Looking for Fiber? Try Raspberries

This oh-so-sweet fruit is a real hard hitter in the fiber department: 1 cup packs more fiber (5.8 g) than an equal amount of bran flakes or five dried prunes. This same amount also delivers five times the vitamin C (31 mg) of a peach, tops a whole rutabaga in folate (32 mcg), and serves up 22 mg of magnesium — with only 60 fat-free calories!

How to find the very best raspberries:

Look local. Best option: Pick your own! But if frolicking in the raspberry fields is not on your itinerary, roadside stands and farmers’ markets should be. Select bright, dry, firm fruit with excellent form, hollow centers, uniform coloring, and no hulls (they’re tart). Avoid soft, wet, or stuck-together berries or those with mildew. Avoid containers with stained bottoms — too ripe!

Handle with care and as little as possible. Use immediately or refrigerate in covered, perforated boxes; use within two days. Best: Spread in one layer, and cover with perforated plastic wrap. Never rinse before storing.

Freeze for later and as soon as you get home. Spread berries on a baking sheet first; once frozen, pile in containers. Remember: Handle gently.

Enjoying this juicy gem:

  • Celebrate Christmas in July. Indulge in lush green mesclun scattered with bright red raspberries. Drizzle with raspberry vinaigrette, made with 1/4 c raspberry balsamic vinegar, 1/4 c pureed raspberries, 1/2 tsp each prepared mustard and black pepper, and 3 tbsp olive oil.
  • Feature raspberries as the sparkling star of a compote: 2 c red raspberries, 1 c blackberries, 1 c strawberries, 2 tbsp sugar, 2 tsp lime zest, 1/2 tsp vanilla. Heat over med-high, 3 to 5 min. Set aside 30 min. to cool. Serve with dollops of nonfat ricotta blended with plain nonfat yogurt (equal parts), and flavored with cardamom and sugar.
  • Spray flour tortillas with butter-flavored cooking spray. Sprinkle with cocoa, cinnamon, and sugar. Roll like a tube and bake at 350° F for 15 min. Fill with nonfat frozen vanilla or chocolate yogurt and top with raspberry puree.

What you have in your mind?