Here in the UK, the blackberries are just ripening. I'm surprised - they are much larger and juicier than I expected after our recent dry spell. I love blackberry picking - free foodies is always a big attraction with me - I love a bargain!! Before we started GAPS I would pick hundreds of them and turn them into low sugar blackberry jam. If you've never tried making this, you'd be surprised how easy it is. No boiling to reach the setting point. The instructions are all in the packet if you buy Pomona's Universal Pectin and it's fantastic. You can do low sugar, or honey, or any other sweetener you like. It tastes beautifully fruity. Unfortunately, we can't have pectin on the GAPS diet, but I will return to low sugar jam making as soon as we are through. I used to make enough to see us through the year - some of strawberry and raspberry too. Son 1 would liberally spread it on his soaked breakfast scones (which were actually Buttermilk Biscuits from Nourishing Traditions), I liked it on soaked bread, Or we would put it in our rice pudding - Ooo! I'd better stop as I'm making myself wish I could have some and that will never do!
If you are not on GAPS and are interested go to their web-site:
You can find out all about it. If you then click on 'order' at the top, you will be directed to a page where you can select your country and they will tell you who to order through.
Don't be put off by the price, each packet makes a lot of jam if you use the basic recipe.
So this year I've got to think up new ideas for blackberries if I still want the pleasure of picking them (once I've forgiven them for pricking me and catching hold of my best skirt that is!) Here are my ideas so far!
Blackberry jello - mousse
I tried combining several recipes for mousses and soufflés from non-GAPS books and came up with this. It has a surprise to it; I thought it was a mousse, until we dipped our spoons in!
Three sheets gelatine
1/4 cup honey + 2 tbls
3 egg whites (pastured as they will be eaten raw)
1. Place three sheets of gelatine in a bowl of cold water. I use Dr. Oetker's. (or equivalent for 3/4 pint, 15 fl oz)
2. Wash 150g blackberries (pick them first of course! )
3. Put them in a pan with the smallest amount of water you can and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Take off the heat and mash them through a sieve into a bowl.
4. Return to the saucepan. Add 1/4 cup honey. (This can be decreased or increased according to your needs.)
5. Gently heat again until steaming, but do not boil.
6. Squeeze the water from the gelatine sheets and put them in the pan with the blackberry mixture.
Stir until dissolved (that should only take seconds).
7. Plunge the hot saucepan into a bowl of cold water and allow the mixture to completely cool while you do the next step.
8. In a clean jug, whisk the three egg whites until they stand in soft peaks. Add 2 tbls honey (or more, or less as you need/can tolerate). Whisk again just to incorporate.
9. Using a metal spoon, fold the egg white mixture into the cooled blackberries in the saucepan. Don't mix too hard or you'll stir all the air out.
10. Divide the mixture between 4 ramekins. Put in the fridge to set.
Serve with a generous serving of sour cream and enjoy the surprise!
See instructions here.
The inspiration for this kvass came from the Gut and Psychology hand book by Dr. Natasha Campbell Mc-Bride. She says you can use any combination of fruit and vegetables to make kvass. I have to admit, this is a bit of an experiment. The last time I made a kvass it was beetroot. I drank a glass straight down and oh boy! I paid for it. I didn't believe that one innocent looking glass of liquid could make me feel so bad. Now this isn't beetroot, which is known for being very potent, but never-the-less I am still very wary of anything labelled Kvass! I'm told such beverages are full of wonderful probiotics, so here goes! Take it gently! A pleasantly gently fruity taste and if you strike right, fizzy too!
1/2 cup whey Kilner jar (or similar air tight container)
1 organic apple
handful of blackberries
Prepare 1/2 cup whey by dripping milk kefir through a cheesecloth. Use the cream cheese as a dip for veggie sticks. (see here for kefir instructions)
Take a 1 litre kilner jar (or equivalent)
Wash and cut up an organic apple (one of your own if you have an apple tree), and put it all in the jar, core and skin too.
Put a handful of washed blackberries in as well.
Pour in the whey.
Fill to the top with filtered water. I found a lid to weight the apple down under the water as it wanted to float up.
Fasten the lid and leave to ferment on the kitchen worktop for 2 days.
Now you can drink it and keep topping it up with water until the fruit is spent.
Blackberry and apple pie - grain free
Comforting Autumn food at it's best, but how to do a pie on the GAPS diet? The best I have found yet is here:
This is a good recipe for the crust, but I prefer to have my apple mushy (rather husband and Sons do!)
So I use Bramley apples and cook them gently in a little water first - you could add butter to give a lovely buttery flavour and add more fat! This way, you could add a handful of washed blackberries in to cook with the apple.
Don't forget that generous helping of sour cream - again!
Don't forget little things, like adding a spoonful of pureed and de-seeded blackberry to sour cream/GAPS legal yoghurt to make a delicious desert, with some honey if you can take it, to your taste.
Or, putting the puree into ice-cube moulds and freezing them - we do this to strawberries too and take one in a pot of cream on picnics - makes a lovely after lunch treat.