Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Roadside Treasure On Middle Tennessee Boulevard

Pssst, want to know a secret? There's a place in Murfreesboro, TN, hidden on the side of the road, with an abundant cache of natural treasure. Like many roadsides in Tennessee, if you look carefully, you might discover fresh, wild blackberries! I picked these berries near family video during the second week of July, but I might go back today and see if there could be more.

Berries are naturally high in fiber, packed with antioxidants, and low in calories, plus, I found tons of crafty and creative uses for my haul of fruit. Not only did I use them in smoothies and to top oatmeal and yogurt, but I used some to make a simple blackberry syrup. This blackberry syrup went into fresh brewed blackberry iced tea and home made frozen fruit bars in my ice pop maker. The best part was that I could control the amount of sugar I added and avoid high fructose corn syrup that is in many store bought fruit products. Best of all, the berries were free and I got a good cardio workout walking to get them and picking them!

If you want to take advantage of the abundance of wild fruit in Tennessee, make sure to respect fences and property lines. Pick your berries without trespassing on private property or get permission from the land owner first. Wear sturdy shoes, insect repellent, long pants, and watch for insects and snakes. 

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