6 Reasons to eat more boysenberries, a tangy, tart fruit (recipes included)
10/21/2021 / By Rose Lidell / Comments
6 Reasons to eat more boysenberries, a tangy, tart fruit (recipes included)

The boysenberry is a nutritious fruit with many amazing health benefits, such as improving your brain health and digestion. It’s also a versatile ingredient that can be used to make desserts, jams and smoothies.

Where did boysenberries come from?

Back in the 1920s, horticulturist Rudolph Boysen from Napa, California, experimented with various crosses between berries.

When Boysen moved to Orange County, he planted berry vines on his in-law’s farm in Anaheim, California. He then obtained the loganberry-dewberry parent from John Lubben’s farm. In 1923, Boysen’s berry hybrid was successful.


However, it wasn’t commercially viable.

As the decade neared its end, George M. Darrow from the Department of Agriculture (USDA) started hearing stories about a unique berry grown on Boysen’s farm. Darrow then asked Walter Knott, a farmer and known berry expert, for help.

Darrow and Knott discovered that Boysen abandoned his plans to grow boysenberry as a crop, eventually selling his farm after injuring his back due to an accident. Undeterred, both Knott and Darrow went to Boysen’s old farm and recovered some frail berry vines that survived in a field full of weeds.

The boysenberry vines were transplanted and cared for at Knott’s farm. The Knott family restaurant and pie business eventually turned into what is now known as Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California. The park flourished thanks to the berry’s popularity.

Knott is considered as the first person to commercially cultivate the berry in Southern California. He first started selling it in 1932 at a farm stand and he named the fruit after Boysen.

The boysenberry has a “uniquely rich, juicy, tart and sweet flavor” because of its unique history. With a tangy flavor similar to wine, boysenberries also boast of a lusciousness that comes from three native blackberry species. The floral aroma and sweetness of boysenberry come from the raspberry.

When buying boysenberries, look for fruits that aren’t bruised at farmers’ markets. Note that underripe berries are reddish and very tart. Look for boysenberries that are darker in color.

When making jams, pies and sauces, you’ll need boysenberries that are both sweet and tart.

Health benefits of boysenberries

Boysenberries contain various vitamins and minerals like:

  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Protein
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin B2
  • Vitamin B3
  • Vitamin B5
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Zinc

Boysenberries also contain vitamin K that can help prevent kidney stones. Additionally, the vitamin is good for your bone health and can help lower osteoporosis risk.

The vitamin C and vitamin A in the berries may help prevent and treat vision-related disorders.

Detailed below are six reasons to incorporate boysenberries into a balanced diet.

It can boost digestive health

Boysenberries are used to treat digestive issues like constipation. They’re also full of dietary fiber that can make it easier to manage bowel movements.

It can help regulate your blood pressure and triglyceride levels

Boysenberries promote better heart health because they are full of the antioxidant vitamin C.

The superfood also has an impressive potassium-sodium ratio, with 183 mg of potassium and 1.3 mg of sodium. Because of these nutrients, boysenberries help relax blood vessels and lowers your risk of developing high blood pressure.

In an animal study, scientists discovered that the polyphenolic compounds in boysenberry juice can help “boost nitric oxide concentration through the aortic endothelial nitric oxide synthase activation” in hypertensive rat subjects. This means boysenberry can boost heart health and lower your blood pressure.

In another study, results suggested that the polyphenols in boysenberry juice can help inhibit plasma triglyceride absorption levels in animal subjects.

It can boost immune health and prevent cancer

Boysenberries have potent anti-inflammatory properties that can help boost your immune health and protect you from different types of cancer, like malignant esophageal and colorectal tumors.

The berries contain vitamin C, which can help your fight infections and get rid of cancer-causing free radicals.

It can promote lung health

Lung fibrosis has a negative impact on lung function in people with chronic asthma.

According to a study, boysenberry can help support the development of fibrinolytic lung macrophages with the airway capacity to promote balanced lung repair, which can limit lung damage in those with chronic asthma and other pulmonary diseases.

It can boost your brain health

Boysenberries can promote brain health because they contain the antioxidant anthocyanin, which may help protect against oxidative damage, improve your memory and even prevent Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline.

The berries also contain folate and potassium that are good for your brain health. Data has shown that potassium can help promote better blood flow to the brain and enhance cognition, concentration and neural activity.

Boysenberries also contain vitamin B6, which can benefit those with depression.

It can help reduce epilepsy risk

A one-cup serving of boysenberries contains 0.72 mg amount of manganese. This is enough to meet 36 percent of your recommended daily intake.

Several studies have suggested that people who have seizures also have lower manganese levels, which can be addressed by consuming foods rich in manganese like boysenberries.

Cooking with boysenberries

Boysenberries are tangy and tart. You can eat a handful of berries on their own for a quick snack, or you can use berries to make desserts, jams, jellies, sauces, syrups, or smoothies.

Try the recipes below to make boysenberry syrup or boysenberry salad.

Homemade boysenberry syrup


  • 1 12-oz. bag (about 2 cups) frozen boysenberries, partially thawed
  • 1/2 cup coarse sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch, plus two tablespoons of cold water


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the sugar and water over medium heat then bring to a simmer. Add the boysenberries to the mixture and cook for five minutes.
  2. Remove the mixture from the heat and strain through a sieve. Press down on the berries with the back of a spoon to help the pulp go through the sieve.
  3. Return the syrup to the pan and add the cornstarch to the mixture. Heat until the mixture thickens and clears. When you’re done, the mixture will further thicken after it has cooled.

Drizzle boysenberry syrup on pancakes or add it to ice cream for a sweet and tangy dessert.

Boysenberry salad

This salad recipe pairs boysenberries with yogurt, honey and your choice of microgreens.

Ingredients for the salad:

  • 1 cup boysenberries
  • 1/2 cup yellow corn kernels, thawed
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 2.5 oz. microgreens, washed

Ingredients for the yogurt honey dressing:

  • 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon raw honey
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • Himalayan salt, white pepper to taste


  1. In a bowl, toss the microgreens with the boysenberries, corn and pine nuts. Top the salad with feta cheese.
  2. In another bowl, whisk the honey, plain yogurt, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. Refrigerate the dressing at least an hour before serving.
  3. Drizzle the dressing on top of the salad before eating.

Boysenberries are a unique superfood rich in vitamins and minerals. Try these recipes to make boysenberry syrup or salad that can help boost your overall health.




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