My niece and her husband bought a few acres here in the Garden State and are doing a lovely job of turning into a very small farm. My 12-year-old and I visited the other day, and I’m so impressed with how they’re using the property. They’ve planted a small orchard along with a fruit and vegetable garden. They’ve also left a lot of native plants growing to support the ecosystem of the property.

There are established mulberry trees growing along the perimeter of their property, and I picked some berries to bring home to make some mulberry shrub syrup. Now I’m jonesing to go back and pick some more to see how else I can use these sweet fruits that are so readily available and ripe for picking.

  1. Mulberry Polenta Muffins -  Berries are always a great muffin addition, and these are a cornmeal-like that look like a great morning treat.
  2. Mulberry and Pear Smoothie – Sweetened with a little brown sugar (or not – mulberries are pretty sweet), this smoothie uses fresh fruit and either milk or pear juice to create a healthy shake.
  3. Mulberry Sorbet – You need an ice cream maker for this recipe, but this recipe spiked with a little liqueur makes a beautiful looking sorbet.
  4. Stuffed Mulberry Leaves – The leaves are edible, too. I didn’t know that until I saw this recipe. I recently had stuffed grape leaves for the first time and really enjoyed them, so I’m finding this idea for mulberry leaves stuffed with flavored rice and boiled to be intriguing.
  5. Mulberry Soaked Oat Porridge – Oats, fresh mulberries, and cashews create a porridge sweetened with a little honey and spiced with a bit of cinnamon.
Do you eat mulberries fresh from the tree or do you find culinary uses for them?

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Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

5 recipes for mulberries
Grab a bucket and find a mulberry tree. When you’ve had your fill of eating them straight from the tree, try them in one of these recipes.