The good news is, yes, you can eat mulberry berries. Actually, everyone should pluck a few ripe mulberries and enjoy their sweet yet slightly sharp taste and health benefits.
If you spot these delicious red mulberry tree berries hanging ripe and ready for the taking, indulge yourself. White mulberry, black mulberry, and red mulberry fruits are best eaten fresh from the mulberry plant.
If your mulberry tree gives off an abundant number of ripe berries, go ahead and refrigerate them for a couple of days. Place on a plate and cover with a towel.
But always wash them first, so they don’t spoil in the fridge. You can even cover them with lemon juice to make them last a little longer.
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You can use mulberries in:
- Fruit tart
- Ice cream
- Mulberry and raspberry jam
Ripe mulberries also make some delicious drinks, so why not try adding mulberries to:
Are Mulberries Toxic in Any Way?
If you’re lucky enough to stumble upon a ripe mulberry tree, you may be wondering if these ripe berries are safe to eat or if mulberry berries are toxic before tempting a taste.
Mulberries are not toxic, but be careful when eating berries from mulberry trees. If the berries aren’t ripe, they may cause an upset stomach.
Never eat mulberry berries green in color. This fruit is still raw and will no doubt cause a laxative effect.
Although the ripe berries of the mulberry tree are not toxic, the pollen from the mulberry has been found to cause an allergic reaction in some sensitive individuals.
Those sensitive to birch pollen may also react due to cross-reactivity, but allergies to ripe mulberries are indeed rare.
Are Mulberries Good for You?
So, now that you know you can eat the ripe berries of mulberry trees, you want to check the health benefits of mulberries.
Whether eaten dried or fresh, mulberries are a delicious source of:
- Vitamin C
- Dietary Fiber
- Complex carbs
- Vitamin K-1
- Vitamin E
When you look at the abundance of vitamins and minerals listed above, it’s no surprise that mulberries are linked to a reduction in:
- Cancer risk
- Blood sugar levels
- Blood pressure
- Heart disease
The mulberry tree fruit is also known to encourage improvements in:
- Blood circulation
- The immune system
- Many other health benefits
- Healthier eating and way of living
Extremely popular in Asia, traditional Chinese medicine regularly uses mulberries as a remedy against cancer.
What do Mulberries Taste Like?
Is eating mulberries any different from eating raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries?
No, it’s not. Ripe mulberries are delicious whether eaten fresh or dried. With a nice subtle balance between sweet and tart, the fruit of mulberry trees makes for a tasty snack or dessert ingredient.
Sometimes, you may notice a pleasant, warming hint of winter baking spices or woody cedar.
If the black or red mulberries are slightly too tart, look for the white mulberries. This variety is a lot sweeter and has a mild honey flavor due to its low acidity.
For the most delicious taste, always wait until your mulberries are slightly over ripe.
How to Identify Mulberries?
When foraging for edible and ripe berries, you need to know what you’re looking for.
Look for fruits similar to blackberries, hanging from a genus of giant flowering and leafy plants (deciduous trees).
Black mulberries are similar in shape, color, and length to blackberries. But watch out for their changing colors. Mulberries usually ripen into a deep red, purple, black, or creamy white, depending on their variety.
Mulberries grow exponentially when they are babies and gradually slow down as their color changes.
You’ll know this fruit tree is ripening as they change from white or green to pink, red, dark purple, or black.
Where do Mulberries Grow?
Many might be surprised that mulberries grow globally in various temperate areas. Rumored to have its roots in China, the mulberry tree has spread worldwide.
When most varieties are local to certain parts of the world, they are considered “native” to those areas. The scientific name differs depending on where you’ll find your mulberry plant.
Mulberry trees are often known as:
- Morus nigra (translating to blackberry)
- Morus rubra (red mulberry)
- Morus australis (Chinese mulberry)
- Morus alba (white mulberry)
If you’re lucky enough to live in USDA zones 5-9 (in the north-eastern United States), you’ll stumble upon the red mulberry tree. The red mulberry tree especially enjoys moist, warm, and well-drained soil.
Much to the dismay of city dwellers who dislike the constant staining of cars and sidewalks as these berries stain everything they fall on, mulberries are very commonly found in cities and towns all over North America.
If you meet these city dwellers, tell them there is one sure way to stop the staining. Eat the lot!
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Getting into the great, wet outdoors in search of edible plants, herbs, fruits and fungi is one of Sarah’s favorite outdoor pursuits. She thinks there’s nothing better than combining her passion for hiking with the start of the foraging season. Sarah’s definitely not afraid of a little rain and dirt, it’s all part of the fun.