RASPBERRY

Tangy, sweet, and sour; fragile little raspberries are a delicious addition to my morning yogurt. 

savernakeraspberryOf course, I had to wear them as little hats on my fingers before I could put them in the bowl. It’s just a thing.

raspberryhatRaspberries are a member of the rose family and when left to their own natural devices, ripen during the mid summer months. Each berry is actually a conglomeration of little drupe fruits, with seeds contained in each little bulb that then makes up the whole little berry.  The berries form around their core, which they are then removed from when picked, leaving them hollow, which is why they make good accessories. 

From a culinary perspective, if you haven’t enjoyed a raspberry straight from the garden or forest, then you are most definitely missing out. Freshly foraged raspberries have a flavor spectrum unique to themselves. Second best are organic berries from the market, which can then be added to any number of sweet and savory dishes if not enjoyed just as is. They can be pureed quite easily and used in sauces, dressings, puddings, baked goods, and smoothies. Truly, the sky is the limit if you are creative in the kitchen. I actually just enjoy them raw because I like their texture as well and don’t want to miss out on that if they are smooshed into other ingredients.

raspberrybushFrom a health perspective, raspberries and their leaves are little packets of nutritional goodness. They are high in a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients; some of which are specific to the raspberry. A good source of vitamin C, just a cup a day provides the recommended daily amount. They are high in manganese and fiber, both of which aid in blood sugar management, bone, tissue and skin health, and anti-oxidant activity.  They help decrease oxidative stress, systemic inflammation and cell mutation that can lead to various cancers.

The most interesting thing about raspberries in the health world is research concerning a little ketone specific to the raspberry called rheasmin. Research is demonstrating that rheasmin has the potential to boost intracellular metabolic function, decreasing the risk of obesity and fatty liver disease.  Combine the rheasmin with several other flavonoids that are specific to the raspberry and the rose family and you have a combination that works very well for the metabolism of fat and sugar.

Just an added note about raspberries... research also demonstrates that their nutrient qualities are significantly increased if they are organic or pesticide free, and if they are ripe.