As summer draws to a close and autumn is just around the corner the hedgerows are bursting into colour with branches draped in red, orange and purple berries. One of the most popular berries gathered on autumn walks must be blackberries. You can eat them as they come, sprinkle them on ice cream, yoghurt or porridge, bake them in a pie or make blackberry and apple crumble. One of my favourite ways to eat them, when the weather is still warm at least, is this healthy, blackberry smoothie recipe. It makes a refreshing summer breakfast.

Please read my guide to safe and sustainable foraging before picking or eating anything from the wild.

Berries make fabulous healthy smoothies as they contain less sugar than other fruits and are rich in antioxidants and vitamins. I have to admit though this healthy smoothie recipe tastes even better with a little drizzle of maple syrup. I use maple syrup as it is reputedly the healthiest source of sugar there is. I love this blackberry smoothie for breakfast.

Blackberries starting to form

Above: Blackberries starting to form as the flowers lose their petals. Below: Blackberries ripening but they’re only ready to pick when completely black and they come away easily when tugged lightly.

Ripe and unripe wild Sussex blackberries

Did you know? There are over 375 species of blackberries spread across Europe, northwestern Africa, parts of Asia and North and South America.

When to pick blackberries

Here in the UK, you’ll find blackberries growing in the hedgerows in August, September and early October. Only pick the ripe black coloured berries that easily come away from the stalk. Avoid those fairly close to the ground in case a dog has passed that way and left his calling card!

Blackberries in English folklore

English folklore has it that you shouldn’t pick blackberries after Old Michaelmas Day, 10th October. This is the day Lucifer was expelled from Heaven, falling from the skies into a blackberry bush, which understandably he was not best pleased about. He cursed the blackberries, stomping and spitting on them, making them unfit to eat. To be on the safe side, you might not want to eat them after 29th September as this is when Michaelmas is celebrated in recent years due to the change from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar in 1752. In the United States, it’s known as National Poisoned Blackberry Day!

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Wild blackberry smoothie

For this healthy smoothie recipe, I tend to use a mix of berries including blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries with the emphasis on wild blackberries that I've picked that day. I find the blackberries do keep a day or two and any that you are unlikely to use in time, can be frozen. 
If you don't like the little seeds from the berries you can strain the smoothie before serving but the seeds are full of goodness too, so I tend to leave them in. 
I particularly love drinking this as a healthy breakfast smoothie.
Course Breakfast, Drinks
Keyword autumn recipe, blackberries
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 160kcal
Author Kathryn

Ingredients

  • 125 g blackberries or a mix of berries (frozen berries work fine too)
  • 150 g natural 0% fat yoghurt
  • 0.5 tsp maple syrup (optional)
  • crushed (not needed if you are using frozen berries)

Instructions

  • Wash the berries and remove any stalks.
  • Tip the yoghurt, syrup and the berries into a blender. Blend until thoroughly mixed and then a little more for good measure.
  • If you're using it, stir in the crushed ice.

Notes

If you don't like your smoothies quite so thick add a little skimmed milk.

More blackberry recipes

You might also want to try is this Easy Blackberry Vodka from my friend Suzanne, another Sussex native. I’ll add more when I stumble across ones I particularly love.

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