Sunday, July 26, 2009

Raspberry Summer

Luscious raspberries grow like jewels dangling amongst the lime-green foliage. Summer is here when the raspberries are ready~the variety we grow doesn't keep well, so if not eating within a day of picking, or used in baking, they are frozen. This raspberry vinaigrette is good on a nutty or fruity salad: Toss a handful of cranberries, pine nuts or walnuts on your salad along with raspberry vinaigrette for a sweet treat.
  • 1/2 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil


Add all ingredients, except oil to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Slowly add oil until well combined.

Luscious raspberries are also exceptionally good for you: this from Wikipedia: Raspberries contain significant amounts of polyphenol antioxidants such as anthocyanin pigments linked to potential health protection against several human diseases.[6] The aggregate fruit structure contributes to its nutritional value, as it increases the proportion of dietary fiber, placing it among plant foods with the highest fiber contents known, up to 20% fiber per total weight. Raspberries are a rich source of vitamin C, with 30 mg per serving of 1 cup (about 50% daily value), manganese (about 60% daily value) and dietary fiber (30% daily value). Contents of B vitamins 1-3, folic acid, magnesium, copper and iron are considerable in raspberries.[7]

Raspberries rank near the top of all fruits for antioxidant strength, particularly due to their dense contents of ellagic acid (from ellagotannins), quercetin, gallic acid, anthocyanins, cyanidins, pelargonidins, catechins, kaempferol and salicylic acid. Yellow raspberries and others with pale-colored fruits are lower in anthocyanins.

Due to their rich contents of antioxidant vitamin C and the polyphenols mentioned above, raspberries have an ORAC value (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) of about 4900 per 100 grams, including them among the top-ranked ORAC fruits.

The following anti-disease properties have been isolated in experimental models. Although there are no clinical studies to date proving these effects in humans, preliminary medical research shows likely benefit of regularly consuming raspberries against:

In the Greater Victoria area, you can find organic raspberries at Echo Valley Farm, Haliburton community organic farm, Kenyon Farm in Sydney, and Saanich Organics on Mt. Newton X Rd.

Raspberries love lots of water and compost and a well-drained soil. Pruning out old canes and spreading suckers is important to the health of the plants. See here for how and when to prune raspberries: I also love raspberry leaf tea with a bit of lemon balm added - iced is very refreshing. Now I'm off to make a pie!

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