Feature Friday: Blackberries

(*Quick little preface since we’re all new here: Since Fridays (unlike Mondays) carry a rep of being party animals and stress-free, we want our Friday posts to reflect that. So we’re keeping them casual…cool…unpredictable. We want to feature things that we’re into – things that deserve to be celebrated (much like Friday itself). So sometimes you’ll see a food item on here or a seasonal ingredient, maybe a really inspiring person or book, perhaps a product we currently love. Always new, always awesome. TGIF, ya’ll.
In the world of berries, I feel like blackberries are kind of under-appreciated (much like being able to breathe through your nose after being congested for a week, or a perfectly toasted bagel; not too soft, not too burnt). Blackberries seem to be in the background of the berry bunch, often being upstaged by their more popular cousins, strawberry and blueberry. But not today. Today, blackberry gets her chance in the spotlight.

Berries in general are truly incredible. Powerhouse foods packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and disease-fighting nutrients, they’re like little squishy, colorful superheroes (now I’m picturing berries wearing capes so naturally I had to Google, and omg, Internet, you didn’t disappoint).

But let’s get real specific about our lead berry here. Blackberries are amazing sources of vitamin K and C (those build strong bones and boost your immune system, respectively). They improve vision, give you glowing skin, reduce inflammation, provide crazy good brain function, and could aid in preventing and slowing the progression of cancer* (brb, eating 5 cups of blackberries immediately). And that’s really just scratching the surface. Did I mention that they’re delicious? Oh, that too. Slightly tart, mostly sweet, blackberries make a great addition to smoothies, muffins, pies, or are great as an on-the-go snack all by themselves! Pick them at peak season (July-August, so like, now) for ultimate deliciousness.
You guys didn’t think I’d hype up blackberries and leave you with no recipe, did you? Enter, blackberry + coconut chia pudding. If you haven’t had chia pudding yet, you’re in for a treat (and don’t worry if you haven’t fully boarded the chia seed bandwagon yet – I’m sure I’ll be on here singing the praises of those little guys some Friday in the near future). Literally only five ingredients, so easy to make (full disclaimer: my three-year-old did about 80% of the work on this recipe), insanely healthy, and total creamy decadence. It’s like dessert without all the regret and guilt (not that you should ever really feel guilty about dessert. You gotta live, dude. Balance and stuff.)
So let’s jump right in. You’ll need organic blackberries, organic pure maple syrup, a lime, coconut cream, and chia seeds.

First things first, put your blackberries in a high-powered blender and add maple syrup + lime juice. Blend for 30 seconds or until well-mixed.

Add chia seeds to the bottom of a mason jar (or some other vessel with a lid). Pour blackberry/maple syrup/lime mixture into the jar, then add coconut cream to the blender pitcher or cup, and blend on high for another 30 seconds to incorporate (it’s ok if there is still blackberry mixture in the blender…it’ll all be mingling by the end anyway). Add cream to jar. Stir really well. Like, be aggressive about it. Those little chia seeds like to clump together and you want them evenly dispersed. Put a lid on the jar and give it a few shakes. Place in fridge overnight, stir the next day (or next few days – it’ll stay good for about a week), and top with blackberries and/or toasted coconut chips if you’d like.

That’s it! You did it. Easy peasy.

Now, next time you’re at the grocery store and you reach over the carton of blackberries to grab the blue or red ones, I hope you remember this post and give blackberries the love they deserve.

Blackberry + Coconut Chia Pudding Ingredients:
1 C organic blackberries
2 5.4 oz cans of organic coconut cream
1/2 lime, squeezed
2-4 T pure organic maple syrup (measure to taste)
1/4 C chia seeds
Extra blackberries + toasted coconut chips for toppings (optional)
(*makes 12 oz of pudding)
(*sources for blackberry facts found here, here, and here)

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