Raspberries are one of the best fruits to grow in your garden. They are relatively easy to grow and care for, and there are so many ways to use them up once you do. If you have grown raspberries in your garden this year for the first time, you might be looking for inspiration for what to do with your harvest. Here are just some simple suggestions to consider:
Eat Them Straight From the Canes
We grow a lot of raspberries where we live. They are one of my favourite fruits and, to be honest, many do not even make it indoors. We often simply graze on these delicious berries as we spend time in our garden. There is nothing like a fresh raspberry straight from the cane.
One of the great things about raspberries is that they can be great additions to a fruiting hedge, or a ‘foraging’ type garden. Just as you would collect hedgerow fruits in the wild, so too you can simply forage for fruits in your own garden, and eat them right away.
Use Raspberries in Salads
We also like to pick raspberries and use them up quickly in fruit salads – and in other mixed salads too. Raspberries work well in a bowl with a collection of other summer berries – perhaps with some cream or ice cream.
But they can also be delicious within a mixed salad of leafy greens and other salad crops from your garden. We often toss in some raspberries to salads with lettuce, chard, spinach etc.. perhaps with some nuts or seeds thrown in. People often do not think of adding summer berries to salads, but they can really help to enliven salads and add variety over the summer months.
Make Smoothies or Other Drinks
Of course, another great way to use raspberries from your garden is in smoothies, alongside other summer berries, perhaps some bananas, yogurt or other ingredients. We also like adding some oats, and seeds, and even some spinach to our smoothies. This is a great way to cram some nutrients into those who may be reluctant to eat their greens.
You can also use raspberries to make a simple raspberry juice, either sweetened or au-natural. Or create a raspberry or mixed berry syrup that can be diluted to make cordials or squashes that the whole family with love. I sometimes add some raspberries to red-currants and blackcurrants to make cordial. And there are a range of other recipe ideas to try.
For adults, you might also consider using raspberries to make alcoholic drinks and cocktails. You might add raspberries to a range of spirits, or even consider making homemade raspberry wine.
Make Raspberry Compotes and Sauces
Another great way to make use to raspberries is to cook them, perhaps with a little sugar, honey or other sweetener to make a delicious fruit compote. A raspberry fruit compote can be great with yogurt, in overnight oat recipes, for breakfast or for dessert. Blend and strain stewed raspberries and you can make a wide range of delicious sauces for sweet or savoury recipes.
Raspberry sauces can be great over ice-cream, or partially frozen to make a sorbet. They are wonderful drizzled over a range of cakes and puddings. But can also be savoury, and make a good accompaniment to a nut roast, salads, grilled halloumi, or various meat dishes.
For a barbecue, non-meat eaters will likely love grilled halloumi with a honey glaze and some fresh raspberries too. Raspberries can also be used as an alternative to tomatoes when making barbecue sauces and relishes.
Bake With Raspberries
Of course, raspberries can also be baked into a range of cakes, puddings and other recipes. From raspberry cheesecakes, to raspberry pies, to raspberry puddings, cakes and muffins – there are a huge range of sweet recipes to consider. Raspberry can work very well, of course, with other summer berries. It also pairs well with various chocolates. Dark, milk and white chocolates all pair very nicely with raspberries in a huge range of recipes.
One other thing to consider is that raspberries can be baked into savoury breads as well. For example, I have made a wholemeal loaf much more interesting with the addition of some raspberries, seeds and fresh herbs like thyme and lemon thyme from my garden. Raspberries can also be a good addition to nut roasts and other vegetarian savoury bakes.
Make Raspberry Jam and Other Preserves
If you cannot use up all your raspberries right away, you can of course freeze some for later. But you can also preserve raspberries by making a traditional raspberry jam. Raspberry jam is easy to make, and you can add an unripe apple or two to increase natural pectin and make sure your jam sets.
You can just raspberries on their own, or consider combining them with other fruits to make a range of jams and jellies. I sometimes add raspberries to other summer fruits like currants or gooseberries, for example. Of course, you can also ring the changes by adding a range of other spices and ingredients.
One thing I like to do is to add a raspberry jam to a homemade natural nut butter for delicious sandwich filling. These ingredients can also be combined to make a range of cakes, muffins and biscuits too.
If you would rather avoid excessively sweet jams and preserves, you might also consider preserving raspberries by canning or bottling them and processing in a hot water bath canner. Cold process canning simply involves adding them to jars and then adding a boiling water syrup with sugar or honey. Process pint jars for 15 minutes in a water canner.
If you have a dehydrator, you could also consider dehydrating the berries to preserve them in this way.
Of course, the ideas mentioned above are just the beginning. But I hope they have given you some inspiration. And helped you work out how to use the raspberries from your garden.
Do you have any other ideas to share? Please do so in the comments below. We’d love to hear your favourite recipes, and how you like to use your own home-grown berries.
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.
To get in touch, visit https://ewspconsultancy.com.