- Raw raspberries are an excellent source of vitamin C. Just one cup of these lip-smacking little buds contains half your daily recommended amount of vitamin C, a nutrient that helps your body maintain healthy gums and absorb minerals such as iron, zinc and copper.
- Since one cup delivers 8 grams of fiber, these berries are also an excellent source of dietary fiber indeed!
Raspberries have been eaten by both Native Americans and Europeans since time immemorial. It's easy to understand why: These berries grow well in cold or warm climates, are brightly colored and easy to spot, can be picked and eaten right off the bush, and taste delicious!
There are dozens of varieties of raspberry. Some are a little larger or smaller than the rest, while others have a slightly different hue: amber, gold, purple or simply a brighter or darker shade of red.
When are Raspberries in Season?
Raspberries are typically planted in winter, bloom in spring and are at their peak during the summer season. However, like a lot of fruits and veggies these days, greenhouse cultivation means that you can usually buy them in the grocery store all year long.
How to Choose Raspberries
Fresh berries can be found in the produce section of your local supermarket, usually sold in small, clear plastic boxes. As with blueberries and blackberries, the key to picking good raspberries is to look for ones that are firm, plump and dry. The best raspberries will be a bright or rich red. Watch out for berries that are bruised, dark or moist-looking, as these are nearly past their prime. Carefully check your raspberries for patches of bluish fuzz, which are a clear sign of mold.
How to Store Raspberries
When kept in the fridge, fresh raspberries will last about a week. If you'd like them to last longer, consider freezing them. Simply place dry, unwashed berries on a cookie tray and slip them into the freezer. Once they're frozen through, you can place them in a baggie and leave them in the freezer for up to a year! Unlike many other fruits and veggies, raspberries freeze well, tasting almost like a miniature popsicle when eaten unthawed.
How to Cook with Raspberries
Remember to wash fresh berries in cold tap water before serving. Frozen raspberries should be treated the same way, though you should rinse them quickly and in very cold water to avoid accidentally thawing them.
In recipes, raspberries come in lots of measures. The most common ones are:
- 1 cup, or roughly 65 berries
- 1 ounce, or about 15 berries, or
- Individual berries (usually in small recipes or meals-for-one)
The nice thing about berries is that you can swap one kind for another, or even mix them in different combinations, to get new and eyebrow-raising flavors. The closest relatives to raspberries, taste- and texture-wise, are blackberries. Try using them for a slightly tarter note. You can also replace raspberries with blueberries or strawberry slices, which are sweeter and less tart. Or mix them all together for a tantalizing and tongue-staining spring medley.
Raspberries in Recipes
Want a breakfast that'll jump-start your taste buds? Try some sizzling Peach Melba Pancakes with Raspberries, which are a sweet, tangy and hearty way to greet the morning.
For a brunch to remember, you can bake Sunny Lemon-Raspberry Muffins, whose whole-grain taste goes great with a mug of hot tea.
To make a sweet and savory lunch, drizzle olive oil and red wine vinegar over a salad made with Grilled Chicken, Fresh Spinach and Raspberries.
And to cool off on a hot summer afternoon, there's nothing better than blending up a chilly Melon-Raspberry Smoothie!