Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!
Nutritional and Other Information
About Raspberries from
the Barren County Farmers' Market




Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!

Raspberries are a small, deep colored berry, usually red, which is very tender, has a sweet flavor that is slightly tart, and a pleasant aroma. Its flavor is stronger than most other types of berries.

The berries grow on a thorny bush or cane, although some varieties are thornless.

The berry consists of a group of smaller fruits that are called drupelets, which each contain a tiny seed. The drupelets are clustered together around a central core. When picked from the bush, the core remains on the bush, leaving the raspberry hollow at the base. This is an easy way to distinguish them from blackberries whose core comes with them when they are picked.

Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!

The most common variety is the red raspberry. However, other varieties exist which include the purple-flowering, the black raspberry and the golden raspberry. The red raspberry's peak season is usually more towards the end of the summer into fall. They seem to produce better in the cooler weather. They are larger and less seedy in comparison to the black raspberries.

The black raspberry has a distinctively black color, is typically found in forests and field areas, and is referred to as the wild raspberry. It is usually a little smaller than the other varieties except for varieties which are tame. It can be found in forests, fields and hedgerows and, if you are lucky, at your local farmers' market. Before ripening, the black raspberry will go from green to a white to pink to red color and then becomes increasingly deeper and darker in color as it ripens.

Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!

The golden raspberry is most often produced in limited quantities to be served as a dessert berry. This variety has a bright gold to orange color, a typical raspberry texture and a plump round meaty fruit. They are very sweet and delicious and can be used like any other raspberry.

The purple-flowering raspberry is generally found growing wild in country forests, fields, and hedgerows. The fruit has a flat dome-shaped appearance with a faded red coloring. It is not as sweet as the red variety but is very tasty when sweetened and served as a dessert.

A hybrid of the black and red raspberry is known as the purple raspberry, taking on the purple overtone, but having the same texture as the black or red and a mildly sweet flavor. It isn't considered to be as good as the others by many growers.

Selecting a quality product

When you buy berries in a store, look for ripe, colorful, yet firm berries, with no sign of mold or mushy spots.

Picking your own berries is a good option. The quality is much better than any store, when you choose the fruit yourself and get it fresh from the plant. It looks and tastes better. It's is healthier, too, because it is fresher.

The costs are usually substantially less because the farmer doesn't need to pay farm hands to pick, and he usually has no packaging or shipping costs. And if you plan to can or preserve any jam, fruit or vegetables, this is the best way to buy. Some people take their whole families and make a day of it.

Gently wash the berries before you serve them. Berries can also be found in the frozen foods section of the grocery store. Once they thaw, they will not be as firm as freshly picked berries, but they will still contain all the nutritional benefits of fresh berries.

Tips on Storage

Always seek out local berries when possible, since they are invariably the most flavorful. Farmer's markets are notorious for having fresh, quality fruits and vegetables so would be a great choice. Raspberries are the most perishable of fruits, so choose them carefully. Stay away from fruits that are not true in color, or berries that are soft, wet, sticky to the touch or appear moldy.

Raspberries are very fragile and must be handle with care to avoid bruising. Bruising will deteriorate the quality of the berry. Raspberries are generally fairly clean and do not need to be washed. Never wash them before putting them in the refrigerator. It will only serve to hasten spoilage or molding. Berries don't store very well so prepare to use them soon after purchasing.

Raspberries, like most berries freeze nicely, keeping up to ten months in the freezer. To freeze berries, rinse them gently and dry in a colander or on paper towels. Put them on a sheet pan or tray in the freezer. When frozen, put the berries in a bag. This way they won't stick to each other and you can measure out as much as you want for your morning cereal, ice cream topping, or pies, cobblers, cakes, etc.




Recipes

Raspberry Fudge Balls

30 servings

8 oz cream cheese; softened
6 oz chocolate chips; melted
3/4 cup vanilla wafer crumbs
1/4 cup raspberry preserves
1/3 cup almonds; finely chopped

Combine cream cheese and chocolate. Mix until well blended. Stir in crumbs and preserves. Shape into 1 inch balls and roll in chopped almonds. Chill several hours. Makes 30 balls.




