Fresh fruits are such a great topping for oatmeal, yogurt, ice cream, pound cake, cottage cheese, shortcake…I’m sure you could add a few more items to the list. When fresh fruits aren’t available–and after I’ve used the last of the strawberry-rhubarb sauce I freeze every year–I turn to frozen, organic fruit for quick and delicious sauces and toppings.
Maple syrup is the perfect, robust sweetener for tart blackberries. I was inspired by my friend Ally’s Chocolate Vodka Blackberry Vampire Sauce (love the name!) to add a hint of cocoa powder to deepen the flavor. Her recipe uses chocolate vodka, and this is a non-alcoholic spin. Between the blackberries and the cocoa powder, this sauce is loaded with anti-oxidants and great taste! Stirring in a little fresh mint at the end brightens the flavor beautifully.
This is one of those recipes you can play around with, substituting other flavors that compliment the blackberries, like vanilla or ginger. For a lighter taste, granulated sugar may be used. Incorporating other berries such as red raspberries or blueberries is yet another idea. The possibilities are endless!
I like the berries to stay mostly in tact; simply simmer longer to break them down and thicken the sauce, if you prefer.
- 1 10-ounce bag frozen blackberries, organic if available
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, optional
- 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- fresh mint, optional
- Cook berries and maple syrup over medium heat until berries thaw. Add lemon juice, zest, cocoa powder, and salt and simmer for a few minutes more, longer if you prefer the berries to break down and the sauce to become thicker. Remove from heat and stir in a teaspoon or two of chopped, fresh mint, if desired.
- Maple Blackberry Sauce is fabulous served warm but can be enjoyed at any temperature!
- Toasted almonds pair very nicely with this sauce and may be sprinkled overtop the sauce for added crunch and flavor.
***Served over top Baked Gluten-Free Pancakes in above photo.