June 25, 2012

Canning Blackberries


Having just barely gotten past our Blueberry season, the Blackberries are ripening!  These pictured here are the thornless and tame blackberries that are famous for getting bigger than your thumb.  We have gotten truly spoiled with this variety.  

A few weeks back, even before blueberry season was over, a dear friend of ours called to invite us to pick his wild blackberries on his homestead.  I've never seen so many wild blackberries!  There must've been acres of them.  You could pick all week and not be able to tell you picked at all!  We did not hesitate to jump at the chance.  They are delicious!  I have to admit, they are more sweet than these tame ones pictured here.  The only problem with the wild ones is that we braved the thorns and the ticks and the chiggers.  For those of you in the northern territories, chiggers are nasty little critters that you will never forget if you get in a mess of them.  They'll turn your ankle so raw before you ever know what bit ya!

Needless to say, after two trips to the wild blackberry patch to get the most tastiest blackberries I've ever eaten, three nasty tick bites and one round of antibiotics, I think we'll stick to the tame blackberries growing right here on our own homestead.  However, I must say thank you to our dear friend who not only opened his fields to our family, but also fixed us an extremely delicious homegrown meal of grilled steak and chicken fajitas, before we braved the wilds.


My favorite thing to do with blackberries is to flash freeze them on a cookie sheet and then drop them into a labeled freezer bag for future smoothie use.  While looking for new blackberry smoothies recipes, I came across some yummy sounding ones I thought I'd share with you.  



Doesn't this one look delicious??  It is a Blackberry Banana Mint Smoothie from Eat Good 4 Life blog.  We grow all kinds of mint and I'm always excited to find a new recipe that I can use the mint in.  I'll be mixing this one up as soon as this post is finished.


Here is a simple but good Blackberry Banana Smoothie recipe from Taste of Home that only has 4 ingredients.  What an easy breakfast!


Cooking the blackberries down for canning blackberry jam, they look a little more like raspberries than blackberries.  Click the Blackberry Jam Recipe link for my EASY tried and true recipe that we make every year.


The recipe uses 7 quarts of blackberries.  You may not want to make that much at one time, so just figure 1 cup of sugar for every quart of blackberries.  You'll never go back to store bought jam!



Here is a little added bonus recipe, one that I found in searching for new canning recipes.  It is called Maple-Brown Sugar-Bourbon-Blackberries.  YUM!!  Anything that uses brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, and bourbon......count me in.  I do not usually use alcohol unless marinating meat with red wine, but this sounds really good and the alcohol will cook off.  You can find the complete recipe at Life Currents blog.

Now it's your turn!  Tell me what your favorite thing to do with blackberries is!  Leave me a link to your favorite post on blackberries.  

Later this week we will be heading to another friend's orchard to pick peaches.....I can't wait!  The thought of popping open a jar of fresh peaches at the dinner table this winter is pushing me to pick as many bushels as possible!  

Happy Canning!







6 comments:

  1. My goodness you have been busy! Everything looks wonderful : ) CQ

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  2. We like these smoothies! We also like to make jelly with our berries!

    http://www.ourhappyhomestead-freeman.blogspot.com/2012/04/our-first-dewberries.html

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    Replies
    1. Delicious looking recipe! I really need to start making more smoothies with Kefir. That leads me to the fact that I need to start making my own kefir.......
      Thanks for sharing!!

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  3. You are one busy lady all right! And it sounds like everything is ripening at once down there. Yes, I know about chiggers, I still have a scar from one from way back in my college days in MO. The Blackberries look so delicious!!! Sorry, I don't have any recipes, or berries, but your post makes me want to find some blackberries and steal your recipes. :) Bon Appetit

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  4. Blackberry jam and blackberry/wineberry jelly (yum-our favorite!) and blackberry dumplings!

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  5. Sharon, I refuse to pick wild blackberries here in NW Arkansas because of the chiggers and a few rattlesnakes our neighbor found in their patch. I'm sticking to our tame, thornless ones and they are very sweet this year despite the drought we are experiencing. I also flash freeze what I don't use to make cobblers and snack bars. Then when the weather is cool, I make the jams and jellies when the warmth makes the canning kitchen cozy.

    I do have a recipe from a friend's blog that is getting to be my husband's go to snack. Blackberry breakfast bars........... Sorry I do NOT know how to 'link'. http://www.createdbycj.com/recipes/2012/6/12/blackberry-breakfast-bars.html This did copy and paste for me. Guess I need to learn how to 'link' to things I want to pass on.

    We are pumping water from our spring fed pond to keep our garden going and it's looking pretty good. Green beans won't be long in getting ready.

    Enjoy God's bounty.
    Gwynette

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