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20 Different Uses for Raspberries

Updated on June 13, 2015
Bunch of fresh berries
Bunch of fresh berries | Source

Attention raspberry lovers! Do you hold a special place in your hear for the delicious, sweet taste of fresh raspberries? Have you been wanting to incorporate more berries into your diet? Or are you looking for creative ways to use up your summer crop? This is the place for you!

As a fellow berry lover myself, I am always looking for new and creative ways to incorporate them into different recipes. Check out 20 different uses for raspberries below. You are sure to find a new recipe or creative idea you will love!

The Power of the Berry

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If you find yourself reading this article, you probably already know that the raspberry provides a sweet, succulent flavor, interesting texture, and beautiful color to your palate; but did you know about all the great health benefits that raspberries provide?

Like most fruits, they are very low in calories, fats, and provide a great source of fiber and water content. Their antioxidant properties can even contribute to fighting against diseases like cancer, inflammation, and the inevitable aging process.

Check out some other great benefits and nutrients that come from this super berry:

 
 
Great source of Vitamin C
Vitamin B complex and Vitamin K rich
Used to make Xylitol, a sugar substitute
Contain Vitamin A and Vitamin E

While most of us are most familiar with the traditional red raspberries, this amazing fruit also comes in a golden variety which you can find at your grocery store or health food market. This not only keeps variety interesting in your recipes, but gives you yet another color option to bring to the table. The yellow colored berries are also very unique so are a great conversation starter if you use them when entertaining.

Preparation Tips

Wash and prep
Wash and prep | Source

Once you bring your berries home from the store (or if you are lucky enough to hand pick them!), it is important to prep them properly so you reap the longest life out of them. They tend to spoil quickly, so follow these tips below prior to storing:

  • Dip your raspberries in a cold bowl of water or fill the sink with cold water and gently swish the berries around.

  • Remove from the water and gently pat dry with a paper towel.

  • You can also lay the berries out on a towel and allow to air dry for a few minutes.

  • To extend their life, mix in a couple cap fulls of vinegar into the water. The vinegar will kill bacteria and extend their usage time.

  • Store in the refrigerator to extend usage, as well.

Now that you have your raspberries prepped and ready, it’s time to start putting them to use!

Jam Them

Jam with bread
Jam with bread | Source

If you have a large crop of picked berries (or just found a great sale at the grocery store) one of the best things you can do is make jam!

Jam is easy to store and it lets you enjoy your berries year-round if you make a large batch.

You can have that delicious berry flavor you love even when they are not in season anymore.

Even since I was a little girl, my grandma has made her own homemade jam and we enjoy it on toast, waffles, or pancakes all year round.

Enjoy it warm and fresh or cold or keep it in the fridge or freezer for months.

Below is her original recipe.

Ingredients:

 
 
3 cups crushed berries
¾ cup water
5 ½ cups sugar
Sure-Jell

Steps:

  1. Spread berries in a 9x13 cake pan.

  2. Crush them with the bottom of a heavy glass.

  3. Put them through a strainer or colander to remove seeds.

    The longer you let them sit or stand in the pan, the more juice you get!

  4. Measure juice and sugar into separate bowls.

  5. Boil 1 package Sure-Jell in ¾ cup water for 1 minute, then remove from heat.

  6. Add this to the measured juice and sugar bowl.

  7. Stir constantly for about 3 minutes.

  8. Let set on the counter overnight (covered).

  9. Fill jelly jars or freezer containers in the morning.

  10. Recipe yields about 7 cups.

  11. You can refrigerate up to 3 weeks before freezing.

  12. Ensure you leave ½ inch headspace if jam is frozen.

Jelly Them

Unlike jam, which contains soft pieces and seeds of the raspberry, jelly is a smooth, bright-colored delight that is equally delicious. Generally jelly contains no pieces of fruit and very little seeds. Follow the same recipe above, but ensure you strain it multiple times to remove as many of the seeds you can to get the clear, jelly liquid before filling your jars.

Drizzle Them

Drizzle fruit sauce
Drizzle fruit sauce | Source

Just as delicious as raspberry jam and jelly, why not dry a raspberry drizzle sauce. Simply crush your berries, and add equal parts sugar and water to a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer a couple of minutes, stirring constantly.

