We have a mulberry tree behind our garage. I didn’t know we had this fabulous tree until last week. I was showing my neighbor our vegetable beds behind our garage and she started to eat berries off a tree I had never seen before. I was worried she was going to get sick because I have no clue which berries are safe to eat. (I had this same experience three years ago when another neighbor taught me to eat the june berries off her tree). She assured me that I wouldn’t get sick and we had the most delicious afternoon snack right behind my garage! We left with stained purple fingers, a few mosquito bites, and a bowl of huckleberries.
Mulberries are a mild berry. The tree would be considered a nuisance if it was anywhere near a car or house. The berries seem to drop in prolific amounts and stain everything they touch. I can also envision the birds having a grand old time with these berries and that would be another mess to deal with. But lucky me…..my newly found mulberry tree is planted in my neighbors yard and hanging over my fence in perfect reach of the delicious berries!
According to www.encyclopedia.com, “The mulberry family is most important as the basis of the silkworm industry; silkworms feed on the leaves of the mulberries (genus Morus ) and sometimes of the Osage orange ( Maclura pomifera ). The white mulberry ( M. alba ) has been cultivated in China since very early times. In the Middle Ages it began to replace the black mulberry ( M. nigra ), which had been grown by the Greeks and Romans and, from the 9th cent., by the people of N Europe for silkworm culture. In Greek legend the berries of the white mulberry turned red when its roots were bathed by the blood of the lovers Pyramis and Thisbe, who killed themselves. Both the white and the red mulberry ( M. rubra, native to North America) have been cultivated in America since colonial times, but the lack of cheap hand labor prevented the establishment of a silkworm industry. Mulberry fruits are tender and juicy and resemble blackberries. In the South the fruit of M. rubra is made into wine and is considered a valuable agricultural and wildlife feed.”
Here is an easy recipe using Pamela’s Products Baking and Pancake Mix. You could use any berries as this recipe is modified from one on the Pamela’s website that uses blackberries.
Mulberry Almond Muffins
1-1/2 cups Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix
1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds
1/3 cup apple sauce
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk (cow, rice, soy, hemp, almond, coconut, etc…)
3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup huckleberries (plus a few for the muffin tops)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 325°.
In a large bowl, combine the baking mix with the almonds. Add remaining ingredients, except berries, and mix until no lumps are left. Fold in the berries.
Spray muffin tins or line with paper liners. Fill 3/4 full. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with one or two berries and some granulated sugar and bake for 22-25 minutes. Remove from oven when inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.