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February, 2011

Raspberries

By Cheryl Forberg

With February upon us and Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, sweet, ripe raspberries also come to mind
.
Raspberries
Did you know that raspberries are part of the rose family? With their bright red color, and delicious taste and texture, they make a versatile as well as healthy fruit choice. Raspberries have only 65 calories per cup and are loaded with fiber (eight grams per cup) and vitamin C, with 30 mg per cup -- about 50 percent of the U.S. recommended daily intake (RDI). Add a cup of Greek-style yogurt and you have the perfect easy snack with 180 calories and 20 grams of protein.

These tiny berries rank near the top of all fruits for their disease-fighting antioxidant strength, particularly due to their dense content of ellagic acid. Research into the health benefits of ellagic acid is preliminary, but early trials indicate that its antioxidant properties may help reduce blood pressure and carotid artery wall thickness, linked to heart attack and stroke. It is also believed to bind with cancer-causing molecules, thereby making them inactive and preventing their growth. Peak season for raspberries is mid-summer, although they are available in some markets fresh and frozen year-round. When ripe, raspberries are sweet and delicious on their own, or can be eaten with yogurt and cereal, tossed into a salad or used in cakes, tarts and other desserts. They can be paired with either savory or sweet dishes, making them a perfect complement to your Valentine’s Day menu. Show the love of your life that your affection goes beyond words by adding flavorful and healthy raspberries to any meal.

Raspberry Smoothie
Raspberry Smoothie
This is one of my all time favorite smoothies because it satisfies my sweet tooth as well as my chocolate cravings.
Makes 1 serving

Ingredients
:
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or low-fat milk
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup fat-free Greek-style yogurt
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Melissa's agave nectar (optional)
Ice cubes
Fresh mint leaves

Instructions:
In the jar of a blender or the bowl of a food processor, combine the raspberries, almond milk, cocoa powder, yogurt, vanilla, ice and agave if using. Blend or process until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve immediately, garnished with mint.

Nutrient Analysis per serving
Kcal 160
Total Fat g 39
Sat Fat g 0
Cholest mg 0
Sodium mg 125
Fiber g 10
Protein g