Jam-Packed with Goodness
The scientific name for red raspberries, Rubus idaeus, means literally “bramble bush of Ida”, named both for the nursemaid and the mountain where they grew on the island of Crete. Within this raspberry family, there are two major types, the red raspberry and the black raspberry, but overall, there are an estimated 200 different varieties of raspberries
Raspberries are jam-packed with a range of vitamins and nutritious benefits. They are an excellent source of Vitamin C and manganese as well as a good source of dietary fibre. They also contain Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, K, folate, magnesium, potassium, copper, calcium, and iron.
Fresh raspberries have a short shelf life, so you should purchase locally grown berries whenever possible and eat them within one to two days. They freeze well, so if you’re not using them when they are super-fresh, freeze them and prevent food waste. Frozen raspberries are very handy for baking and often work better than fresh ones which are very soft and break up easily. Just make sure to lay-out the raspberries and prevent them from clumping together when they freeze.
Other ways of capturing fresh raspberries at their best when in season include making jam. Raspberry jam is incredibly simple and quick to make and intensely delicious, or berry compotes, coulis (use it later for raspberry sorbet or ice-cream) and cordial. Or to incorporate their unique tart flavour in your savoury dishes, try making raspberry vinegar; trendy quite a few years back, it has fallen out of favour now, but still works exquisitely with the right food pairing (and apparently is a traditional condiment for Yorkshire pudding!).
This month's Raspberries from Keeling's Select comes from Keeling’s Own Farm in County Dublin.