Like blueberries, raspberries are a small fruit with big benefits! These tiny nutritional powerhouses are rich in fiber and a variety of antioxidants. Enjoy raspberries starting in Phase 2 of the South Beach Diet.
Most American raspberries come from California between the months of June and October. After that, raspberries are harder to find and much more expensive. Raspberries, like many other berries, must be eaten within a day or two of purchase. Because they are often packaged in boxes that conceal decay, it's important to carefully examine the raspberries before you buy. Take a peek at the berries you can see and make sure they are not damaged, spoiled, or moist. Look for stains or leaking on the box — this is an indication that the fruit inside is beginning to spoil. Raspberries should be plump and firm; not withered or crushed.
Once you get the berries home, the first thing you should do is remove them from the box. Inspect all the berries and discard those that are spoiled or crushed. Overripe berries should be eaten on the spot. The remaining berries should be dried with a paper towel (don't wash them yet!), spread in a clean container, and covered with paper towels and plastic wrap. Raspberries can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator for one to two days. When you're ready to eat them, gently rinse raspberries under a light spray of cold water (running water could damage this delicate fruit). Raspberries can also be frozen and kept in the freezer for ten months to a year. The beauty of freezing is that the berries will not need defrosting before cooking or using in smoothies.
Rinse raspberries and gently pat dry before eating. Raspberries can be served plain or sprinkled with a little sugar substitute. Put them on top of whole-grain cereal or steel-cut oatmeal, plain or artificially sweetened low-fat or nonfat yogurt, or even use them to garnish salads. Frozen berries can be used to make sauces or smoothies.