Antioxidant-rich raspberries provide the perfect spark for a light summer meal.
By Lisa James
Among the most ephemeral of the summer fruits, raspberries can’t be found in markets year round as, say, strawberries can. But these fragrant, juicy fruits in gemlike hues—yellow/gold, purple and black in addition to the standard red—are highly prized when they do appear on store shelves.
While they have always been appreciated by diners who enjoy their delicate flavor, raspberries have found a new audience among people who eat for both taste and health. In addition to generous helpings of fiber, minerals and vitamins, raspberries have been found to provide antioxidants, substances that protect the body against damage from free radicals; some, such as ellagic acid, are being investigated for possible cancer-protective properties. Now researchers have isolated another class of raspberry phytonutrients, the berry ketones, that helps promote the breakdown of body fat. In addition, raspberry leaves have long been used in tea form by herbalists as a female reproductive system tonic.
Like the blackberry, to which it is closely related, the raspberry is an aggregate fruit—each berry consists of small, seed-bearing fruits that surround a hollow core. Raspberries may also be covered by little hairs, the remnants of the fruits’ pistils (female parts); they don’t affect the quality of the fruit.
Cooks have always turned raspberries into preserves as well as tasty desserts, whether baked into pies and cakes or used fresh in compotes and other creations; the flavor pairs especially well with chocolate, including the healthy dark variety, and balsamic vinegar. But raspberries also go well with chicken (as in the recipe below) and impart a fruity sweet-tart flavor to sauces and salads.
One way to extend the raspberry season is to freeze the fruits in a single layer on a cookie sheet with a raised rim. (They should be frozen within 24 hours; leaving them in too long may cause freezer burn.) Transfer to freezer containers or bags; extract as much air as possible before sealing.
In a prime season for fresh fruit, raspberries are among the tastiest. Get them while you can.
Easy Raspberry Chicken
1/2 cup raspberry preserves
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
juice concentrate, thawed
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
6 skinless, boneless
chicken breast halves
1/4 cup fresh raspberries
1. Whisk together raspberry preserves, pineapple juice concentrate, soy sauce
and rice vinegar. Stir in chili, curry and garlic powders; pour over chicken breasts
in a resealable plastic bag. Marinate chicken in refrigerator at least 4 hours to overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place chicken into a baking dish and pour remaining
marinade over the top. Cover with a lid or aluminum foil and place in the oven.
3. Bake until the meat juices run clear, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter
and garnish with fresh raspberries.
Serves 6. Analysis per serving: 121 calories, 7.5g protein,
1g fat (almost none saturated),
0.5g fiber, 20g carbohydrate, 422 mg sodium
(using low-sodium soy sauce)
Source: ALLRECIPES (www.allrecipes.com), recipe credited to HAC3