Now that the weather has changed and the temperatures are finally dropping, I am thoroughly enjoying taking early morning walks through the Umbrian countryside around our farmhouse property. The scenery is always stunning as the morning light falls across the lush green rolling hills, and I often see wildlife in the fields or forested areas along my route. Last year on my walks I discovered a path lined with wild blackberry bushes down in the valley behind our property. I recently went exploring in the valley again to see if the blackberries had ripened and was fortunate to be able to pick four bags full. I have since stopped by a few more times to pick more of these sweet wild berries as I find I just cannot let the berries go to waste. I recently brought my camera along on my walk and berry picking adventure to share the experience with some photos I’ve posted below.
I find these wild blackberries to have more of a tart flavor than the ones you can buy in the grocery stores and although smaller, they work really well in baked goods. I decided to bake a lemon flavored loaf studded with some of my wild blackberries the other day, and was very pleased with how moist and tasty it turned out. To make my loaf a little healthier, I replaced some of the all-purpose flour with oat flour, and used olive oil and fat free yogurt in place of the butter called for to keep the loaf nice and moist while reducing the fat. Although I used wild blackberries, you could also use fresh or frozen blueberries or raspberries.
My walk down the road from our farmhouse.
Views of the Umbrian countryside as seen along my walk.
The lush green valley as I walk down to the wild blackberries.
The wild blackberry lined path down into the valley.
Blackberries on the bush ready for picking.
My wild blackberry bounty.
Lemon flavored loaf studded with wild blackberries.
Deborah Mele 2012
- 3/4 Cup All-purpose Flour
- 3/4 Cup Oat Flour
- Pinch of Salt
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 Cup Fat Free Greek Yogurt
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 3 Large Eggs
- 1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Extract
- Grated Zest From 1 Lemon
- 1/4 Cup Olive oIl
- 1 Pint Fresh Blackberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and lightly grease an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan.
- In one bowl, stir together the two flours, baking powder, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon extract and zest, and oil.
- Stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and fold together until just blended.
- Stir in the blackberries.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool to room temperature before slicing.