Fresh Eats Blog: Raspberries

 In Market News

Here at the Coquitlam Farmers Market we are all about local, seasonal and sustainably grown produce. What better way to celebrate the summer months than a fresh take on some familiar foods! This week’s topic: raspberries.

Did you know raspberries belong to the same botanical family as the rose and the blackberry?

Did You Know?

Did you know raspberries contain more vitamin C than oranges and are super high in fibre. This low in calorie snack is perfect as a fresh snack, a great addition to a salad or the source of extra flavour in your favourite summer drink!

Raspberries are in season in South West British Columbia until the end of August! Did you know there are over 200 types of raspberries ranging in colours from red, purple, gold or black. Make sure you stop by the market this Sunday to try some of the province’s best before their growing season is over!

Recipe of the Week

Chicken, Feta and Raspberry Salad

Courtesy of Deanna Ibbitson, Graduate Student in Human Nutrition, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, UBC

Ingredients:

The Dressing: 

  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup olive oil3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 shallot chopped
  • 1 teaspoon honey, maple syrup, or sugar
  • Salt and pepper

The Salad Base:

  • Greens of choice, washed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Sliced bell peppers
  • Chopped nuts (pecans, cashews, almonds, or hazelnuts)
  • Crumbled feta or goat cheese
  • Fresh basil

Chicken:

  • Chicken breasts of your choice

Directions:

The Dressing:

Step 1- Blend the raspberries, vinegar, shallot and honey in a blender or food processor.

Step 2- Slowly blend in the oil to make a dressing of a smooth consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.

The Vegetables, Cheese, and Nuts:

Step 1- Prepare greens of choice. Wash and chop into bite-sized pieces. Slice cucumbers, bell peppers and chop nuts of your choice.

Step 2- Crumble feta or goat cheese and chop fresh basil.

The Chicken:

Step 1- Cook your chicken in any way that works best for you. You can grill chicken breasts on the barbeque, bake them in the oven, or fry them with a bit of olive oil. The chicken can be added to the salad warm or cold.

Step 2- Rub boneless, skinless chicken breasts with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 350°F until cooked (the center will no longer be clear. This will take about 25 minutes depending on the size of the breast).

Step 3- Slice into bite-sized pieces.

The Final Salad:

Step 1- Toss greens with desired amount of raspberry vinaigrette.

Step 2- Add sliced veggies.

Step 3- Top with chicken, sliced veggies, fresh raspberries, feta or goat cheese, chopped nuts, and fresh basil.

Ingredients at the Market

Raspberries: Beckmann Farm, Floralia Growers, Hill Top Farm, Langley Organics, Mandair

Basil: Floralia Growers

Cheese: Golden Ears Cheescrafters

Chicken: Rockweld Farms

Bell Peppers: Never Say Die, Shen’s Farm, Ripple Creek, Snowy Mountain

Cucumbers: Forstbauer Farms, Ripple Creek Organic Farm, Shen’s Farm, Wah Fung Farm

Other Greens and Vegetables: Amazia Farm, Beckmann Farm, Floralia Growers, Forstbauer Farms, Harvest Direct, Hill Top Farm, Langley Organic Growers, Mandair Farms, Never Say Die Farm, Ripple Creek Organic Farm, Shen’s Farm, Snowy Mountain Organics, Wah Fung Farm

Steps on How To Grow

Raspberries Planting 101:

Step 1- Choosing a good quality, disease-free plant is the foundation of a good crop. Ensure the variety of raspberry you have chosen is successful in the season you are planting.

Step 2- Finding the proper location to plant is important. A loam soil with high organic matter content is ideal for planting raspberries. The site should have good air circulation for disease prevention but wind protection is necessary. The wind tends to dehydrate plants and soil, as well as breaking off the canes where they join the crown.

Step 3- Set the raspberries in rows three to four metres apart and the plants 60 to 100 cm apart within the row. Spacing can vary depending on how much space is available.

Note: Ensure the roots are moist while planting.

Step 4- Plant the raspberries slightly deeper in the ground than their original growing depth. Keep the soil evenly moist during the plants’ establishment.

Step 5- Prune plants regularly and support its growth. This may be made by placing fence posts down the center of the row and running a 15-gauge wire down on each side of the post at a height of 60 to 90 cm.

Step 6- When harvesting your raspberries they should be a good colour but firm. To ensure their quality does not deteriorate, do not pick during the heat of the day.

Raspberries in B.C.

Raspberries have been grown in B.C. for fourty years with some farms being third or fourth generation! Did you know there are no genetically modified raspberries grown in the province?

On just 5,000 acres, B.C. produces more than 80 per cent of Canada’s rec raspberries! In the Fraser Valley, growers harvest over 12 million kilograms of the finest quality raspberries each year for shipment across Canada and around the world.

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