Mulberry Harvesting-10 Ideas of What to do With Mulberries

 

We have five Mulberry trees on the farm.

We have five Mulberry trees on the farm.

Who doesn’t love-making memories or recounting old ones? This past weekend 200 people came to our farm to enjoy family and friends. Dale and I had harvested mulberries the day they got here. Buckets and buckets  were waiting to be processed in my kitchen. My first thought was, I need to get this cleared out of here before all our company comes. But then they arrived before I could get to them and the mulberries became the focus of the night.

 

Many older people who strolled through the kitchen  mentioned the memories of seeing piles of harvest in their grandparents kitchens when they were growing up. They would bring the younger people aside and tell tales of their families mulberry picking and how incredulous it was! Even people who had no memories of mulberries were mesmerized by the mountains of produce in our kitchen. It must be something innate in mankind to feel the pleasure of a bountiful harvest.  I processed the mulberries that night and many who came through said they would never forget the wonderful memory made in our kitchen.

Mulberries are rather mild in flavor, but chock full of nutrients. God planted our Mulberry trees Himself, He knew we would need them. I’ve put up three bushels so far and we’ve only harvested for 2 days! That’s almost 30 gallons! Thank You Lord, You are our Provider!

Ideas for Mulberries:

1. Make a mulberry pie. Find your favorite blackberry pie recipe and substitute mulberries for the blackberries. Just remember–they’re not as sweet.

2. Make a mulberry cobbler. 1 cup of baking flour (I use Pamela’s baking mix it’s gluten free. You can use self rising flour), 1 cup organic sugar, 3/4 cup milk (I use raw), 2 teaspoons vanilla and 1 stick of butter. Melt butter in bottom of baking dish. Mix flour, sugar, milk and vanilla together then spread on top of melted butter. Mix 2 cups of mulberries in 1/3 cup of sugar- heat to melt sugar.  Pour on top of flour mixture in baking dish. Bake for 35-40 minutes in 375 oven–or until done (won’t wiggle when you shake it). Serve with homemade ice cream! Eat on front porch with family and friends. This is truly delicious!

Mulberry Cobbler

Mulberry Cobbler- I ran out of organic sugar so I used 1/2 organic brown sugar in this cobbler- hence the darker color

3. Make mulberry pancakes. Use my pancake recipe, add mulberries to the mix and top with whipped cream and berries on top.

4. Make mulberry smoothie. 1 cup of yogurt, 1/3 cup crushed or juiced mulberries, 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 tsps. raw honey and 1/2 tsps. organic vanilla- you can add nuts or flax seeds if you eat with a spoon.

5. Make oatmeal with mulberries. After my oatmeal is ready I add butter, honey, raw milk and a handful of frozen mulberries to the top. YUM!

6. Make mulberry granola.  4 cups walnuts, ½  teaspoon celtic sea salt, ½ cup water, 4  dates pitted and chopped, 5 dried apricots  chopped, ½ cup dried mulberries, 1 teaspoon cinnamon

7. Make your favorite salad and pour fresh or dehydrated mulberries on top.

Dehydrating mulberries in dehydrator

Dehydrating mulberries in dehydrator

8. Make homemade mulberry ice cream. I use 4 cups of raw milk, 1 cup organic sugar, 5 organic and free range egg yolks and 2 tsps. vanilla. Mix all and let sit in fridge for an hour or so. Pour into ice cream maker–use your directions for how long to process. Mine takes 25 minutes. In the last five minutes I add 1/2 cup of crushed mulberries. When I serve the ice cream I add more berries to top!

9. Eat by themselves!

10. Make mulberry muffins. Use your favorite recipe and substitute mulberries for any fruit called for in recipe.

Make sure you don’t use the unripe ones, unless of course you’re in need of a laxative! After you harvest mulberries they deteriorate quickly. They’ll stay good for a couple of days, they keep longer in the fridge.

“Mulberries are very high in antioxidants, which help the body cleanse damaged cells which lead to many complications. They also contain large amounts of vitamin C as well as Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, really high levels of Iron, and Dietary Fiber which all help to give the body and mind incredible energy to live happy and healthy lives! They are also high in minerals like potassium, manganese, and magnesium and contain the B vitamins, B6, Niacin, Riboflavin, and Folic Acid.

Mulberries contain flavinoids and phyto-nutrients and are extremely high in anthocyanins which help to fight against cancer as well as reduce aging and neurological diseases, inflammation, diabetes, and bacterial infections. The berries also contain resveratrol, a powerful blood flow increasing antioxidant which you have probably heard promoted through the wine industry as their new claim to fame. Resveratrol is a powerful healer for many conditions such as aging diseases, inflammation, and a number one go to as part of an herbal protocol for the treatment of lymes disease.” Nutrition facts from www.ReturntoNature.us.

