once picked. They freeze really well - give them a rinse and lay out on a baking tray, put in the freezer and once frozen bag them up until you need them.
Blackberries are high in vitamins and minerals, contain potent beneficial antioxidants and fibre, so they are deserving of the 'superfood' label. Berries generally have been the subject of research into brain health and are thought to influence the way neurons communicate. Other potential benefits include helping to calm inflammation and supporting heart health. Just a dozen little blackberries would count as one of your 'five a day'. The blackberries are made up of many little segments called drupelets and blackberry seed oil is sold as a potent skin remedy. As the seeds contain a rich source of vitamins C and E, the oil is beneficial for skin regeneration and healing.
So, put on your old jumper (no good saving money on berries but bramble-ripping your favourite coat), find yourself a container and tread your way out to a lovely countryside hedgerow then forage some organic superfood for free. Taking a walking stick can help you hook down the higher branches - always loaded but just out of reach. Listen to the birds, feel the sun on your back, eat a few berries on the way home and all will be good with the world...Until October 11th that is, because tradition has it that there is some underhand blackberry bush magic going on once we get to Michaelmas Day. Likely to be an ancient warning that once this day comes, flies are starting to get to the fruits and, well, uck so pick them soon.