Sweet and tart. Mounds of blackberries in the produce aisle is a sure sign of summer. Although blackberries are fresh and in season during the mid-summer months, frozen berries are as healthy and easy to use as fresh berries.

One cup of blackberries has only 60 calories, has zero fat, and is a good source of fiber (about 30% of the daily fiber recommendation), vitamin C (about 40% of the daily recommendation), vitamin K (helps with bone strength and healthy blood coagulation), phytochemicals, and antioxidants. The most potent phytochemicals present in blackberries are anthocyanins, flavonoids, and tannins, but they also have gallic acid, rutin, and ellagic acid. These antioxidants can decrease inflammation and protect us from a wide range of health conditions, such as osteoporosis, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

5 Health benefits 

  • Blackberry antioxidants can help fight inflammation.
  • Blackberries’ antioxidants can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and arteriosclerosis.
  • Blackberry phytochemicals have shown to reduce cognitive decline in adults and improve short-term memory and motor performance by reducing oxidative stress.
  • Immune boosting- Blackberries phytochemicals have shown antiviral and antibacterial properties that help kill oral bacteria.
  • Blackberry extracts have also exerted anticancer effects in lab and animal studies by modifying cell signaling pathways and suppressing tumor promotion factors.

How to store blackberries

  • Refrigerator: Store unwashed blackberries in the refrigerator in a container with a lid for 3 to 6 days. Discard blackberries that have turned orange; it means they have a fungal disease.
  • Freezer: To freeze, place rinsed blackberries on a paper towel-lined baking sheet in a single layer and freeze for 1 hour. Place in a container with a lid and freeze for up to 9 months.

Baking Hint

  • If you don’t have fresh berries, you can use frozen berries for baking by gently add frozen berries to the batter as the last step before baking. Do not thaw before using, or the juice and color will bleed or leak out.

The recipe of the week comes from Oregon Berries 

Gluten-Free Blackberry Coconut Bread

Ingredients

2 cups gluten-free baking flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp sea salt

1 tsp cinnamon

6 tbsp. unsalted grass-fed butter

¾ cup coconut sugar

2 eggs

1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract

1 cup plain full-fat yogurt

5 oz frozen berries blackberries

¼ cup coconut flakes, to garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking tin with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, sea salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In the base of a stand mixer, or a large bowl with a handheld mixer, cream together butter and sugar for 2 minutes. Add eggs, vanilla extract, and yogurt and beat until combined. Slowly add in flour mixture on low speed until well combined, and batter is thick.
  4. Carefully fold in frozen blackberries to batter.
  5. Pour batter into lined baking tin. Top with coconut flakes and gently press into batter to stick.
  6. Bake bread for 55-65 minutes, or until bread is golden and toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Remove from oven and let bread cool in tin for 5 minutes. Carefully remove parchment paper and loaf from tin and let cool on a baking rack. Slice and enjoy!

Notes

  • Leftover bread will keep at room temperature for two days, or refrigerated for up to 5 days. You can also freeze slices of this loaf for up to 3 months.
  • Please ensure that your gluten-free baking flour blend contains xanthan gum, a necessary stabilizer in this recipe.