BY Feebee Foran
There is nothing like making something delicious using food you have grown, or freshly foraged yourself. Right now, beautifully plump Blackberries are in abundance and ripe for the picking.
I’m a believer in making the most of the seasons and enjoying the freshness of what is growing around you, so right now my kitchen is filled with foraged fruits for jams, compotes, chutneys and of course, alcohol infusions (Blackberry Gin being a favourite).
This week, however, with the kids now back at school, I want to share two really lovely recipes to help you start the day with something delicious that you can whip up in a dash – my Berry & Banana Bread Breakfast Smoothie, and also, a sweet treat that can be added to yogurt, top porridge and even swirl into ice cream – my classic Very Berry Compote.
These easy recipes are a great way to teach children about where their food originates while letting them get up close and personal with foraging from an early age. Make an after-school plan to go on a nature adventure on your walk home, pack tubs or bags to collect your bounty in and enjoy the fun together as you pick your own Blackberries.
Berry & Banana Bread Smoothie
- Handful of Blackberries
- 1 Chopped Banana
- 1 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 2 tbsp Ground Porridge Oats
- A little squeeze of Maple Syrup (or Honey)
- 2 Dollops of Natural Yogurt
- Splash of milk
Whizz all of the ingredients together using a hand blender until smooth. Add more milk until you reach your desired smoothie consistency. Enjoy as a handy breakfast on the go or as an elevenses energy booster.
Very Berry Compote
- 750g blackberries, halved
- 100g golden sugar
- The juice of ½ lemon
- Pinch ground cinnamon
Mix two thirds of the blackberries with the sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon in a saucepan and leave for 5 minutes (to draw out the juice) before bringing to boil. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for about 15 mins or until the compote has thickened slightly. Add in the remaining berries at this point for a chunky compote. If you prefer it smooth, simply blitz with a hand blender. Allow to cool before using as a delicious topping on porridge or toast.
Use within 2 days or freeze for future use.
Berry Cool – a lovely way to use this compote is to allow a tub of vanilla ice cream to soften slightly. Stir a few spoons of the cooled compote into the ice cream, creating a marbled effect. Then pop back into the freeze to set. Yum!
Feebee Foran is a nature enthusiast, allotmenter, milliner and homebrewer. Owner of Forager.ie, Feebee creates skincare and healing products using all natural, locally foraged herbs and plants. A member of the bustling and vibrant community at Bohernabreena Allotments, Feebee grows her own fruit, vegetables and healing herbs.