Raspberries: nutrition and use
Spring is the peak planting season for raspberries in Minnesota. Raspberries belong to a large group of fruits known as brambles. They are also known as caneberries. Not only to raspberries taste good, but they also contain a potential anti-cancer agent called ellagic acid. They are also rich in vitamin C which is important because vitamin C performs maintenance and repair of connective tissue in our bodies. Vitamin C mantains and repairs bones, teeth, and cartilage; promotes healing; and aids in iron absorbtion.
Raspberries are a source of soluble fibers and may help lower high blood cholestoral levels and slow release of carbohydrates into the blood stream of diabetics. Half to one pound of raspberry fruit per day can provide 20 to 30 grams of fiber which is adequate for an adult daily nutrition requirement. One cup of raspberries equals 64 calories. One half cup of raspberries equals one serving; this is about 30 raspberries.
Once you get your raspberries home, wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling fresh fruits. Clean all surfaces and utensils with hot water and soap including cutting boards, countertops, and knives that will touch the fresh fruits before and after preparation.
Rinse fresh fruits under running tap water, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten. Dry fruits with a clean cloth towel or paper towel. Never use detergent or bleach to wash fresh fruits. These products are not intended for consumption.
Refrigerate raspberries within two hours. Throw away raspberries that have not been refrigerated within two hours of washing or cooking.
Raspberries can be blended with your favorite juice, yogurt, and other fruit to make a delicious smoothie, or you can have them with low-fat vanilla ice cream for a yummy treat.
Reviewed by Suzanne Driessen, University of Minnesota Extension educator, 2010.