Heart Smart Foods: Blackberries

Blackberries are a fruit suited for Texas landscapes. Not only are blackberries a southern
staple for our favorite summertime desserts, but blackberries are also easy to grow in Texas
gardens because they tolerate the hot summer months and bear fruit throughout the spring and
early summer. Some new varieties may even bear fruit in the fall, but these have not been
thoroughly tested in Texas. Blackberries grow best when planted in well-drained soil. If you are
planting blackberries in soil drains slowly, plant the blackberries on raised beds or berms
(mounded planting rows), which will enable the soil to dry faster. Harvesting blackberries is
unique from other fruits, in that blackberries are harvested by hand rather than by machine in
commercial production settings. Blackberries are ready to be harvested when the berries turn
from a bright red to a dull dark black color. Blackberries do not continue to ripen after being
picked; their flavor is at its peak when harvested at the right time. Blackberries should be
refrigerated after harvest to prevent softening.

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service offers more information on everything from
planting and trellising blackberry plants, to fertilizing and marketing blackberries. Find more
information at https://agrilifeextension.tamu.edu/library/farming/texas-fruit-and-nut-production-

Blackberries are a rich source of fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C and manganese, along with
many other vitamins and minerals. Because of their high levels of antioxidants, blackberries may
aid boosting brain health, and can help control blood sugar because of their low glycemic index.
Try to add blackberries to your plate this summer! Blackberries are a sweet addition to a
breakfast yogurt parfait or oatmeal bowl, they are great as a snack with a handful of nuts or seeds
and can be an exciting addition to anything from jams and jellies to salads and sauces!

AgriLife Extension’s Dinner Tonight has great recipes using blackberries, like Blackberry
Chipotle Chicken and Fruit Clafoutis. For more recipes using blackberries and other wholesome
ingredients, visit dinnertonight.tamu.edu/.

Contact: Dr. Larry Stein

Phone: 830.278.9151

Email: Larry.Stein@ag.tamu.edu


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