Ingredient Focus: Raspberries

Rubus idaeus is the scientific name for raspberries and they are just that: ideal rubies. Who wouldn't want to snack on these luscious berries? Now is the time to get started. Raspberries are perennial berries that blossom from June to early fall. This summer, get outside by packing your own picnic equipped with raspberry-spangled fruit salad and sit outside and enjoy the sun. You can also enjoy the summer sun by visiting a farmers' market and grabbing raspberries as a great healthy grab-n-go snack to take with you!

Raspberries are sweet and juicy with a nice subtle tartness to them. Besides being one of the juiciest and tastiest berries around, raspberries are jam-packed with nutritional benefits like vitamins A and C. They also contain ellagic acid, which is in the same family as tannins and helps provide the body with loads of antioxidants. Eating them is a delicious way to protect your cells from damage!

If you're looking to grow raspberries, be sure to keep them in the full sun and slightly acidic soil. Raspberries grow best in mild winter/cool summer areas. Using a trellis will make your raspberry growing that much easier as it can help you with the pruning and harvesting process. Watch out for over-ripe berries that are too squishy or fall off the stem. Pick them as soon as they are bright red and juicy.

Raspberries are a perfect ingredient for jams and taste delicious when paired with desserts like peanut cake or as a garnish on lemon bars. Go for a more exquisite dessert option by making macarons.

What is your favorite way to eat raspberries? Do you eat them by themselves or use them in recipes?

Photo: Muffet