Yes, raspberries come with tiny seeds that get stuck in your teeth, but as people say, with every benefit there comes a penalty. And raspberries have many more benefits than penalties.
A luscious, ripe raspberry is not only good tasting but it’s good for you. It’s full of anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories like kaempferol and quercetin, flavonols, flavanols, flavonoid glycosides and other tongue twisting phytonutrients. Raspberries are also a great source of dietary fiber, Vitamin C, the B vitamins, manganese, magnesium, calcium, iron and copper. They also have a low glycemic index, which means they won’t cause the blood sugar levels to spike. This can be helpful for people with Type 2 diabetes.
Raspberries grow all over the temperate regions of the planet. They can be black, red, purple or yellow. There was even a white variety that tasted good but was too fragile to be shipped to the store.
Raspberries have been around for millennia. They probably got their start in Spain and moved northward over the centuries, helped no doubt by the Romans who seemed to have planted them all over their vast empire. In America, the great botanist Luther Burbank was responsible for bringing in a wealth of raspberry hybrids.
Like blackberries, raspberries can be invasive. A lot of people find that a raspberry cane has made itself at home in some inconvenient place in their garden. However, if a gardener wants to have raspberries, they should be planted in full sun and rich loam with full drainage and a pH that’s about 5.5 to 7.0.
To keep the raspberry healthy and productive, it should be trained on a trellis and the weak, spent or spindly canes thinned out in the spring or after a harvest; the ever-bearing type of raspberry has a crop in the summer and another in the fall. It’s important that water not be allowed to get on the berries because it will dilute their flavor, so a raspberry should be watered regularly via drip irrigation.
Eat It Quick!
The delicate berries are ready to pick when they can slide off the stem without too much tugging. They should be placed in small bowls so the ones on the bottom aren’t crushed. Then, they should be eaten as soon as possible. As anyone who’s bought a carton of insipid raspberries from the store can tell you, the flavor just doesn’t last. To store, spread the berries on a cookie sheet and freeze. When they’re frozen through, pour them into freezer bags. They’ll be good for up to two years. If they go directly into the fridge after picking, raspberries will last only about three or four days.
Love raspberries? Try my White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake.