A perfect combination of sweet, tart, and almost tannic; blackberries are a juicy and refreshing summertime treat. 

bowlofblackberriesBlackberries are not technically a berry; rather they are an aggregate fruit, which means it grows around the ‘stem’ and each little rounded pocket is a drupe that contains its own tiny seed. In this way, they are actually similar to a pineapple. I think this is one reason I love blackberries, it takes me forever to eat them because I tend to want to chew each little seed. (: 

From a culinary perspective, blackberries are versatile, adding an interesting twist to dishes both sweet and savory. They make a great jam, pie, tart, and even wine. Or how about blackberry barbecue sauce, blackberries in salad, or even on a pizza? Delicious. Personally, I love to eat them raw just as a delicious and nutritious snack.

From a health perspective, blackberries are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and a wide variety of other beneficial phytonutrients. They are packed with vitamin C and have a decent amount of vitamins A, K, E, and B. They are a great resource for Omega 3 fatty acids, one cup contains over 400 mgs of Omega 3’s. They are also a great source of fiber and contain the natural sweetener xylitol, which research suggests help regulate blood sugar and insulin production.

blackberrycheesecake

Blackberries contain significant amounts of copper, manganese and other minerals that help maintain endocrine balance among other things. As for antioxidants? The blackberry is packed with them, quercetin, anthocyanins, kaempferol, and gallic acid; all which serve as protective mechanisms against systemic inflammation, oxidative stress and a wide variety of cancers. A variety of studies have been conducted on the blackberry revealing that its chemical compounds contribute to weight management, blood sugar balance, beneficial for peristalsis and healing to the intestinal lining. Blackberries are also antimicrobial and antimutagenic, with studies showing that they contribute to the suppression of tumors.  Summer is here, grab a handful of blackberries and enjoy! 

Or you can try this raw food blackberry cheesecake. (: 

Ingredients

Crust

  • 11/2 c. pecans
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt, divided in half

Filling

  • 1 c. blackberries
  • 1 c.  cashews, (soak overnight or at least 3 hours)
  • 1/2 c. coconut oil
  • ¼ c. maple syrup or honey or date sugar (I actually tend to leave out the sugar if the berries are sweet enough).

Blend the crust ingredients in a food processor until crumbly. Press into a pie plate and refrigerate. Puree the filling ingredients and scoop into the pie crust. Refrigerate until firm...serve and enjoy!