Seasonal Ingredient of the Week: Rasberries

We always get excited by berry season, and I'm pretty sure we're not alone. Faces light up as people approach the markets, stalls and grocers to see tray after tray of berries,  the vendors proudly displaying their vibrant fruits after what feels like the longest winter. Just this weekend we were in the local grocer's when a little girl ran in, screaming with excitement for her dad to buy her a fresh punnet of raspberries - definitely the kind of sweets we support children eating. As adults, we may have to hold in the urge to run for the counter screaming and shouting (at least most of the time anyway) but that doesn't mean we get any less excited about berry season. 

The great thing about them? Each berry has a different set of characteristics - the raspberry taking the title for the delicate, soft, intensely sweet variety. Part of the rose family, they grow best in cold, damp climates, hence their popularity in the UK, and are in season from late June - early September. Go for bright, plump, evenly coloured raspberries - always organic where possible as their delicate nature makes it tricky to wash them.

RECIPE IDEAS  

Although one of our favourite ways to enjoy them is straight from the punnet (preferably in the sun, fresh from the market), they're also amazing in sweet treats, breakfasts and bakes. 

- Raspberries are the perfect addition to your breakfast smoother. Try a mix of raspberries, frozen banana, ice, almond mylk, vanilla extract and maca powder for a morning boost. 

- There's no denying how well raspberries are with porridge too. Either mix in to your overnight oats (we like a coconut mylk base with vanilla topped with toasted coconut and buckwheat groats) or heat with a little water and add the warm puree to your porridge.

- Raspberry pancakes are the perfect weekend brunch. Add a few to your mixture prior to cooking, then top with coconut yoghurt, more berries and a drizzle of honey.

- They also go perfectly in cakes, bakes, breads and muffins. Add to the mixture whole for a fruity bite or blend into the mixture for a pink tint - we particularly like ours paid with pistachio and lime. 

- Raspberry ripple was always a firm favourite ice-cream flavour. Give it a healthy update and make your own with a base of coconut milk and vanilla, then puree raspberries with a little honey and swirl into the ice-cream once set.