blackberries

Blackberry Ginger Nice Cream!

blackberry ginger nice cream

For some funny reason my freezer now has a big freezer bag full of ripe, frozen bananas. I love bananas, especially when they are a little green for some reason. The flavor is amazing to me. I love it! However, sometimes when they get riper, I do want to use them in a recipe but sometimes I get busy with other cooking projects and it's a while before I have a chance to make some banana bread or muffins. 

That is why I began putting the super ripe bananas into the freezer and started to think of delicious and healthy ways to use them for recipes. I had seen a lot of fun pictures on Instagram of "Nice Cream" or non-dairy ice cream made with frozen bananas so I decided to come up with my own spin on that using ingredients that I had. Of course it was a great way to use up some of the frozen bananas but also I have a couple of bags of amazingly delicious frozen blackberries from my parent's place in the country that we picked last year. They are so sweet and so amazing in a frozen dessert. 

I also love the combination of blackberries and ginger, just like some pies I used to make. Then, it came to me: "blackberry ginger nice cream!" Not only is it delicious, the color is stunning and it makes a great quick dessert on a weeknight, as well as a showstopper for a weekend get together or a holiday party. I garnished this one in the photo with some fresh mint from the garden and a slice of crystallized ginger. I hope you enjoy some of this today! 

Blackberry Ginger Nice Cream: 

2 frozen bananas, peeled (since I froze my bananas with the skin on, I was able to peel most of the peel off, however, I needed to use a paring knife to cut off the rest of the banana peel.) 

1 cup frozen blackberries

1-2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

Optional: 1 tablespoon finely chopped candied ginger

1. Place all ingredients into the bowl of a large food processor. Process until smooth. You may add the optional chopped candied ginger too if you wish.

2. You may eat the nice cream immediately if you like softer ice cream, or you may spoon it into a container and freeze it for at least an hour so that it comes out in nice, round scoops. 

Enjoy! I will be sharing more fun "nice cream" ideas very soon! I am thinking about cherry-chocolate next!  

Apple Blackberry Jam

This summer I am enjoying the days of slowing down, spending more time with my son as he is out of school until the fall. One of the pleasures of summer here in Oregon is the bounty of fruit available and the many ways we can preserve this beautiful fruit to enjoy the rest of the year. 

    Fresh Blackberries in my Bucket! 

 

Fresh Blackberries in my Bucket! 


I am so grateful that my parent's had the foresight to grow a beautiful orchard including apples, pears, plums, cherries, walnuts and more. Also, my Dad has gotten really good at cultivating the wild blackberries. He trims them so that they are easy to pick and makes sure that there are plenty in the summer berry season to enjoy fresh for breakfast as well as to use for jam and delicious pies and more! 

    Lovely Yellow Transparent Apples! 

 

Lovely Yellow Transparent Apples! 

 

I love to make homemade jam and it is something I grew up with. I was lucky enough to grow up in the country and learn how to cook, bake and can whole foods from my mom. I believe that the more delicious, whole foods that you can eat and make yourself, the healthier & happier you can be. 

I hope that you enjoy making this delicious jam! We were lucky that the yellow transparent apples and the blackberries were ripe at the same time. 

Blackberry and Apple Jam

This recipe is based on one from the book: Home Preserving and Bottling by Gladys Mann.

6 cups apples, cored, sliced and cut into small pieces

2/3 cup water

juice of 2 lemons

4 cups blackberries

8 1/2 cups organic cane sugar

1. Simmer the apple pieces in water & lemon juice until tender, about 15 minutes. 

2. Add the blackberries and sugar and boil quickly until setting point is reached. 

3. Place into clean, hot jars, put on clean, hot canning jar lids & screw tops. I like to use the oven (set at about 300F) to heat up my jars. Get a 13x9 pan and fill it with hot tap water- about 2-3 inches up. Then, fill jars with hot water and place lids and screw tops in the pan too. Keep the pan with the jars in the oven until you are ready to fill them with jam. 

4. Place full jars upside down on a towel to let set. You may set them upright after 20-30 minutes to make sure the lids have sealed. 

Note: You will need to boil the mixture for several minutes. I like to stir it from time to time as well. You can test to see if the jam is setting by placing a clean spoon in the mixture. Let the berry-apple mixture come off of the spoon. If it drips more slowly, more in a "sheet" the jam is at the setting point. Now you are ready to ladle the jam into your jars. You can use a special jar funnel for this job and make sure that the top rim of the jar is wiped clean of jam before you place the lid on top. 

    A Beautiful Jar of Jam! 

 

A Beautiful Jar of Jam! 


Enjoy your jam!