Market Watch & Recipe: Raspberries!
The brutal June heat was worth it because raspberries are making an early appearance this summer. Just one glance at these colorful gems and I’m ready to devour their soft, melt-in-your-mouth flesh, then lick the sweet-tart juicy remnants off my fingers.
Why you should eat ’em:
Whether they are black, ruby red, or yellow, their sun-blasted exterior screams summer and good-for-you grub! Raspberries’ outstanding flavor is matched only by their incredible health benefits. This power-house fruit is chockfull of fiber, manganese, and vitamin C. Raspberries also have a special pigment, anthocyanin, that is responsible for the purple and red overtones and credible research reveals their ability to protect against cell damage; to slow the growth of breast, prostate, and colon cancer cells; and to preserve your vision by way of improving blood flow to the eyes.
Where to find them in Philly
In the Philly area, fresh raspberries are usually available from midsummer to late August . They should be purchased close to the date of use—approximately one or two days beforehand—as they are super-perishable. Check that they are plump and deep in color and free of mushy or moldy fruit which can contaminate the rest of the bunch. There are three varieties available at your local market or farm stand now.
Red: Its ruby color and distinctive tang is a key addition to yogurt smoothies and other raspberry-rhubarb confections.
Yellow: Unknown to many, these golden-delicious raspberries are becoming a specialty item for bakeries. Use them to put a slant on cake decorating, pastry baking, and jam making.
Black: This variety appears early in the season, but rarely makes it onto grocery store shelves. Often times they are found in backyard gardens or growing wild. Find them in our locally sourced preserves at my cafe and market, Healthy Bites to Go.
Because raspberries only keep for one to two days, extreme care should be taken when storing the berries. Keep unwashed berries in their original container or spread them on a paper towel lined plate and cover with plastic wrap.
Although I can guiltlessly polish off a pint of berries, I also enjoy this simple recipe as a decadent topping on my morning yogurt.
• 2 cups fresh raspberries
• ¼ cup water
• 1 tablespoon agave or 2 tbsp local honey (the agave tastes sweeter)
• 1 lemon, juiced and zested
Heat all ingredients in a saucepan until berries are warm and slightly cooked (about 5 minutes). Drizzle over plain yogurt, or for a treat, vanilla gelato.
Per serving: 43 calories, 11 g carb, 2.7 g. fiber, .52 g. protein, .25 g. fat, 0 g. sat. fat, 0 mg. chol, .5 mg. sodium
Katie Cavuto-Boyle, MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian, chef, and owner of Healthy Bites ToGo Market. Read Katie’s full bio and more about her role at Be Well Philly here.