Raspberry Napoleon

Makes 4 servings

1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
1/8 pound butter, chilled and cut into 4 pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream, chilled
Peanut oil, for deep-frying
8 square wonton wrappers
1/4 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
Lemon or orange zest, cut into thin strips, for garnish
Raspberry Coulis (recipe follows)

In a saucepan, whisk together the egg and egg yolk. Whisk in the sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Add the butter pieces all at once and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to develop body and thickens, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Do not boil. Remove from the heat and pour through a wire-mesh strainer into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

In a bowl, whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Fold the chilled lemon mixture into the cream. Cover and chill.

In a large saucepan, heat the oil to 350 degrees F. Drop individual wontons into the oil, 3 or 4 at a time, frying them until they are just golden brown. Remove carefully with tongs to paper towels to drain. Repeat until done. Cool the wrappers and break them each into two pieces and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

To assemble the Napoleons, ladle a pool of the Raspberry Coulis onto cold serving plates. Forming 4 layers in all, alternate broken wontons and spoonfuls of the lemon cream, ending with the cream. Garnish with citrus zest. Serve immediately.

Raspberry Coulis

2 pints fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Combine the berries, sugar and lemon juice in a food processor or blender. Process until it is smooth. Pass through a wire fine mesh strainer to remove seeds. Cover and refrigerate until ready for use.




Chocolate-Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake

Crust:

2 1/2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar

Cheesecake:

8 ounce package semisweet chocolate squares, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 cup hot strong coffee
3 8 ounce packages cream cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
8 ounces sour cream
1 cup sugar, divided
2 eggs
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup Chambord or other raspberry flavored liqueur

Garnish:

Whipped cream
Fresh mint sprigs

Raspberry Sauce:

10 ounce package frozen raspberries, thawed
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Cheesecake:

Combine wafer crumbs, butter and 1/2 cup sugar; blend well. Press on bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Set aside.

Position knife blade in food processor bowl, add chocolate cubes and process until finely ground. With food processor running, pour hot coffee through food chute. Process until chocolate is melted and smooth.

Add cream cheese cubes and next 6 ingredients and process until mixture is smooth, stopping once to scrape down sides of processor bowl.

Pour mixture into prepared crust and bake at 350 degrees F. for 55 minutes. (Center will still be soft.) Let cheesecake cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Cover and chill at least 8 hours. Carefully remove sides of pan.

Place each serving on a pool of Raspberry Sauce. Garnish, if desired, with whipped cream and mint.

Raspberry Sauce:

Drain raspberries, reserving juice. Put raspberries through a food mill and discard seeds. Combine raspberry

juice, purée and cornstarch, stirring until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring until smooth and thickened. Let cool. Makes 3/4 cup.




Venison Stew With Raspberries

Yield: 4 Servings

2 tbsp olive oil
3 lb venison stew meat
1 med onion; roughly chopped
2 med carrots; roughly chopped
2 celery stalks roughly chopped
1 tbsp finely minced garlic
1 1/2 cup dry red wine
1 cup water
1 lemon; cut in half
1/2 tbsp salt
3 tbsp raspberry preserves
3 tbsp green peppercorns in water drained
1/2 cup whipping cream2 tb unsalted butter

PREHEAT OVEN TO 325F. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a heavy roasting pan or Dutch oven and brown the meat well. Remove from the pan and set aside. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat, add the onions, carrots and celery and cook 5 minutes. Add the garlic, wine, water, lemon, salt and preserves. Replace the venison. Cover and place in the oven for 1 1/2 hours or until tender.

When venison is tender, remove from the sauce, strain the sauce through a fine sieve and discard the vegetables. Skim and discard fat from the surface of the braising liquid. Add the peppercorns, cream and butter and place the sauce in a pot and simmer for 5 minutes. To serve, arrange the meat on a platter and pour over the sauce.

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