The Mulberry tree is directly behind everyone

The Mulberry tree is directly behind everyone

Dale harvested 30 gallons of mulberries  in two days! 4 hours of labor. There's a ton left to harvest!

Dale harvested 30 gallons of mulberries in two days! 4 hours of labor. There’s a ton left to harvest! He puts a sheet on the ground below the branches and then shakes the branches. The ripe ones gently fall onto the sheet. Easier than picking blackberries amongst thorns and poison ivy!

Mulberries make a great all natural dye for clothes!

Mulberries make a great all natural dye for clothes and fingernails!

Mulberry smoothie! Homemade plain yogurt, raw honey, mulberries and a little  organic vanilla-YUM!

Mulberry smoothie! Homemade plain yogurt, raw honey, mulberries and a little organic vanilla-YUM! We eat them on our salads too! Dehydrate, freeze or can the berries for preservation!

Making memories

And He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Luke 10:2

Every time we have a bountiful harvest, I think of that verse and it convicts me to bring in God’s harvest!  People are ripe for hearing the Good News of Jesus, we just need to do it!

 

Comments

  1. Wow. Beautiful photos and beautiful harvest. My parents used to have mulberries on their property but got sick of the clean-up. I was sad when they pulled the trees out.

    Thank you so much for linking up to the Independence Days Challenge. Hope to see you back this week.

  2. Sally Kosowicz-Flaig says:

    I have tons of over ripe mulberries on the ground that are attracting all kinds of vermin – and fruit flies. It also smells rotten!! What would you suggest I use to remedy this?

    • Oh my Sally! That’s dreadful! Rake up the rotten ones and throw away from the house. Shake the tree to save the fruit before it drops on the ground.

      Mulberries have reservatrol which has amazing health benefits. So, if you can use them you’ll have increased health benefits.

  3. Thank you for this post, so many great ideas! I acquired a mulberry tree when I purchased my home several years ago and clean up has really been a pain! I don’t want to take the tree down since it provides nice shade during the Summer. I figured I needed to turn this into a “positive” and start using them but had no idea how. Mine are a pale pink/wine color, do you think those have similar benefits?

    • Hi Maria!

      So yours never turn a dark color? I would think the benefits would be the same.

      Blessings!
      Sharon

      • Some do turn dark but mostly after they’ve fallen…mine are a mauve/light pink color, definitely not like those pictured above. I had to search online and apparently there are white mulberry trees, though not as sweet they say.

        • liuxy says:

          I used to eat very sweet white and light pink mulberries when I was a child, but they are very very sweet, much more sweet than dark ones, you even needn’t use any sugar when use them to make an ice cream …

        • I’ve heard the difference is not genetic.

          I’d like to know what causes mulberries to ripen to, or thru, different colors. They all start green, but there appear to be 2 different colored pigments that can be expressed, and not all of a particular crop, or of branches on a particular tree, express both pigments. And there are different tastes associated with the colors, probably not due to the pigments themselves. Some berries go thru a pathway wherein they turn white and then develop a slight pink hue when ripe, while others turn first strongly red with a tart taste and then dark purple-to-blue, “mulberry color” and sweet. However, it does appear that on trees with most of the fruit dropping just pinkish, a few of them develop the same blue as in the case of the red-then-blue ones. I’d like to know the biochemistry of this.

          The deeply colored ones are taken as a nuisance by people who park their cars under them or have them standing over things they’d rather not have stained. Silkworms don’t like the fruit, either, just eat the leaves, ultimately killing the tree.

        • Darillyn Lamb Starr says:

          Wow, thanks for all the ideas about mulberries! I live in northern Utah, in a house with a very large garden. I moved here when I got divorced, 14 years ago. Btw, congrats on being married to your best friend! I mean that! I was married to my worse enemy.

          Our yard is huge, and there were several trees that had been cut down, by the time we got here. I’ve let them all grow and two in particular have really surprised me. One was only a stump, but it wanted to grow, so I let it. When I saw what looked like small green footballs, growing on the branches, I looked on the internet and found that I had a pecan tree! The pecans so far have been small, but delicious.

          The other of the biggest surprises is that I have two mulberry plants! One is the color of blackberries and the other is kind of a combination purple and silver color. I once lived on a farm in western Washington, state, where thorny blackberry vines grew wild and the berries were the size of my thumb. I knew, by the plant, that the ones that resembled blackberries, were something different. Thank goodness for the internet! I would have never guessed that mulberries would grow in Utah, but that’s what I have! This year, my son has watered and fertilized them better than before and they look like yours! It’s a very pretty plant, and we have tons of berries this year. I’m wondering if the flavor and texture is different than yours, though. They are mildly sweet, with a unique flavor and no acidity that I can detect. I don’t detect any seeds, either. When I’ve made cobbler or jam with them, it just tastes sweet. Do you think yours have significantly more flavor than mine?