When you remove from the heat and let cool, you can fill this delicious sauce into small containers and store them in your fridge to drizzle over your favorite desserts, drinks, or ice cream.

Try this warm over a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed!

Grill Them

The concept of grilled fruit is all the rage right now. If you haven’t tried a slice of grilled pineapple with a little brown sugar, you are missing out! But pineapple doesn’t have to be the only grilled fruit of choice!

Try threading a string of raspberries onto skewers. Place them right on the grill grates on a low flame, turning every few minutes. The warm berries will simply melt in your mouth and are fun for kids during a summer picnic or BBQ.

Skewer Them

Fruit skewers
Fruit skewers | Source

Skewered raspberries don’t have to be grilled. Add them to a skewer with a variety of other berries and fruit to create kabobs. Serve with a side of cream cheese fruit dip.

This is the easiest pot luck item to bring when you are in a pinch or don’t have a lot of time to prepare a side dish or main course. These are really fun for kids as a healthy, after school snack that keep well covered in the fridge, too!

Sweeten Them Up

Nothing is better than enjoying nature’s delicious flavors in their most natural form. Simply toss some berries in a bowl and sprinkle with a little sugar, Splenda, honey, or sweetener of your choice. It’s a great way to start off with a healthy dose of antioxidants and vitamins as part of your breakfast.

Toss Them

Spinach and raspberry salad
Spinach and raspberry salad | Source

Short on time but still want to bring something fresh, healthy, and tasty to the table on a busy night? Simply throw a couple hand-fulls of berries into a bowl of fresh spinach, chopped romaine lettuce, or bag of salad and you have a gourmet salad right at home! This is delicious with some slivered almonds or walnuts, as well. Try it with the raspberry vinaigrette recipe, below!

Dress Them

Use the rest of your berries to create a sweet vinaigrette salad dressing that keeps well in your fridge and that you can use multiple times over! Salads do not always have to be savory or spicy and this vinaigrette is the perfect, light dressing that packs a ton of flavor.

Ingredients:

 
 
 
Mustard
Vinegar
Garlic
Lemon juice
Salt and Pepper
Fresh herbs

Steps:

There are hardly any steps to this vinaigrette at all! Simply whisk together the mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, salt pepper, finely chopped garlic together in a bowl vigorously. You can also throw all the ingredients into a food processor and blend together while throwing in a bunch of fresh herbs. Parsley or cilantro are most yummy! Then, transfer to a serving container and chill until ready to use!

Drink Them

Very berry smoothie
Very berry smoothie | Source

Power smoothies are on everyone’s healthy recipe list these days.

They are so easy to make and the flavor combos are endless.

Throw in a handful of berries with a bunch of kale, greens, a little lemon or citrus juice, and a scoop of Greek yogurt and you have a high energy drink to help you power through your day.

The sweetness of the berries will cut through the bitter greens and you’ll swear you’re drinking something filled with sugar, but in fact it’s simply nature’s simple flavors blended together.

You’ll do your body good with this idea!

Freeze Them

No time to cook? Have too many berries to know what to do with? Simply wash and dry your berries thoroughly. Put about a cup of berries into a quart-sized freezer bag. Lay flat and freeze. Once frozen, you can stack multiple bags of berries easily on top of one another in your freezer. Then pull them out when ready to use.

The beauty of freezing berries is they create their own natural juices as they thaw out so this method is perfect for throwing on top of ice cream or right into the blender to make a smoothie in the morning.

Decorate with Them

Revel in the natural beauty of the fresh produce you bring home. With their vibrant red (or golden color), diminuitive size, and interesting shape and texture, raspberries make the perfect decoration. Use them as decoration on the following ideas:

 
 
 
Place on top of cakes
Drop on a scoop of ice cream
Layer in a parfait
Dress a Jell-O salad
Place on top of pudding
On top of a cup cake
Garnish your drinks
Garnish your drinks | Source

Garnish Them

Much like decorating, the list of ideas is endless when using raspberries as garnish. Below is my favorite garnish idea for your next cocktail party, BBQ, or when entertaining with friends and family and serving a fun, fruity drink or glass of champagne.

