Last Updated : Mar 15,2018
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Fragrantly sweet with a subtly tart overtone and almost-melt-in-your-mouth texture, raspberries are wonderfully delicious and are usually in limited supply. A member of the rose family and a bramble fruit like the blackberry, raspberries are delicately structured with a hollow core.
Raspberries are known as "aggregate fruits" since they are a compendium of smaller seed-containing fruits, called drupelets that are arranged around a hollow central cavity.
Their shape conveys to them a very delicate, almost "melt-in-your-mouth" texture. They are fragrantly sweet with a subtly tart overtone. While the most common type of raspberry is red-pink in color, raspberries actually come in a range of colors including black, purple, orange, yellow and white.
Black Raspberry is available fresh in India. Grown in Mahabaleshwar which is home to all kinds of Jams and more famous for its Strawberries. Black Raspberry is not as sweet as Blueberries but yet taste great when combined with Curd to make a smoothie.
To make the Raspberry Puree, process fresh or frozen raspberries to a smooth puree in a blender. Strain the puree into a bowl through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the seeds, pushing on the mixture with the back of a wooden spoon to extract all the juice. Add sugar if required. This can be topped on desserts or combined with other fruits juices and enjoyed with a cube of ice as a mocktail.
How to Select
As raspberries are highly perishable, they should only be purchased one or two days prior to use. Choose berries that are firm, plump and deep in color, while avoiding those that are soft, mushy or moldy. If you are buying berries prepackaged in a container, make sure that they are not packed too tightly, since this may cause them to become crushed and damaged, and that the container has no signs of stains or moisture, indication of possible spoilage. Raspberries are generally available from midsummer through early fall.
For the best berries, find berry farms that pick them fresh or allow you to pick your own. The healthiest berries would be found on farms that don't use chemical pesticides. Berries can also be found in the frozen section of the grocery store.
" As raspberries are very delicate, wash them very gently, using the light pressure of the sink sprayer if possible, and then patting them dry. They should be washed right before eating or recipe preparation so that they do not become water-soaked and are not left at room temperature for too long. Do not use any berries that are overly soft and mushy unless you will be puréeing them for a sauce or coulis.
" Mix fresh raspberries in with creamy millet porridge for a sweet morning breakfast treat.
" While at first glance it may seem unusual, the flavor combination created by sprinkling fresh raspberries with balsamic vinegar will send your palate to heaven.
" Plain yogurt mixed with raspberries, honey and freshly ground mint is delicious eaten as is or used as a topping for waffles or pancakes.
" Almond butter and raspberry jam are a flavorful addition to the traditional sandwich.
" Berries are fabulous when they are served whole, without anything added, but for a little flair, try serving a mixture of your favorite berries with just a touch of whipped cream and nuts.
" Another way to serve them is to sprinkle a bowl full of berries with granola and add a splash of half and half or an alternative such as soy or rice milk.
" Berries can be combined with other healthy foods such as whole grain muffins and bread, just add them as baking ingredients.
" Raspberry jams and jellies are also available but are not the best sources for berries, since they contain lots of sugar, but berries preserved without the sugar can be used instead, and spread on whole grain bread. How to Store
Raspberries are one of the most perishable fruits, so extreme care should be taken in their storage. Before storing in the refrigerator, remove any berries that are molded or spoiled so that they will not contaminate the others. Place the unwashed berries back in their original container or spread them out on a plate lined with a paper towel, and then cover the plate with plastic wrap. Raspberries will keep fresh in the refrigerator for one or two days. Make sure not to leave raspberries at room temperature or exposed to sunlight for too long, as this will cause them to spoil.
Raspberries freeze very well. Wash them gently using the low pressure of the sink sprayer so that they will maintain their delicate shape and then pat dry with a paper towel. Arrange them in a single layer on a flat pan or cookie sheet and place them in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer the berries to a heavy plastic bag and return them to the freezer where they will keep for up to one year. Adding a bit of lemon juice to the raspberries will help to preserve their color.
" Berries are delicious gifts from nature.
" Raspberry is an antioxidant food containing ellagic acid. They help prevent unwanted damage to cell membranes and other structures in the body by neutralizing free radicals.
" They have the potential to inhibit cancer cell proliferation and tumor formation in various parts of the body, including the colon.
" Eating 3 or more servings of raspberry per day may lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), the primary cause of vision loss in older adults.
" They taste great, but the health benefits of the berries will be overshadowed by too much sugar and too many calories.
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