Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Raspberries may be a small fruit, but they’re packed with big benefits! These tiny nutritional powerhouses are a good source of fiber and are also rich in vitamin C. You can enjoy raspberries when try to lose or maintain weight. Enjoy a 3/4-cup serving, and avoid frozen products that contain added sugar. Here’s more information on raspberries, including some delicious ways to enjoy them.
Buying and Storing Raspberries
Most American raspberries found in the supermarket come from California between the months of June and October and are at their peak in the summer months. Raspberries, like many other berries, must be eaten within a day or two of purchase. Because they are often packaged in boxes that conceal decay, it's important to carefully examine the container: Take a peek at the berries you can see and make sure they are not damaged, spoiled, or moist. Look for stains or leaking on the box — this is an indication that the fruit inside is beginning to spoil. Raspberries should be plump and firm; not withered or crushed.
Once you get the berries home, the first thing you should do is remove them from the box. Inspect all the berries and discard those that are spoiled or crushed. Pat the remaining berries dry with a paper towel (don't wash them yet!), spread them out in a clean container, and cover with paper towels and plastic wrap. Raspberries can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator for one to two days. When you're ready to eat them, gently rinse under a light spray of cold water (running water could damage this delicate fruit). Raspberries can also be frozen and kept in the freezer for 10 months to a year. The beauty of freezing is that the berries will be readily available for recipes — no defrosting necessary!
Delicious Ways to Enjoy Raspberries
Rinse the raspberries and gently pat dry before eating. Raspberries can be served plain or sprinkled with a little sugar substitute. Add them to whole-grain cereals, steel-cut oatmeal, or nonfat (0%) plain Greek yogurt, or use them to garnish salads. Fresh or frozen berries can be used to make sauces, salad dressings, or smoothies. Here are some delicious ways you can incorporate raspberries into your meals:
For Breakfast: Raspberry-almond parfaits. In a food processor, combine 2/3 cup part-skim ricotta cheese, 2/3 cup nonfat plain (0%) Greek yogurt, and 2 tablespoons of sugar substitute. Process until smooth. Place 1/4 cup of raspberries in parfait glasses or dessert dishes. Spoon the ricotta and yogurt mixture over the raspberries. Sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon and a tablespoon of slivered almonds. Continue to layer the remaining raspberries and yogurt mixture with slivered almonds.
For Lunch or Dinner: Raspberry vinaigrette. By blending pureed and strained raspberries, extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and some fresh lime juice you can easily prepare healthy raspberry vinaigrette. Drizzle this dressing over chicken breasts or a green salad.
For Dessert: Raspberries over fat free Greek yogurt. Sweeten the yogurt with a sugar substitute and add raspberries on top and enjoy this healthy guilt free dessert to your heart's content.