Thread 2 or 3 berries onto a tooth pick. Freeze them for at least one hour. Take out of the freezer and drop into a cocktail, glass or lemonade, or cold drink to keep your beverage cool and add a beautiful touch to your glass.

Crisp Them

Fruit crisps
Fruit crisps | Source

Apart from the raspberry jam recipe listed above, my grandma has been making raspberry crisp since as far back as I can remember. Here in the upper Midwest, rhubarb is about as abundant in the spring and summer as you can imagine. Raspberries are the perfect complement to a rhubarb crisp which makes the perfect warm weather dessert.

Ingredients:

 
 
 
 
4-5 cups fruit
1 cup oats
½ cup walnuts
Salt
3 TBSP sugar
½ cup flour
¼ cup brown sugar
4 TBSP Butter

Steps:

  1. Combine white sugar with the fruit. Let sit about 30 minutes so the juices can combine and the sugar can absorb.

  2. Mix together the oats, flour, wanuts, brown sugar, and butter in a large bowl.

  3. Pour half of the dry ingredient mixture into a buttered baking dish and press down.

  4. Fill the dish with the fruit filling.

  5. Sprinkle the remaining dry ingreidents over the top.

  6. Bake at 350 until the top bubbles and browns.

Candy Them

Candied berries
Candied berries | Source

What sounds better than an already sweet, succulent fruit candied and rolled in sugar for a sweet treat on a hot day? Candied berries are so easy to make. You can keep them in the fridge or freezer and pull out when needed or just pop into your mouth for a healthier treat than traditional candy.

Simply paint egg white onto the berry then roll in sanding sugar to completely coat. Let the berries rest on parchment or waxed paper on the counter for up to 4 hours so the egg whites set and the sugar has time to completely adhere.

Dip Them

Fondue with fruit
Fondue with fruit | Source

If you want to relive the disco days of the 70’s or are looking for a fun date night idea at home, why not try fondue? You can get fancy and buy a fondue set or just melt some chocolate over a double boiler at home and transfer to a serving dish. Serve your raspberries along side a variety of fruit, pretzels, or bread and have fun!

Mix Them

Berries are the perfect shape and size to mix into your favorite foods to give them a little sweetness and make your foods a little more healthy. I love mixing raspberries into yogurt, parfaits, oatmeal, or pancakes in the morning.

Drop Them

In addition to mixing them into dishes, dropping them onto your favorite foods is just as fun! Drop some berries onto your cereal, into a fruit salad, or a couple into your glass of wine or pitcher of sangria to brighten up your meal.

Hide Them

What’s more exciting than biting into a decadant cupcake only to find a raspberry surprise waiting inside? Watch how!

Top Them

If you love enjoying the natural taste of berries, fill your bowl with a generous portion and consider topping them with a splash of whole cream, a scoop of vanilla or chocolate chunk ice cream, or spinkle with a little cinnamon and sugar.

Finger food fun
Finger food fun | Source

Play with Them

Finally, have a little fun with your food! Bring back your childhood memories or make new ones with your own children. Food is much more fun to eat when you enjoy the feel, touch, and smell!

Create raspberry fingers!

Just pop a little berry onto each one of your finger tips and pop them right into your mouth!

This is a great way to introduce new foods to your kids and get them to eat a good serving of fruit during the day.

Are you a fellow raspberry lover? Share your own create ideas and uses for this delicious berry in the comments, below!

Comments

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    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      You're very welcome. It was pretty cool back then. Now I buy them at the stores or farmer's markets.

    • WheelerWife profile image
      Author

      WheelerWife 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Hi Kristen Howe - how cool! Picking berries is so much fun. Thanks for commenting and for the vote :)

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great hub. When I lived in NJ, we used to have a strawberry patch and raspberries on prickly branches in the backyard. Voted up!

    • WheelerWife profile image
      Author

      WheelerWife 2 years ago from Minnesota

      RTalloni - totally agree! They are one of life's simple pleasures! Thanks for checking out my hub :)

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

      What's not to love?! :) I was not very familiar with raspberries until the last few years and now we really enjoy them. Had the privilege of seeing Washington state's Whatcom county's raspberry fields--amazing!