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Our guide to summer fruits and vegetables is the source for what's in season now.

Season's Pick

Blackberries

It's a hallmark of summer — hands and mouth stained purple from snacking on blackberries to your heart's content. If you're doing your eating in the blackberry patch, there's the extra thrill of fantasizing that a black bear will lumber by. But the flavor burst is the same if you're sitting at the kitchen table. Blackberries have a magic sweet-tart taste and are incredibly juicy. The fruit grows throughout the country.

Blackberry season is May to August, depending on the region. Blackberries can be pricey to buy. They're actually one of the easiest fruits to grow, provided there's a sunny spot in your garden for this prickly bush, often called a bramble.


What to Look For

Look for firm berries with a rich, dark black color and a pleasing aroma. Bigger is better. The drupelets — the little sacs that make up the berry — should be large and plump. That way you know the fruit Peacheswasn't picked too early. Skip blackberries that have hulls, another sign they were picked before their time.

Blackberries should be an immediate pleasure. They don't travel well, so they are likely fully ripened and just hours from the farm when you buy them. You can keep them for a day or two. Store blackberries at room temperature or refrigerate in a single layer. Wait to wash your berries until just before eating.


Berry Rich in C

Blackberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber. They're also a good source of folate. Plus, next to blueberries, blackberries have one of the highest levels of anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant that may help the body fight aging, cancer, and heart disease, and improve vision.


In the Blackberry Patch

Cinnamon, lemon, honey, oranges, peaches, raspberries and strawberries are each sumptuous with blackberries. The fruit is a natural for desserts, and also makes fine vinegar, jam, or a splashy addition to a fruit salad.


Try blackberries in these FoodFit recipes:

Blackberry Jam
Blackberry Vinegar
Mixed Berry Smoothie


 

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