Colorful Cooking: It’s thyme for blackberries
Berries are abundant in the grocery stores and now is the time they start going on sale. One overlooked berry, in my opinion, is the blackberry. Memories take me back to summertime in Maine where this bramble grows wild and is transformed into delicious desserts like pies, ice cream and tarts. We used to pick this tasty fruit and sell it roadside to make ice cream money.
At Colorful Cooking, we always add fruits and vegetables to meals. Here we use the blackberry to make a savory sauce. Spoon the sauce on grilled pork loin, chicken or salmon and you will elevate the taste of your meal and add a lot of vitamins and minerals.
Blackberries are chocked full of vitamins E, C and K, folate and copper. One cup of blackberries has 50 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C, which helps strengthen healthy tissue, boost immunity and helps the body absorb iron.
The berries are also a good source of dietary fiber and manganese. Blackberries are considered one of the best antioxidants you can consume. Antioxidants are protective chemicals that slows the rate of damaging oxidation that occurs in the body.
When purchasing berries, be sure they are black in color and not mushy or bruised. All berries are highly perishable and should be eaten within a few days of purchase. Experts encourage purchasing organic berries as they hold onto a lot of pesticides, but if the price tag is too high for organic, buy conventional and rinse them well.
Rinse berries right before you eat them. My method is to place them in my hand, run them under cool water and then place them on a paper towel to air dry. They taste best at room temperature so this cleaning method works great for both health and flavor.
When making this blackberry sauce, a roux is used as a thickener. A roux is an equal mixture of fat (oil or butter) and flour. A roux is the base of many sauces and soups and is really simple to make. Once you melt the butter, using a whisk slowly stir in the flour until a paste appears. Then, slowly add the strained blackberry juices to the roux and magically a thicker sauce will be created.
Tracy Miller adds fruits and veggies to all her meals. She teaches culinary classes at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards and shares recipes on TV8’s Good Morning Vail. To contact her email Tracy@colorfulcooking.com or log onto Colorfulcooking.com.