          I have added them to mixed berry jam,which was great. I made some delicious cobbler with sour cherries and mulberries, too. I will try some of your ideas,too!

    • Adrian says:

      I picked up recently that it is the white or pale mulberry trees which the silkworm feeds off in Asia. I thought that the darker mulberries were best for human consumption. I may be wrong in my facts though.

  4. Hi, thanks for all the mulberry recipes. I have only one tree but SO much fruit. I eat them straight from the tree for breakfast everyday but still they fall to the ground. Loved the sheet idea. Not sure why I never thought of it, so thanks. The bible verse is also very inspiring, Praise God for all his gifts. I shall always labour for Him in gratitude. Blessings

    • I tried sheets, but a great big clean tarp works best for covering larger areas under your tree to get maximum harvest. To be honest, I don’t clean up the ones on my grass, the morning doves, sparrows, song birds and others take care of most of the fallen fruits. I do constantly have to clean my side walk though.

  5. Christine says:

    How about mulberry jam, ever made it? Do you just use these berries like you would blackberries for jam too? It sounds like a great idea for diabetics!

    • Jerre Roller says:

      According to all the websites I’ve searched you can use mulberries in any recipe that you can use blackberries and raspberries in.

    • I made jam once as a way of preserving mulberries to ship to a friend.

      They can also be preserved against mold by a chlorine dioxide wash and then keeping them in the same sealed container unopened. Follow the Tell & Veltman patent (expired) to make a chlorine dioxide solution.

      Simply acidifying the berries with some citric acid will extend their life vs. mold a little. Of course that makes the more tart. It also changes their color from blue to red, which makes me suspect that the ripening of the red-then-blue mulberries is accompanied by an increase in pH rather than the elaboration of a separate pigment. But that doesn’t explain why the pink ones aren’t sour.

  6. sharon says:

    Thank you! I stumbled on the mulberries last year, found white, pink, dark red and almost black!! I loved making jam and eating them raw, going to try some of your other suggestions this year, as I have double the amount of trees I have found (including one God planted just for me in my own back yard!) and looking at the trees so far and the new fruit growing, it is going to be a bountiful year!!

  7. Susan Sloan says:

    Thank you for the inspired words and recipe , only have one tree and this is the first year I have had a harvest spread a sheet on the ground and let the Oklahoma wind do the rest in two days I now have a gallon I am making syrup because I don’t know how to deal with the stem, what do you do about the mulberry stems?

    • Jerre Roller says:

      I just leave the stems on. They don’t hurt anything and I’ve eaten them with the berries since I was about 5. I’m now 62, so they don’t seem to have hurt me any. You also won’t taste them or feel them.

    • Mabel Howell says:

      What is the best way to clean and do away with the stems

      • Mabel,
        Usually we include the stems in the processing and eat them unless the stems are hard like wood- twist them off if this is so. Normally when the mulberries fall off the tree, the stems disconnect from the berry and stay on the branch. like all fruit harvest, you have to decide how to use the fruit of creation for your benefit. Thanks!

  8. I picked about a half gallon from a friend’s tree. They suggested mulberry juice, but so far just been enjoying eating them off the tree. What do you do about the stems? I’m used to blueberries where the stems are easily removed – on mulberries, the stem isn’t easily removed. And with that said, how will I get my fingers and nails back to normal color?

    • Jerre Roller says:

      The juice will eventually wear off. I usually just wear it with pride as I tell people about how wonderful the mulberries are.

    • If you’re making juice, might as well try fermenting some into wine too. I haven’t tried that yet, but have friends who are into making wines, mead, and ales (though not from mulberries), so I’ll probably give it a go eventually, because I pick so many mulberries off trees in various locations here in the Bronx. Maybe use a starter culture rather than taking a chance with lambic. But if I wind up with a vinegar, that could be nice too.

      The only reasonably quick way I’ve found to destain my fingernails is soaking. Not sure whether my bubble bath formula (see link) helped with that (it was in the bath water) or whether plain water’s just as good. The skin swells and pushes out the stuff from under the nails.

      Also, wear blue clothes when picking. I used to wear a purplish shade of red many would think of as “mulberry”, but that turned out to show the stains much more than blue does.

    • Lemon juice removes the stains.

