Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Thimbleberry

Have you ever tasted a Thimbleberry?  Or perhaps I should start by asking if you've ever heard of a Thimbleberry?

Beach Park where the Thimbleberries grow wild.
Thimbleberries are a relative of the raspberry, but much softer and a bit less sweet.  Although I grew up in the Pacific Northwest I didn't really discover the loveliness of thimbleberries until last summer.  They grow wild at a local park near my parent's home and were a perfect little treat during our day at the beach.


I was thrilled to see them again this summer and they were once again a welcome snack.

I looked up the Thimbleberry last night and learned that they are high in vitamin C and antioxidants.  The leaves can be brewed into a tea to relieve stomach aliments or used as a poultice for wounds and burns.  If only the sunburned beach goers yesterday would have known! :)  


The plant flowers can be eaten in salads, tea or by themselves.  The root of the plant can be boiled and used in a tea to help with stomach ailments (like the leaves).


The actual berries ripen quite quickly.  You may see a white (unripe) berry one morning and by the afternoon it's bright red and ready to eat.  

Last but not least the young stalks of the Thimbleberry bush can be used as a vegetable.  They can be peeled then eaten raw or cooked like other normal vegetables (broccoli or asparagus).  Can you imagine?  Next time we head to the park I'm bringing back leaves and stalks!

So there you go, if you see a Thimbleberry bush this summer make sure to give them a try.

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