The Backyard Bush
Beautyberry is a bush commonly found in your very own backyard. They are found in the U.S.A., Australia, and parts of Asia.
So if you live in one of these areas you may just find it in your backyard.
My beautyberry bush is flowering right now (Early-mid June.) Soon in mid-late fall I’ll be reaping the rewards of the berry production of this bush
I first found this bush a couple of years ago, and it caught my eye with it’s beautiful bright purple berries.
The have large clumps, with large green leaves on opposing sides of the stem. These bushes must have a great pollination technique because once you see one bush there will be many more to come.
Before eating or touching my beautyberry bush, I did what any forager should do and I researched it, identified it through many online resources, and field guides.
While I was doing my research on these beautiful berries, I found out that many people swear by using the leaves as a mosquito deterrent.
Last year, the mosquitos got really bad. Bad as in it didn’t seem to matter what kind of bug spray you used, it STILL didn’t help!
So I put my research to good use, and I rubbed the Beautyberry leaves on my skin.
Guess what? It worked!
I was working outside that day, reorganizing the shed of “crap”, and it helped to keep the mosquitos away really well but it definitely didn’t help with the pesky gnats!
Part of my research included extensive reading up on how people thought that this berry is poisonous. That’s not what I found in my research. However, I did find that some people get an upset stomach from eating these berries.
Everybody is different and processes food differently. Think of someone you know who is lactose intolerant for example not everyone has a lactose intolerance.
This may be the reason some people get upset tummies when eating beautyberry. They may just have an intolerance. Maybe their bodies are not prepared to digest it or they are allergic. Please use caution when first trying the berry!
Beautyberry Jelly Recipe
Wash the berries and remove any stems, leaves or bugs.
Place berries in a pan, and crush them with a potato masher.
Add in the water, and boil for 20 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
Strain, keeping the liquid. I use a fine metal strainer. You need something very fine to strain out very small particles. You could also use a cheesecloth.
Place 3 cups of the liquid back in the pan add the sure jell, and the sugar.
Boil this mixture for two minutes.
Skim off foam.
Beautyberry Jelly Recipe
- 6 cups beautyberries
- 8 cups water
- 1 envelope of sure jell
- 4 1/2 cups sugar
- Wash the berries and remove any stems, leaves or bugs.
- Place berries in a pan, and crush them with a potato masher.
- Pour the water into the pan, and boil for 20 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
- Use a fine mesh strainer to strain out the pulp.
- Place 3 cups of the liquid back in the pan add the sure jell, and the sugar. (You can make a second batch with the rest of the liquid)
- Boil this mixture for two minutes.
- Skim off foam.
- Pour into jars.
Then you’re done. I place my beautyberry jelly in the water bath canner for 10 minutes.
My kids love my homemade jams and jellies. We add them to our biscuits, toast, and pancakes. We’re trying this year to not eat cereal. It is expensive and full of bad ingredients.
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