Written by McKenzie Hall, RDN and Lisa Samuel, RDN, consulting dietitians for NPRC
Nothing quite compares to the intoxicating color or juicy sweet flavor of red raspberries. And every time you bite into one of these tiny gems, you’re flooding your body with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients – all in a relatively low-calorie package! But, there’s no need to hold off for sweet summertime to enjoy berry season. With frozen raspberries, you can enjoy berries even in the depth of winter.
Here are ten delicious ways you can use raspberries in your kitchen 365 days a year.
- Razzle Your Breakfast. Most adults need approximately 1 ½ – 2 cups of fruit each day so it’s a good idea to start eating healthy early in the day. Make room for fruit at the breakfast table. Use raspberries on top of warm or cold cereals or use thawed and frozen raspberries as a naturally sweet topping on whole grain pancakes and waffles.
- Pair it up. Raspberries have perfect partners. Think: raspberries and chocolate, raspberries and cream, or even raspberries and oats. All of these combinations are purely delicious. For example, drizzle one ounce of melted dark chocolate on raspberries for a sweet treat. You can also serve thawed and frozen raspberries atop non-fat Greek yogurt with vanilla and cinnamon added for an afternoon pick-me-up. Or, fill a casserole dish with frozen raspberries and top with a home made oat crumble.
- Turn on the grill. Move over hamburgers – it’s time to put raspberries on the grill! In a small bowl, combine frozen raspberries, the juice and zest of one lemon, and a sprinkling of sugar. Put the berry mixture in aluminum foil and seal up the sides. Place on the grill over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes. The result is a sweet syrup, perfect for dousing on ice cream or frozen yogurt.
- Blend them. Raspberries have an incredible way of making an average smoothie really splash. Blend in one cup of frozen raspberries with your morning smoothie and you are delivering your body 9 grams of additional fiber.
- Brown bag it. Packing your own lunch for work or school ensures you’ll have a nutritious meal on hand when your energy level plummets and your appetite peaks. Take a spin on a classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich; use thawed or mashed raspberries to replace jelly or jam. And pack a cottage cheese, almond and raspberry parfait for a healthier take on an ice cream sundae.
- Savor them in savory dishes. The sweet and tart flavor of raspberries gives savory dishes some serious punch. Our recipes for Grilled Pork with Balsamic-Red Raspberry Reduction and Gingered Farro and Wild Rice Salad prove it! Add raspberries to your whole grain salads, use as an ingredient in grilled paninis, or serve as a sauce to accompany meat and poultry dishes.
- Sweeten smartly. Reduce the refined white sugar in your recipes by half and use raspberries to naturally sweeten your muffins, breads & cookies. It’s as simple as that!
- Do dessert right. It’s inevitable: nature’s perfect sweet ingredient belongs in your dessert. Whether it’s in a Raspberry and Mint Tart, a Lemon and Raspberry cupcake, or simply Raspberry Cheesecake, raspberries will brighten any dessert recipe. Even better? Frozen raspberries can be used interchangeably in most recipes calling for fresh varieties.
- Hydrate colorfully. Since raspberries are comprised of 87 percent water, they are a wonderfully hydrating food by themselves. But, adding frozen raspberries to a glass of sparking water is a fun way to lightly flavor a plain glass of H20. You can also freeze raspberries into ice cubes or muddle raspberries in a glass of unsweetened iced tea.
- Simply enjoy. Sometimes, keeping it simple is simply the best. Raspberries are nature’s perfect finger foods. They give your taste buds the flavor you want and your body the nutrition it needs. So love yourself with raspberries because that’s a lot to love!