Happy long weekend, everyone! I am spending Memorial Day at my family home in Connecticut. It’s likely that I’ll be splitting time between there and Manhattan for the next few months, because it’s much nicer to study for the bar exam in a big airy house with a Sasha for puppy therapy than in a New York apartment. I’ll be in the city to see friends, get in November Project workouts here and there, and go to Summer Stage concerts and such, but you’ll be seeing a lot more New England summer scenery in my weekly updates and running routes! Last week, I got in a mix of workout lengths and locales. 5 miles on Monday in Manhattan, 6 miles Wednesday, and 8 miles yesterday here. These are just some glimpses from my ramblings on the Ridgefield Rail Trail on a late spring Sunday!
The Rail Trail is 2 1/4 miles long, with an out-and-back logging 4.5 miles. It’s about 2 miles from where I live, so I can actually use it as a good middle portion for a long run when I’m in the mood. It’s dirt and gravel, just like the bridle path in Central Park, which is much more forgiving for my prematurely creaky hip and knees. It’s also very quiet, even with the hiking trails that branch off every so often.
Another fun thing about the Rail Trail is the way it’s still somewhat ‘wild’ – not really, of course, but it’s untouched enough that wild berry patches still bloom along the edges. As long as you are careful and know which are safe to eat, the raspberries and blackberries can be a pretty sweet surprise treat! They are much smaller than what you’d find in a grocery store, but every morsel explodes with flavor. Those berries don’t bloom until later in June, continuing through the height of summer, but I’m waiting in anticipation – and while I wait, I do have berries from the farmer’s market and grocery store to enjoy! I love all the berries that come with this sunny season.
Strawberries are quite possibly my absolute favorite food, and I can literally write odes to them. Whether made into strawberry ice cream, baked into shortcakes, or simply eaten unadorned, they’re a juicy and sweet treat that always reminds me of summer. I enjoy blueberries too, and raspberries, and I’ve shared recipes that showcase each, like my Blueberry Muffin Oatmeal Cake and Raspberry Ragamuffins.
Blackberries have not yet gotten their share of the spotlight. Today that changes, because I got home from my run to see a carton of the plumpest, ripest blackberries on the countertop and couldn’t resist the chance to whip up something new before I gobbled them all. This seasonal Blackberry Bramble Oatmeal Cake is blue and white, so add some raspberries or strawberries on the side for a patriotic Memorial Day breakfast!
- 1/2 cup gluten free quick cooking oats
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 Tbsp Greek yogurt – plain, vanilla or blackberry
- 1 egg white (substitute applesauce if desired)
- 1/4 cup fresh blackberries
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- Pinch salt
- For topping: 2 tsp each of Greek yogurt, cream cheese, and blackberry jam or preserves
- For ramekin: 1 tsp butter (can substitute olive oil or cooking spray)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl, then add in wet ingredients (only use 2 Tbsp of yogurt here) and blackberries and mix well.
- Melt butter or other oil in 1-cup (8 ounce) ramekin to coat inner surface.
- Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes, then set oven to high broil for an additional 5 minutes.
- While the cake is baking, mix 2 tsp each Greek yogurt, cream cheese, and preserves together, creating a lovely lavender icing. (As an alternative, use 2 tsp of a blackberry Greek yogurt with 1 Tbsp cream cheese – which is what I did here!)
- Use a knife to carefully pry the edges of the cake from the ramekin (easy as long as it was greased well!) and flip upside down into a dish.
- Top with icing and additional blueberries if desired. Enjoy!
What’s your favorite blackberry recipe?
Do you prefer some berries over others?
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