Everyone always says that berries are good for you, but how? Blackberries contain a whole host of beneficial compounds, including antioxidants. Although the blueberry is the superstar of antioxidants, the blackberry is not far behind. 1 cup of blackberries has an antioxidant capacity of 7700, compared to 9000 in blueberries. Blackberries still remain in the top 10 highest antioxidant foods. Why are antioxidants so good? They help prevent and repair oxidative stress in the body, which can be a precursor to cancer and other degenerative diseases. In addition, blackberries are great sources of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese, and also are a source of omega-3. Omega-3 helps to reduce inflammation, vitamin K is used to help clot blood when there is an open wound, manganese helps the body utilize key nutrients such as biotin and choline, while vitamin C acts as an additional antioxidant. Just 1 cup offers so much! And to top it off, in the summer month, blackberries are EVERYWHERE FOR FREE. Just make sure to pick berries aways from high traffic zones, and to rinse them thoroughly prior to use. You can even freeze them for later.
Blackberry and Red Wine Jam
Makes 4 small mason jars or 2 pint sized mason jars
6 cups rinsed blackberries
12 medjool dates, pitted and soaked for at least 30 minutes
1/2 cup red wine (I used cabernet sauvignon)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1. Put blackberries and red wine into a large saucepan and heat until boiling. Reduce heat to a steady simmer.
2. With a large wooden spoon crush the blackberries and stir often. Allow the berries to break down completely and the liquid to reduce.
3. Meanwhile, place dates into a food processor, and discard the soaking water. Process until a smooth paste is formed.
4. Add the date paste and lemon juice to the blackberry and wine mixture and stir well. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes while stirring often. Do not let it burn on the bottom!
5. Meanwhile bring a large pot with mason jars and a little water to a boil. Place a lid on top to keep steam in. This will sterilize your jars.6. Pour the hot jam liquid into sterilized jars and top with clean lids. Place on counter top until the lids "pop" inward. They can now be stored safely for later use.
Side Note: The dates not only sweeten the jam but also help create a spreadable consistency like pectin.
ReferencesWorlds Healthiest Foods: Vitamin C, Manganese
Nutrition Data: Blackberries