  9. Jerre Roller says:

    I am so happy that I found this web sight! My husband had absolutely no interest in harvesting our 2 trees of mulberries until I read all the natural benefits of them contained here. He then went out and found a tarp and started laying it down under the largest tree. Then he got a hoe and started shaking the branches. He’s all about them now. Just the flavor (awesome as it is) wasn’t enough.

  10. I don’t remove the stems either. There is no sensible way to do it, it does not effect any recipe, and if you try to pull out the stems, you can bruise the fruit.

    • We have numerous mulberry trees all over our farm–more than any one family could deal with, but I do what I can! I use them just like blackberries–However, I have the same personal problem with them as I do with any berry with seeds–they don’t agree with my digestion (seeds). Does anyone have a good way to remove the seeds from these berries–I am thinking of doing jam/jelly and if I could get the seeds out–I could enjoy them more.

  11. How do you tell if the mulberries are too early or unripe to pick?My neighbor has 3 Mulberry tree’s.All of the berries are dark purple colored and just a few are pink colored.But they vary in size from very small to about a half inch or so.Usually they stay on the tree until the end of the second week in July.It is now a bit early….June 23 in NE PA.I read that if you eat unripe mulberries that it is going to have a laxative effect!I’m taking some to work.I hope that they do not have a laxative effect on my coworkers!

    • Taste one. If it’s astringent (from tannins), it’s not ripe, and neither will be others that match it closely in color. Astringency gives you a mouth feel of fuzziness with possibly a slight delayed sting and a little bitterness. Pink isn’t necessarily bad, though they’re not as sweet as the dark ones.

    • When the berries are perfectly ripe they will fall off in your hand as you lift them up against the tree. If there is a sense of it sticking to the tree it’s not quite ripe. Also, if anyone has chickens, feeding them to the chickens will make superb yolks. Good way to use up too many.

  12. I have a modest black mulberry tree in my front yard; right now the fruits are quite red & beginning to ripen into black, but some are already black & ready.
    However, I want to harvest all the fruit at the same time to make some mulberry jam – would it be ok to harvest them before they’re fully ripe so that the already-ripened ones don’t rot on the tree while I wait for the rest?

    • They won’t rot on the tree, they’ll fall to the ground 1st. The red ones are safe to eat, just sour. I usually include a few when I make stuff from mulberries just to give a few tangy surprise bites.

      I’ve never been in position to mass-harvest them, but only pick individually, so I go back to a tree a few times during June. That won’t stop the picked ones from getting moldy if you’re trying to wait until you have enough at the same degree of ripeness. I have some now that I put away in closed containers after soaking in chlorine dioxide solution (made from a sodium bicarbonate-citric acid buffer, pH close to 7, with sodium chlorite (NaClO2) that had a day and a half to react in the dark in a closed container), waiting for me to pick enough more to make another pie for Independence Day weekend. A pie I made earlier came out great on Sat.

      If you’ll be cooking with them, probably the best way to get enough to use at once would be to cook each picked batch just before they’d've gotten moldy in the refrigerator, then refrigerating again. That should stretch out the period enough.

  13. Maria says:

    I make mulberry jelly. Puree berries then strain out pulp and stems (don’t throw them away!) Add sugar as needed and some pectin (I guesstimate everything so if you want a recipe, just do a search on the internet)…delicious. Now, the leftover stuff…I put it into my dehydrator (I guess you could use an oven also) then when it is completely dry, I grind it up into a powder, stems and all, and I use the powder in cookies, smoothies, cakes, etc. Nothing goes to waste

    • Gayle says:

      I made jelly a few years back, also straining it to have the juice. My mother used to make jams and jellies without pectin… only cooling it with sugar. I cooked and stirred until I thought it was just right, and canned it. A few weeks later, I went to use the jam, only to find it too liquid y… it made the best pancake and waffle syrup… everybody loved it! Nobody realized that I was so creative as to make my own syrup! I love your idea about drying the leftovers… I will be doing that as well… thanks!

  14. Susan says:

    Thank you for your article filled with wonderful ideas. God also planted my tree! It was difficult to identify it with its varied shaped leaves and different colored fruits. Now that we’ve identified the tree and its fruit, harvesting we will go. The Robins, and other local birdies think the tree is great and each year happily harvest the upper berries. I love the idea of placing a tarp on the ground and shaking the limbs. We’ll see. All the best. God bless.

  15. sarah says:

    I always keep an eye out for mulberry trees – so much fun for kids to climb and eat berries! I always keep a change of clothes and shows in the car because that juice goes everywhere.
    For those of you with too much windfall under the trees, just get a nice hen – she will clear up the berries in no time and provide you with one warm brown egg every day for your breakfast.

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