Storing and Using Blackberries

Here are some tips on storing blackberries, as well as a few easy recipes.
tips on storing blackberries and recipes

tips on storing blackberries and recipes

Figure B


To store blackberries, put them in a shallow container and place them in a cool spot or in the refrigerator as soon as you can after picking. Fresh blackberries are very perishable and should be eaten or frozen with two or three days of picking.

Blackberries freeze well, and frozen berries can be used for making ice creams, sherbets, pies or dessert sauces. To freeze them, just arrange them in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Put the cookie sheet in the freezer for an hour or two, then pour the frozen berries into a large plastic bag or container. Frozen, they'll keep for as long as 10 months.

Blackberries are great by themselves or with a little bit of sugar. You could also layer them with yogurt and granola for a pretty and healthy dessert.

Another quick and healthy dish is a mixed berry salad. It's a combination of blackberries, strawberries and cantaloupe tossed with yogurt, lime juice and mint. You can make this salad with blackberries and a whole variety of other fruits – from grapes to peaches to cherries.

Mixed Berry Salad
Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchens.
Recipe © 2004 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved.

2 Tbsp. low-fat artificially sweetened fruit yogurt (try key lime or lemon)
juice of 1/2 lime (about 1 Tbsp.)
1 Tbsp. fresh mint leaves, torn
1 c. cubed cantaloupe
4 medium strawberries, stemmed and quartered
1/4 c. raspberries or blackberries
1/4 c. blueberries

Whisk the yogurt, lime juice and mint together in a medium bowl. Add the fruit and toss to combine. Serve.

Frozen Fruit Smoothie
Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchens.
Recipe © 2003 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved.
You can substitute blackberries for raspberries in most any recipe, and this one is no exception.

1 frozen banana, peeled and sliced
2 c. frozen strawberries, raspberries or cherries
1 c. milk
1/2 c. plain or vanilla yogurt
1/2 c. freshly squeezed orange juice
2 to 3 Tbsp. honey or to taste

Put all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.
Cook's note: For nondairy smoothies, substitute 1 c. rice milk for the milk and yogurt, or use soy yogurt or milk instead of dairy.

French Toast With Mixed Berries
Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchens.
Recipe © 2001 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved.
Substitute blackberries for raspberries in the marinated berries section.

French Toast
2 c. half-and-half or milk
three 3" cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
6 large eggs
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 tsp. sugar
1 baguette (French bread), about 2' long
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
confectioners' sugar
Marinated Berries, recipe follows

In a small saucepan, heat the half-and-half with the cinnamon, just until bubbles form around the side of the pan. Remove from the heat; set aside to steep for 30 minutes.
In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the nutmeg and sugar. Strain the half-and-half into the eggs and discard the cinnamon pieces. Whisk to make a smooth batter.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Slice the bread with a serrated knife on the diagonal, into 18 1"-thick pieces.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add half the butter. Dip 9 of the bread slices into the batter and add to the skillet. Cook the slices, turning once, until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the toasts to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bread. Bake until the toasts are warmed through and slightly puffy, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Divide the toast on large plates and dust with confectioners' sugar. Top with the berries and serve immediately.

Marinated Berries

2 Tbsp. sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, and seeds scraped out with a knife and reserved
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
grated zest of 1/2 orange
1 c. water
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 pint raspberries
1/2 pint blueberries, rinsed
1/2 pint strawberries, rinsed, tops trimmed, halved or quartered, if large

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, citrus zests, and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer very gently until syrupy, about 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the citrus juices. Combine the berries in a bowl. Strain the warm syrup over the berries and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. Serve.

Yield: 6 servings.

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