Raspberries are in season at the moment – they’re at their best and they taste delicious. Raspberries are a great addition to your children’s diet and are a tasty way to encourage kids to eat more fruit. We should all aim to eat at least 9 portions of fruit and veg every day – one handful of raspberries counts as one portion.
Raspberries, like strawberries, are actually members of the rose family. There are 200 different varieties of raspberry and not all of them are red. Raspberries can be yellow, purple, or black. You may think that black raspberries are just blackberries, but they’re not – raspberries have a hollow centre whereas blackberries don’t.
Raspberries can be enjoyed cooked or raw – they have a juicy, sweet taste and a soft texture. Ideal for small children as they require no peeling, just careful washing. Pack them into a small Tupperware as a handy snack when you’re out and about.
Not only do raspberries look and taste great, they’re full of healthy goodness:
- Raspberries are full of vitamin C which is good for your immune system and helps your body heal itself
- They contain ellagic acid which may help to prevent cancer
- Full of fibre – 10 raspberries provide 1/10 of the fibre required by a child in one day
Choosing and Storing
Raspberries are usually sold in punnets. Look for fruit that is dry and in good condition, without mould or furry bits. Store raspberries in the fridge and only wash them before you need them. Raspberries don’t keep for long so it’s best to eat them as soon as possible. You might also be able to buy cheap frozen raspberries, which are usually pretty good quality.
If you’re lucky enough to have a lot of fresh raspberries, they freeze really well. The best way to freeze them is to place them on a baking tray and freeze until they are solid – then put them into bags and return to the freezer. Freezing them individually like this stops them turning into a big solid mess – you can remove frozen berries as you need them rather than defrosting the whole bag.
Grow your Own
Raspberries are very easy to grow and a bush will provide fruit for many years. Raspberry canes are best planted out in November, December or January. Choose a well drained, sunny open spot in your garden and avoid frost pockets. For more information on growing your own fruit visit the Royal Horticultural Society’s website.
Delicious Ways to Enjoy Raspberries
- Try sprinkling raspberries on top of your porridge or add them to muesli
- Stir them through natural yoghurt and add a drizzle of honey for a delicious dessert or a light breakfast
- Raspberries make a tasty and colourful addition to a simple fruit salad
- Fresh or frozen raspberries can be added to smoothies – these are a great way to encourage your kids to eat more fruit
So next time you want to give your family a tasty treat pick up some raspberries and enjoy a taste of summer!