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Foraging blackberries in the South Downs National Park




On Sunday, Ed and I went walking through the South Downs National Park in the beautiful sunshine with a hatful of ideas.


When it comes to foraging, blackberries always remind me of my older sister, Sofie. It is her “birth berry”, since she was born in late August in Denmark and every year we would go foraging these berries before her birthday to make her the most delicious layered, blackberry sponge cake.


Ed and I had eyed up some bramble bushes in the past few days and went armed with a Fedora hat to pick as many blackberries as we could carry home.


I was surprised to see so many blackberries this late in the year, with a good portion still waiting to ripen. And lots not harvested at all, just hanging there to decay. Oh well, the bushes will spread their seeds even more.


The harvest was grand: nearly a kilo of plant powered goodness. Yum!


From the harvest we made a blackberry tart (which we ate very quickly!) and a big jar of blackberry jam, along with lots left for the morning bowl of porridge.


The jam is a big favourite. My Uncle, who is a gardener and horticulturist, would come by my dads flat in Copenhagen every autumn with jars full of homegrown berry jam. Lucky for me my dad doesn’t like jam.


If you are looking for a natural vitamin C boost, which is crucial to skin health and our immune system, one cup (144g) of raw blackberries has 30.2 milligrams of vitamin C. That’s half the daily recommended amount. Vitamin C is also integral to collagen formation in bones, connective tissue, and blood vessels.


Have you foraged something lately? How about trying to make something with foraged blackberries at home? It's easy and super cheap since the berries are free and grow wild in most places in the UK, often as a weed.


Check our blackberry tart recipe below for inspiration.



Recipe: Blackberry Tart (stuffing only)


Ingredients:

400g foraged blackberries

3 tablespoons sugar

3 teaspoons citric acid

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 pack of vegan jelly


Method:

Wash & weigh your blackberries (yes, size counts here)

Add the measures of sugar, citric acid & vanilla to your bowl of berries & stir

Use your favourite tart base (we made ours with organic almond flour)

Spread your berries evenly across the tart

Pop in the oven for 20 mins at 180c

Slowly heat up your vegan jelly in a pan with water


Remove the tart from the oven and add jelly on the berries

Allow the tart to rest for 15 minutesa

Heavenly delight:

The choice is yours, eat whilst it's still warm, or enjoy as a cold treat. Best served with kefir yoghurt and some heart-warming English tea.


Despite your cravings, try not to eat it all in one go - we managed to stretch ours till breakfast the next day. We were extremely happy with the outcome.


Bon appetite!



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