The biggest benefit of juicy, reddish-black boysenberries is that they make the most excellent pie filling you’ll ever taste. (Okay, rhubarb is one of my favorite fillings, too.)
But if you thought raspberries and blackberries were juicy, meet the boysenberry. This plump, sweet-tart fruit takes juiciness to a whole new level.
It’s actually so juicy and thin-skinned that farmers can’t really send it off to grocery stores. It just doesn’t ship well. Most varieties reach maturity in midsummer, but begin to go bad just three days after picking.
A Boysenberry Primer
Developed in the 1920s by Rudolph Boysen, our featured fruit ( × ) is a cross between a loganberry, dewberry, blackberry, and raspberry.
And if you’ve ever visited southern California’s theme parks, you’ll know that no mention of boysenberries is complete without talking about Knott’s Berry Farm.
Because even though ol’ Rudolph Boysen hybridized four berries to produce the boysenberry, his plants got kind of wilty. He gave the dying bushes to farmer Walter Knott in 1938, and Knott succeeded in bringing them back to life.
how to plant and grow boysenberries in our guide.
Potential Health Benefits
This tasty fruit isn’t just fun to eat, though. It can also be beneficial to your health.
significantly helped to lower blood pressure.
The berry also contributes to bone health. One cup contains 13% of women’s recommended daily value for vitamin K, which helps with bone metabolism. Low vitamin K levels have also been associated with osteoporosis.
And of course, like many berries, they contain lots of vitamin C, which we all know can support the immune system and help us to fight infections.
But wait! It gets better.
The high concentration of polyphenols (antioxidant-packed micronutrients) that they contain has been shown to display anti-inflammatory properties. Reduced inflammation may help to prevent chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease.
might help lower them.
Even though I’m relatively young, I’ve been warned about my triglycerides a few times since the birth of my son. I’ve since increased my vegetable and fruit intake… and planted a boysenberry bush to help, too.
But the benefits of this fruit don’t stop there. They’re also packed with anthocyanins, pigmented flavonoids with antioxidant properties that give them their vibrant color.
Anthocyanins have been shown to help strengthen your vision, reduce cancer cell multiplication, and help prevent tumor formation.
And last but not least, the relatively high level of manganese in one cup of berries is 35% of the daily value recommended for adults. Manganese plays a role in many bodily reactions including carbohydrate metabolism, bone formation, and immune responses.
This brambly bush has pretty white flowers and grows to about four to six feet tall and wide, so give it lots of space.
how to harvest homegrown boysenberries in this guide.
good defensive plants and help to deter intruders.
You can pretty much use boysenberries in anything that calls for blackberries or raspberries, like these tart fruit scones from our sister site, Foodal.
Or why not try this delicious cocktail recipe, also from Foodal.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try this cream cheese, pineapple, and raspberry quesadilla also from Foodal – but use boysenberries instead of raspberries.
You can add these versatile orbs of juicy delight to any smoothie that calls for berries, too, or to any berry pie filling.
Boysenberries and You: A Match Made in Heaven
If you think blackberries are a little too bitter, try the sweet taste of a boysenberry.
It’s sweeter, yet somehow bolder in flavor than ye olde blackberry. And since it’s bigger, it’s easier to eat a cupful (or two, or ten…) and reap some fantastic health benefits.
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Laura Melchor grew up helping her mom in the garden in Montana, and as an adult she’s brought her cold-weather gardening skills with her to her home in Alaska. She’s especially proud of the flowerbeds she and her three-year-old son built with rocks dug up from their little Alaska homestead. As a freelance writer, she contributes to several websites and blogs across the web. Laura also writes novels and holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.