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Raspberries come early

Raspberries, which are usually in season from mid-July to frost, have come early at Post Farms this year. (See ad in The Post.)
A little bit sweet, a bit little tart, and juicy, they are a nutritious and a satisfying summertime snack.
Selecting and Storing
* Raspberries are best picked early in the morning for the best flavor.
* Only select ripe berries, as they will not ripen further once picked. Ripe berries are easily removed from the plant.
* Use berries as soon as possible after picking. You may refrigerate them on a paper towel-lined container overnight.
* For longer storage, you can freeze raspberries. Place them on a cookie sheet, place in freezer until partially frozen, then transfer to an airtight freezer bag. You can add a small amount of sugar, if desired. Mix gently with berries to dissolve before freezing.
* Eat a room temperature for the best flavor.
Fun facts
* Red isn’t the only color of raspberries. There are also black, purple, and gold varieties. There are also summer-fruiting and fall-fruiting varieties.
* Raspberries are a type of bramble and are known as cane berries.
* The little “hairs” on raspberries help protect the fruit from insect damage.
* The U.S. is the third largest producer of raspberries in the world.
* Raspberries grow best in the cooler climates, where winter temperatures don’t fluctuate as much.
Nutritional Information:
*Raspberries are packed with antioxidants, fiber, and photochemicals.
* 1 cup of raspberries will provide you with 50 percent of your daily requirement of Vitamin C.
* They also contain iron, folate, calcium, and Vitamin A.
* Raspberries have proven to reduce high blood cholesterol levels and slow the release of carbohydrates in the blood stream of diabetics.
Information from the Michigan Land Use Institute

Berry smoothie shake

1 cup frozen raspberries
1 cup cold skim milk
1 cup plain low fat yogurt
2 Tbsp. honey
1 banana
1/4 tsp. vanilla
6-8 crushed ice cubes
Place berries and 1/2 cup milk in blender.
Blend on high for one minute until smooth.
Add remaining milk, yogurt, honey, banana and vanilla.
Beat for another minute.
Add crushed ice cubes.
Blend slowly until smooth.
Yields 3-1/2 cups.
Submitted by: Washington Red Raspberry Commission, at www.red-raspberry.org

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