It's berry season in Kentucky. At the local farmers markets, many of our growers have a great selection of berries, including blackberries and raspberries, now available.

These two berries, along with boysenberries, are collectively known as brambleberries. They get that name from the thorny, tangled vines from which they grow. Brambleberries are harvested from June through August in Kentucky.

You may eat berries raw, use them as a topping or serve them as an integral ingredient in many of dishes. You can also preserve berries through canning or freezing and use them to make jams and jellies.

Brambleberries provide fiber and are a good source of potassium, vitamin C, and antioxidants. One cup of fresh berries contains 70 calories and zero fat.

Look for plump, fresh berries that are uniform in color. Ideally, they should not have any stems or leaves attached. Avoid moldy, crushed or bruised fruit. Do not use berries that have moisture leaks staining the carton. Store berries unwashed and covered in a refrigerator. Use within two days for optimum flavor and texture.

Contact the Madison County Extension office, 859-623-4072, for more information on ways to prepare in-season produce or about our local farmers market offerings. For more Plate It Up! Kentucky Proud recipes, visit http://fcs-hes.ca.uky.edu/piukp-recipes or contact the extension office for recipe cards.

(Source: Heather Norman-Burgdolf, assistant extension professor)

Very Berry Salsa

Ingredients:

4 cups apples, finely diced

1 cup blueberries

1 cup strawberries, diced

1 cup raspberries, halved

1 cup blackberries, halved

1 tablespoon fruit preserves

½ tablespoon sugar

½ tablespoon brown sugar

Yield: 32, 2 ounce servings

Directions: In a large bowl, combine apples and berries. In a small bowl, mix together preserves and sugars until well blended. Pour preserve mixture over fruit and toss to coat. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Nutritional Analysis: 20 calories, 5 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g sugar.

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