If you have access to a wild mulberry tree, you’re lucky, says goodhealthgourmet. They’re delicious and packed with nutrients, but they’re very perishable, and fresh mulberries are almost impossible to obtain commercially. You need to use them within a few days of picking—or freeze them, says goodhealthgourmet.

Ripe mulberries are so purple as to be almost black, and they collapse in your fingers if you attempt to pick them. It’s a better bet to lay out a tarp or net below your mulberry tree, and then either shake the tree or wait for them to drop naturally.

If you catch some, goodhealthgourmet suggests making muffins, cobbler, pie, or jam. “Macerate with liqueur (or just a little sugar and citrus) and serve over ice cream,” says goodhealthgourmet, or “make ice cream or sorbet.” The more adventurous might prepare a gastrique (fruit reduction) for meat or fish. Enjoy the summer!

Discuss: It’s a volunteer wild mulberry tree in the backyard …

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