Blackberry jelly recipes are derived from traditional British jam recipes. There are three forms of the blackberry plant: erect, trailing vines and semi-erect plants. The trailing vines are also called dewberries. Humans and animals enjoy the sweet, fresh taste of wild blackberries, and there are many different hybrids of the berry. Thorny versions of the blackberry include the Chicasaw, Kiowa, Cherokee, Lawton, Ouchita and Cheyenne. Thornless hybrids include the Triple Crown, Boysenberry, Arapaho, Thornfree, Hull, Apaches and Navaho.
The blackberry plant has an ancient past. It was used by the Greeks to cure gout and it was used to make tea during the Roman Empire. Blackberries grow on everywhere except in Australia and Antarctica. The hybridization of the blackberry was done in America by Luther Burbank. Because this berry has been intercrossed so many times, it's impossible to recreate the original berry that existed during the Greek and Roman times. The blackberry has also been used to cure stomach ailments in the Native American culture and there are also references to the berry in the Bible and in British folklore.
Blackberries are rich in antioxidants and minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, iron and calcium. Blackberries are also high in phytoestrogens, which are plant estrogens. These phytoestrogens can be beneficial to women and prevent breast and cervical cancer. The berry is also rich in tannin, which can tighten skin tissue, reduce bleeding, prevent intestinal inflammation and alleviate diarrhea and hemorrhoids. In addition, eating blackberries can reduce your risk of heart disease since the fruit contains vitamin E. The health benefits of this fruit are endless since it contains important vitamins, minerals and antioxidant power.
Blackberry jelly has many different uses. Although it's thought of a breakfast condiment for bagels, donuts and toast, it can also be incorporated into your lunch. Yogurt topped off with blackberry jelly makes a healthy afternoon snack. Blackberries can be canned or frozen and they can be used to create or enhance wine, ice cream, pie, jelly and jam.
If you want to keep your jelly for at least a year, it should be put into a tightly sealed glass jar and stored in a cool, dry place. You can also freeze the blackberries and keep them in the refrigerator for up to a year and use them when you want to make jelly. Keeping the blackberries in a sealed plastic bag can prevent them from getting freezer burn.
When picking wild blackberries for jelly, verify that the berry is a blackberry and not some other poisonous plant that looks similar. Also approach the plant with care, because it will have hook-like thorns. If you end up getting stuck by the thorns, move your hand toward the bush instead of away from it so that the hooks can easily be released from your skin. Regardless of whether you buy or pick berries, wash them thoroughly to rinse off any dirt, pesticides, fertilizers or any other germs.