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4 Ways to Use Your Excess Blackberry Crop

Blackberries deliver a variety of healthy benefits. They are anti-inflammatory, an excellent source of insoluble fiber, increase insulin sensitivity which can help burn body fat, made of many vitamins and they taste delicious and grow abundantly!

Blackberries. A love hate relationship to any yard. Those pesky bushes grow like crazy and they are extremely hard to get rid of. But at the end of the summer when the you are ready for fall to come, those delicious, juicy berries pop onto the vine and you second guess getting rid of the crop. But what do you do when you have too many to consume in one sitting? You spent all that time pricking yourself on thorns, you aren't about to let the berries go to waste! I have gathered 5 different ways to use your excess blackberry crop below.

1. Blackberry Jalapeno Margarita

I started with this one for two very good reasons. 1. This margarita is inspiring this post and 2. Who doesn't want a margarita when its 108 degrees out?!

I love margaritas, they are my go to cocktail on a regular basis but mixers are usually filled with a lot of artificial sweetener which means bad hang overs. Tequila is actually "good" for you when consumed in moderation (as far as alcohol goes). Because there are agains, a natural form of sugar, it doesn't raise tour blood-sugar levels. It can also stimulate your metabolism and help dissolve fat (win, win!) This recipe combines those sweet blackberries with a little kick and out a lot of additive.

  • 1.5 oz. blanco tequila

  • 1 oz. maple syrup

  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice

  • sparkling water

  • small handful of fresh blackberries

  • jalapeños (optional and for garnish)

Muddle the blackberries in the bottom of your cocktail shaker then add tequila, maple syrup and lime juice. Shake for about 20 seconds to combine then strain over ice in a glass. Top with sparkling water and a couple of slices of fresh jalapeño.

Give it a good stir, garnish with lime and enjoy (1 or 2 - no one is judging!)

Note: I leave the seeds in my jalapeño slices for that heat. If you don't like it as spicy but want the flavor, remove the seeds.

2. Blackberry Balsamic Reduction Sauce with Roasted Chicken Thighs

I love easy chicken recipes, and this one hits the mark! Chicken is one of those things that goes right or wrong. You either start cooking and finish the intended way and have a delicious, juicy chicken breast. Or you have that chicken breast that won't cook evenly and takes forever and you end up with dry chicken.

My Air Fryer has saved the day! So easy and I can walk away and prep the rest of dinner without worrying about drying out the chicken.

But couple easy chicken with a delicious Blackberry Balsamic Glaze and I am sold. I served mine with simple sautéed garlic Zucchini and mushrooms. Yum.

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs

- 1 lb. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs

- 2-4 T olive oil

- 1 T. paprika

- 1 T. garlic powder

- 1 T. dried parsley flakes

- 1 T. dried onion flakes

- 1 T. dried oregano leaves

- 1 t. salt

  1. Add seasonings to a small bowl and mix together

  2. Put chicken thighs in a bowl and toss with a little olive oil and then sprinkle with seasonings, coating evenly.

  3. Place chicken thighs in a single layer in Air Fryer basket.

  4. Turn temperature to 400 degrees and set for 8 minutes. After 8 minutes, flip chicken and cook for an additional 6-8 minutes (depending on size) and until done.

  5. Serve with any sauces - but I really like this Blackberry Balsamic Glaze from Just a Pinch.

Note: When making the blackberry glaze, I left my blackberries whole so it had some texture. So delicious and an excellent way to use those extra blackberries!

3. Blackberry Breakfast Muffins

Muffins - I have said it before and I will say it again - they are the easiest breakfast food. I try and make a batch of muffins once a week to have on the counter for easy snacks or breakfast on the go. You can pack them full of fruit, vegetables, berries, nuts, seed... the list goes on. They are easy to substitute alternative flours and milks and can be made to fit whatever diet you are following.

I like these Paleo Blackberry Cobbler Muffins because they are gluten free, simple and delicious! Also - my husband and kids can never tell when I am substituting regular flour for almond flour or butter for ghee - so they became a healthy choice too.

4. Blackberry Age Fighting Mask

I could use a good face mask any day of the week - I could definitely use with a spa day any day of the week too. So why not combine those leftover blackberries into a fruity mask packed full of antioxidants and other skin glowing ingredients? This Blackberry Age Fighting Mask uses blackberries, yogurt and honey to exfoliate and combine anti-aging properties into one treatment.

I won't lie, I was a little nervous about staining my face purple - but it didn't and when I woke up this morning, my face was the softest it has ever been. It also smells like you are being lathered with a blackberry smoothie - yum!

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