Summers are here which means the berry season is upon us. This week we’re featuring fresh, juicy and refreshingly sweet raspberries! Known as nature's candy, raspberries are one of the world's most consumed berries. These antioxidant-packed little packets of flavor come in a variety of colors, ranging from the well-known red and black varieties to yellow, purple and golden.
In order to pick up the freshest produce, look for bright, uniform-colored, firm berries. Avoid darkened, mushy fruit. Berries sold in open baskets tend to be packed closer to sale reducing the chances of developing mold.
Tips to store and preserve raspberries
To prolong the life of raspberries, store them in a covered, shallow container in the fridge where they are easily accessible. Avoid washing them as the water can diminish their scent and make them go moldy quickly. You can rinse your berries gently right before consuming them.
If you wish to extend the life your leftover raspberries, freezing them works perfectly. Just wash you berries thoroughly and place them on top of a baking tray. Pat dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Place the tray overnight in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer the berries to a zip lock bag and they are good to be consumed within 10-12 months.
Create a Jam
Ingredients: 9 cups crushed berries and 6 cups sugar. Sterilize canning jars. Combine berries and sugar. Bring slowly to a boil, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly to, or almost to, gelling point, depending upon whether a firm or soft jam is desired. As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking. Pour hot jam into hot jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. Process 5 minutes in a boiling water canner. After processing, take canner off heat. Remove lid. Wait 5 minutes before removing jars. NOTE: If seedless jam is preferred, crushed berries may be heated until soft and pressed through a sieve or food mill; then add sugar and proceed as above. (Recipe from OSU Extension Service).
To store raspberries at room temperature, wash them with white vinegar followed by a thorough rinse with water. Place them on a lined baking tray and pat dry with paper towels. Put the baking tray in the oven at 130 degrees. Check at regular intervals and take out the tray once the berries are brittle. Once cooled, store in an airtight container in a cool dry place. Dried berries can be consumed with in a year.
To find out where you can find raspberries at the markets check out our blog for a complete list of vendors that sell it!
Recipe Credit: allrecipes.com
2 cups fresh raspberries
¼ cup sweet onion
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 clove minced garlic
3 Tbsp lime juice
3 tsp finely chopped jalapeno peppers
½ tsp white sugar
Mix together all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
Cover the bowl and place in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour.
Serve the refreshingly sweet and tart raspberry salsa along with your choice of grilled meat or savory foods. Enjoy!
RASPBERRY AND APEROL FLOATS
Recipe Credit: bon appetit
1 sprig thyme
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup (or more) Aperol (substitute with Campari if unavailable)
1 1/3 cups raspberries (about 6 ounces)
1 pint vanilla ice cream or gelato
2 12-ounce cans club soda
Put thyme, sugar and ¼ cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Keep stirring to dissolve sugar.
Remove from heat, cover, and let sit 15 minutes.
Remove thyme sprig and let syrup cool. Stir in 1/4 cup Aperol (substitute with Campari if unavailable).
Divide syrup and raspberries among 4 tall glasses and muddle gently. Dividing evenly, add ice cream and top off each with club soda and more Aperol, if desired.