Savor the Flavor of Unique Berries

MulberriesStrawberries, raspberries, blueberries are the berries we commonly think of. Yet there is a wide choice of berries that are overlooked. Whether you are foraging for berries or have planted a berry patch, berries are nutritious and very versatile.

Here are helpful hints for planting and eating (my favorite part) and recipes to explore new flavors.

Boysenberriesboysenberries

Boysenberry Cobbler
Easy to make and awesome with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream, this basic cobbler recipe is a tasty treat that works with a variety of fresh berries. (Original recipe from CDKitchen)

Berry Mixture

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 cups boysenberries or blueberries
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Batter Topping

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons soft butter
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a saucepan, mix cornstarch, sugar, and water. Add berries and cook on low to medium heat stirring until mixture is thickened – be sure to stir the bottom, the mixture will easily burn. Remove from heat, add butter and lemon juice. Pour into an 8 x 8 inch baking dish.

Prepare the batter by mixing all of the batter ingredients and beating with a spoon until the batter is smooth.

Drop the batter over the berry mixture. Bake 25-30 minutes.

Let cool and serve.

Cranberries

The cranberry is not only for your Thanksgiving feasts. Cranberries don’t have to grow in bogs as they are commercially. There are varieties that grow happily from Canada to the Appalachian Mountains in the south of the United States. I personally have never grown them but love using them in cooking. There are many online companies to help you choose which kind of cranberry bush is the variety that is right for your area.

Fresh cranberries may be available in your local grocery seasonally – they freeze wonderfully too. Dehydrated cranberries can be used in any recipe calling for raisins. I especially like them in snack and baking recipes.

Kid Friendly Trail Mix
Purchased trail mix can be expensive and have additives. This recipe makes 8 to 10 servings and cost about less than $1.00 per serving (Original recipe from Genuis Kitchen.)

  • 1 cup Cheerios™ toasted oat cereal
  • 1 cup Goldfish™ crackers or 1 cup other cheese crackers
  • 1 cup Craisins™ dried cranberries (or other favorite dried fruit)
  • 1 cup cashews or 1 cup other favorite nuts (optional)
  • 1 cup miniature M&M’s™ chocolate candies (or other chocolate candy)
  • 1 cup Reese’s Pieces™ (or other peanut butter candy)
  • 1 cup miniature pretzel twists or 1 cup pretzel stick

Throw everything together in a sealed container. Store in cool, dry area.

Gooseberriesgooseberries

Gooseberries are attractive plants that prosper in cool areas and under partial shade. Since they thrive under conditions that are marginal for many plants, they could be an important part of a home landscape or garden. But there is a major downside: It is illegal to grow gooseberries in many states. Be sure to check with your state agricultural department prior to purchasing plants in your location.

(Lehman’s Jams, Jellies and Fruit Butters offer a wonderful collection of flavors including gooseberry jam.)

Mulberries

We have wild mulberry trees growing on our property. They provide a wealth of delicious berries each year. Freeze them for a fresh berry taste in the middle of the winter. They are also ideal to use in wide range of blackberry recipes.

Mulberry Kuchen (Cake) – (Original recipe from Allrecipes)

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups mulberries
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking pan.

Beat milk, 1/2 cup white sugar, egg, and oil in a bowl. Add 1 cup flour, baking powder, and salt; mix until smooth. Pour into baking pan; sprinkle with mulberries.

Mix 3/4 cup flour, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup white sugar in a bowl; cut in butter and stir until mixture resembles crumbs, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle over cake.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

This is only the tip of the berry iceberg. Whether as jams on your morning toast or that delicious dessert, berries add flavor and fun.

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Dori Fritzinger has been a freelance writer since the days of typewriters and snail-mail. Her home life centers around a large multi-generational family and a small family farm. In her free time, she loves to read, quilt, and do embroidery. She also enjoys collecting vintage cookbooks and bringing the recipes to life so the cooks of the 21st century can enjoy them.

About Dori Fritzinger

I live and work with my multi-generational family in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. We have a farm of cows and calves, wool sheep, dairy goats, rabbits, ducks, geese, chickens, honey bees, a horse and a donkey. We have a goat's milk soap and bath products line available on our farm web site. I enjoy reading, quilting and doing embroidery.