Blackberries (black raspberries) are also known as black caps. They are full of anthocyanins which are powerful antioxidants. Besides their health benefits they are a flavorful addition to any recipe.

How to Select

There are two types of blackberries to know about: thorny and thornless. The thornless are easier to pick, but some people claim the thorny varieties are sweeter. With the thorny plants, you want to reach into the plant in the gaps, so you don't need to touch anything but the berry you're after, avoiding the thorns. A ripe blackberry is deep black with a plump, full feel. It will pull free from the plant with only a slight tug. If the berry is red or purple, it's not ripe yet.

How to Store

DON'T wash the berries until you are ready to use them or freeze them. Washing makes them more prone to spoiling. Pour them out into shallow pans and remove any mushed, soft or rotting berries. Put a couple of days supply into the fridge, wash off the others, drain them and freeze them up! Blackberries are less perishable than blueberries or strawberries, but refrigerate them as soon as possible after picking. Temperatures between 34 F and 38 F are best, but, be careful not to freeze the blackberries while they are in the fridge. Even under ideal conditions blackberries will only keep for a week in a refrigerator, so for best flavor and texture, use them as soon as possible after purchase

How to Prepare

Use with granola and yogurt in a parfait, bake them in a pie, or use them for a jam or sauce.

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