Blackberries: local harvest, health benefits and a recipe!
It is that time of year again. The time of year when the days are longer, warmer, and berries are abundant! I love when the markets start carrying local strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. It really makes my heart swell!!
As much as I love these other delicious local berries, there is something special and fun about finding the perfect blackberry patch and picking your own.
After a SUPER dry spell here on the west coast the blackberries have popped up earlier than normal. One of the best harvest spots I've ever come across is located in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. Everything seems to grow better in these warm lands.
We hit the road with our buckets empty and spirits high. After collecting a couple pounds of big juicy berries the rainclouds rolled in and we got our first real rainfall in weeks! From the photo below you can tell the plants aren't the only ones happy about this.
Health Benefits of Blackberries
- The dark blue/purple colour of these berries ensures they are high in antioxidants which help combat cancer, inflammation, aging and neurological decline
- A rich source of vitamin C
- Low in calories, but rich in soluble and insoluble fibre
- A good source of vitamin K - This fat-soluble vitamin helps create bone proteins and the proteins used to activate blood clotting in the body. The University of Arkansas notes that the vitamin K in blackberries can help the elderly avoid fractures linked to osteoporosis
- Blackberries consist of many minerals such as potassium, manganese, copper and magnesium.
- They contain moderate levels of B-complex group of vitamins. With good amounts of pyridoxine, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and folic acid. These vitamins work as co-factors for enzymes that help metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats inside the human body. Yay for more energy!
Spa water can be made using many different ingredients. This is my delicious take on the typical cucumber/lemon spa water.
- Local blackberries (washed)
- Fresh mint
- Lemon (sliced)
Place all ingredients in a pitcher or large mason jar. Cover with cold water and let sit for at least 30 minutes.
To give the water more flavour you can muddle the ingredients with a wooden spoon. The water will turn a beautiful pink colour.
What are your favourite ingredients to infuse water with? Let me know in the comments below!