Raspberries are the most perishable berry and they don’t ship or store well. Because of this, raspberries from a local farmers market offer much better quality.
When are raspberries in season?
Fortunately, raspberries grow well across the US, so you can find them at a nearby farmers market. They start in mid-spring on the west coast, and June in the rest of the US. The season lasts into October in most areas.
To pick the best raspberries, look for plump bright red berries – ones that turn slightly purple are past their prime. Since they have a very short shelf life, getting them direct from the source at a you-pick farm is ideal. A farmers’ market is the next best choice, but buy them in the morning, if you can. Every hour they are not kept at cool temperatures really reduces their shelf life.
Berries from the grocery store are often picked slightly under-ripe, and they don’t get sweeter after being picked.
To store, get them in the fridge, fast! They should last a couple of days, but it’s best to eat them within 24 hours, or you might find they all spoiled by the next day. Supermarket raspberries will last a couple extra days because they are treated with a fungicide – so if you pick them up from the farmers market, don’t make the mistake of thinking they will last as long as store-bought ones.
Should I buy organic?
The EPA tests on non-organic raspberries show a low health risk where the levels and toxicity of pesticides found are near organic levels. The full details can be found over on the Consumer Reports website.
Now what should I make?
That’s a good question! I scour the internet to find recipes that use fresh, seasonal ingredients, often with a fun twist. Follow Ask The Food Geek on Pinterest or Facebook to get access to the recipes I find every day.
Raspberry recipe collection
Each recipe below only uses ingredients that are in season at the same time as raspberries, or ingredients that have a year-round season. Since their season overlaps with the beginning or end of other fruits and vegetables, the recipes are grouped into early season, late season, or anytime they are available.
…For anytime raspberries are available
Pistachio-crusted chicken fingers with raspberry mustard sauce – recipe by Wholesomelicious
The recipe calls for frozen raspberries – no problem, you can sub in the same amount of fresh ones.
Radicchio salad with radishes, prosciutto and raspberry-champagne vinaigrette on Recipe Runner, from Heather Christo’s cookbook Pure Delicious
If this isn’t the prettiest salad I’ve ever seen! Radicchio’s bitterness get balanced out by the rich prosciutto and then the sweet dressing.
Salted chamomile honey cakes with raspberry ripple cream – recipe by Half Baked Harvest
Raspberry lemonade yogurt pops – recipe by Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt
Raspberry Mojitos – recipe by Heather Christo
…For Mid-summer and on
BBQ pulled pork sandwiches with raspberry-jalapeno salsa and onion rings – recipe by No Spoon Necessary
Jalapenos are in season when it gets much warmer out, around July – so make these once jalapenos are available, otherwise sub in your favorite hot sauce or dried chilies. The recipe calls for packaged pulled pork – if you are making your own, here’s a recipe to try from Stuck on Sweet.