August - Raspberries and figs
Raspberries are the edible fruit in the rose family.
- Raspberries are a very popular fruit with an intensely sweet flavour.
- Whilst the red varieties are the most commonly found, raspberries can also be black, yellow or golden.
- Raspberries can be used in a wide variety of desserts and sweet treats as well as rich sauces to accompany meat dishes.
- Raspberries are very easy to grow and the plants can provide many berries from June to October. More information can be found here.
- Raspberries are high in vitamin C and low in calories.
- They provide many antioxidant and anti inflammatory benefits.
- Including lots of fruit like raspberries in your diet will help you to stay healthy as they are naturally low in calories and fat. Evidence shows eating five portions of fruit and veg a day can help reduce the risk of heart attacks, stroke and obesity.
- Two handfuls of raspberries = 1 of your 5 a day.
How to prepare:
- Look for the bright, plump berries with no mushy or discoloured parts. Check the underside of the punnet to make sure that no berries have been crushed.
- Raspberries that still have their hull attached indicates that they have been picked before they were ripe so will have a more tart flavour.
- Avoid washing raspberries before eating, as they are very delicate.
- Breakfast ideas – raspberries are a great addition to yoghurts or porridge* and are a great pancake* topping. Raspberry jam is great on toast*.
- Sauces – raspberries are for sauces in savoury dishes and also great as a coulis for desserts and ice creams.
- Desserts – raspberries can be used in cheesecakes, trifles, tarts and many more sweet treats.
*Please check your Food and Drink Directory for suitable products.
Figs are the fruit of the ficus tree and is part of the mulberry (Moraceae) family.
- Figs are a great ingredient to add sweetness to a dish.
- They are very soft and chewy.
- Fresh figs are very perishable so you will most commonly find dried figs that can be enjoyed all year round.
- Before refined sugars were added to foods, they were often used as sweeteners.
- There are multiple variations of figs that vary in sizes and colour.
- Figs can be difficult to grow in cooler climates but you can have a go yourself. More information can be found here.
- Figs are high in vitamins A, E and K and rich in potassium, magnesium and iron.
- They provide many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
- A diet rich in fruit and vegetables – including fresh figs, naturally increases potassium and helps lower blood pressure.
- Figs are a good fruit source of calcium, a mineral that is involved in bone density, so lessen the risk of osteoporosis.
- 2 figs = 1 of your 5 a day.
How to prepare:
- Look for the plump, tender figs with a deep colour and no bruising. Ripe figs will have a sweet fragrance.
- If you are purchasing dried figs, select ones that are soft and unblemished.
- Do not wash your figs until just before eating.
- The sweetness of figs go well with salty foods such as prosciutto or cheeses like goats cheese.
- Salads – figs are perfect tossed into a salad.
- Bake – bake until tender and drizzle with yoghurt or honey.
- Poach – poach in red wine or sherry with rich seasonings like cinnamon and serve with cream or ice cream.
- Dried figs are great chopped up with nuts or added to cakes and breads.
- Fresh figs can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days or left at room temperature to ripen.
- Dried figs can be kept either in the fridge or in a dark, cool place.
We have pulled together some of our delicious recipes using figs and raspberries for you to try below. Alternatively search our recipe collection here for more inspiration.