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Homeschooling The Well Prepared Child: Wild Foraging: Beauty Berry Jelly

Monday, February 22, 2016

Wild Foraging: Beauty Berry Jelly

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     For years, I told my son, "Don't eat the purple berries! They will kill you!" For years, I believed, "If you could eat it, it would be in the store." Right? 
     Fast foward a few years later, I was over on Foraging Texas when I stumbled upon his page American Beauty BerryWell, as it turns out, you CAN eat the purple berries! We have several bushes on our property. However, by themselves, they are not so great and they really don't have very much nutritional value. Not poisonous, but not really a great find for foraging. Boo. Then I heard about Beauty Berry Jelly. Most that have tried it say it has an intriguing, yet delicious taste to it. Zoey and I decided we were going to make some. 
     
     
     Finding the brightly colored berries was easy. Picking them was pretty easy as well. You just slide your hand down a branch and pop them off right into your bowl. When they are on the branches, their looks like a whole lot of berries. However, even after we stripped nearly all of the bushes in our yard, we were not sure if there was going to be enough to make the jelly with. We were going to try anyways. 

"Hey Zoey, let me get a picture of you and the berries before we go inside."



      Yes, she looks like her daddy, but this kid is sooo me! :D 

     First the berries had to be picked through and washed thoroughly. We ended up getting leaves, twigs and bugs in with them. I did not get a picture, but I figure you don't want to really see all that anyways. Then we looked for recipes to make our jelly. The best one we found was at Hogtown Home Grown. I did not have Low Sugar Pectin or Raw Sugar so we followed the directions on the back of the package of Sure-Jell that we did have and used regular sugar.  We followed her instructions except for that. 

This is what the berries look like after being boiled. 


Zoey mashed them.

By this point we have boiled down the mixture, added the sugar, lemon, Sure-Jell and we are now ready to start loading our jars. 

      We filled 6 of the 8 oz. Jelly Jars and 3 of the little 4 oz. Jelly Jars. There was also a little left over that we nibbled on.  So how does it taste? It is really hard to describe. Definitely not your ordinary grape jelly! It has a more... sophisticated.. taste to it? AND IT IS AMAZING! It has replaced our favorite jellies on everything from PB&J to buttered biscuits. 


We can't wait to make it again this August!   


Get the recipe Here:


Learn More About American Beauty Berry Here:








Please use extreme caution when foraging for wild edibles. Do your own research. We are not responsible for any misidentifying of plants you make while on your own. Never eat anything you are not sure of.

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