Blackberries are in season from August through to October. They are an early Autumn berry despite their fantastic pairing with summery desserts or just lightly whipped double cream.
Add a couple of handfuls of these berries to a fruit crumble to warm you up on these colder evenings. Blackberries work well with rich meats, like duck or pork. They are pretty flavoursome, so can stand up to their strong flavours whilst bringing much needed acidity to cut through the fatty meat. You can also muddle them into cocktails for a stunning colour and flavour.
Blackberries help fight free radicals so might increase the body’s chances of avoiding cancer. These berries are also good at supporting the health of the liver, lowering the risk of diabetes and even decreasing blood pressure. Another useful feature of this fruit is that it will help your skin to recover from exposure to sunlight over the summer by preventing the breakdown of collagen. Blackberry is also a great source of fibre, and we all know how that benefits the digestive system. Try this blackberry smoothie to kick start your day.
Blackberries can easily be incorporated into salads, meaty main courses and puddings alike, but the nutrients and health benefits are most pronounced when they are eaten raw and fresh.
On a less scientific note, the blackberry is one of few foods that humans have consumed continuously for millennia and on a near-worldwide basis. During the World War II, British children even picked blackberries to send off to soldiers in the form of juice, as many believed this would keep them healthy. Also, if you like to go blackberry-picking yourselves, avoid doing so after October 11th, as the Devil claims all unpicked berries from this time, at least according to folklore.