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Seasonal Produce: Raspberries

Intensely flavored, sweet-tart raspberries are a true summer fruit. In peak season from June through August, they are available in three main varieties: red, black and golden. While they all taste similar, red raspberries are the most popular and widely available. Raspberries are botanically related to blackberries, but black raspberries are a totally different fruit - not the black variety of raspberries.

Purchasing

  • For the best flavored raspberries, look for locally grown in-season fruit.
  • Select plump, dry, brightly colored berries without hulls. (Attached hulls indicate underripe berries that will taste tart.)
  • If packaged in a carton, check to make sure that there are no juice stains on the bottom of the carton or moldy or crushed berries buried inside.
  • Raspberries are very perishable and should be used as soon as possible after purchasing.
  • Sort the berries before storing them, discarding any that are moldy.
  • Refrigerate unwashed berries in a single layer covered with a damp paper towel for 1 to 2 days.
  • Freeze washed and dried berries by placing them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze until firm, then transfer to freezer bags. Freeze for up to 9 months.

Preparing

  • Remove and discard any damaged berries.
  • Rinse gently and quickly under cold water just before using; never soak in water or they may become waterlogged.
  • Spread out on paper towels to dry.
  • Do not thaw frozen raspberries before using. Since they do not hold their shape after being frozen, use them for baking or puréeing.
  • To purée raspberries for a sauce, use a food processor or blender. Pour the puréed berries through a sieve to strain out seeds before using.

Nutrition

  • Excellent source of vitamin C.
  • Excellent source of fiber.

Serving

  • Sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar over a pint of berries. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Serve the berry sauce over pancakes/waffles, ice cream, shortcakes, pound cake and angel food cake.
  • Add a handful of raspberries to the blender while whipping up smoothies and shakes.
  • Layer fresh raspberries with yogurt and granola or JELL-O Pudding for breakfast or dessert parfaits.
  • Garnish desserts, such as PHILADELPHIA Cheesecake, with fresh raspberries and mint sprigs.
  • Toss fresh raspberries into fruit, green or chicken salads and top with your favorite KRAFT Dressing.
  • Replace one-quarter of the fresh fruit in your favorite baked pie, crisp or cobbler with raspberries for delicious fruit combinations, such as apple/raspberry.
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