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Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Using the Frozen Blackberries We Foraged Last Summer: Blackberry Gelatin

Here's another way we're keeping our fresh produce purchases down this winter -- we're using the frozen blackberries that we foraged late last summer. We picked enough bags of blackberries to nearly fill our small freezer (size of a standard dishwasher). 

While I love blackberry pie, there's only so much pie a person can eat, right? My daughters have been using them in smoothies and homemade yogurt. I also wanted to make the frozen blackberries useful in a way that didn't depend on other ingredients (or not much). So, I've been making blackberry gelatin.

Making Blackberry Gelatin
Blackberry gelatin requires plain gelatin, the berries, water, and a bit of sugar, plus a blender. To make an 8 X 8-inch pan of blackberry gelatin I soften 1 tablespoon of plain gelatin in 1/2 cup of cold water. While that softens, I dump about a quart of frozen berries in the blender. Because our berries are a bit on the tart side, I add about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of sugar to the berries. 

Next, I heat about 1 cup of water in a small measuring cup and pour about half of this over the frozen berries, then run the blender in pulses. I add a bit more water, as needed, to get the berries and sugar to puree. I usually use all but about 1/8 cup of the water. I taste to see if the flavor is good. It's too sweet, I add more frozen berries and water. If it's too tart, I add a bit more sugar.

The gelatin should be soft by now, so I melt it in the microwave, about 30 seconds. Next, I pour the gelatin over the berry/sugar puree in the blender and pulse to incorporate. Finally, I pour the mixture into an 8 X 8-inch glass baking dish and refrigerate until firm.

I think it takes more time to explain this than it does to actually make the gelatin. The process goes very quickly.

This has been a great way to make the blackberries ready for easy consumption. I find I'm much more likely to add a dish of this gelatin to my own meals and snacks, boosting my produce intake enough to meet my daily goals. I'm sure this would work with other frozen berries, if you happen to have an abundance of strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries.

The only drawback that I've found is the blackberry seeds. Our wild blackberries have large-ish seeds and this could put  off people who prefer or require less texture. 

But for me, the seeds are a bonus. The seeds in blackberries are nutrient-dense and high in fiber. They are rich in omega-3's and 6's, plus protein and ellagic acid/ellagitannins (cancer preventatives -- -- and may inhibit memory and cognitive decline, such as with Alzheimers --


  1. Speaking of blackberries, Meijer has them for 50 cents a pint this week. That is a good price and I'll be buying some to flash freeze. I did buy 4 pints yesterday to try them and they were very good. We'll buy quite a few more this week.


  2. i have found that wild blackberries generally have smaller seeds than cultivated ones. Do you grow big seeds in the Northwest? However, I do know that the seeds in any blackberries are too big some people.

    Another good way to get more fruits and vegetables into your diet-something I need to work on. Over the holidays (and now), some of my servings have substituted with chocolate. :)

  3. Live and Learn, remember, chocolate is a bean!! :)

    Making gelatin is a great way to make a tasty side dish which increases your fruit intake. Do you ever just thaw the berries, put them in a bowl and dust them with sugar? We do that with some of our frozen berries--they are a little mushy but we don't seem to mind that, especially if they are still a tiny bit frozen when we eat them. Speaking of which, I have been starting to pull some our our frozen produce out to eat during the past couple of weeks.

    Your comments yesterday about your weather patterns changing was interesting. I feel like our weather, too, is changing, although my scienc-ey husband says you have to study trends for many years.

  4. Hi Alice,
    that sounds like such a great deal on the blackberries -- enjoy them!

  5. Hi Live and Learn,
    the common knowledge in my area is that our NW wild blackberries have larger seeds than the cultivated ones found in stores. That's interesting that the wild blackberries in other regions have smaller seeds.
    You're not alone. Chocolate found its way into my daily diet this past month, as well. It sure was delicious, so I'm not complaining too much about it!
    Have a great day, Live and Learn.

  6. Hi Kris,
    Yes, in fact, after dinner last night we had small dishes of slightly frozen blackberries topped with sugar. So, we do the blackberries a couple of different ways. I think I prefer the gelatin, as some of our berries are very tart, while others are sweet. Blending in gelatin brings the taste to a middle of the road, barely sweet taste.

    I guess with the weather, our strange patterns are more just part of a cycle. I've seen old news reports (60-70 years ago) where the winters were quite nasty here for about a decade.

    I hope your weather is cooperating for you this week, Kris!


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