This week, it’s all about the best raspberry recipes and why you should stock up on these nutritional powerhouses. We also cover how reducing food waste at home starts at the grocery store. And finally, an app helping home cooks plan meals without waste.
Produce of the Week: Raspberries
You’re familiar with red raspberries, but it’s always a special treat to uncover the rarer yellow or black variety. Now’s the time though! Raspberry season has been underway since June in the southern US and is rapidly approaching in the north, where the berries will peak in July and again in September. Though we’re already spoiled for delicious produce this time of year, we’re not complaining about the proliferation of sweet raspberries ideal for cooking.
On top of their delightful sweet-tart flavor, raspberries are packed with nutrients. They’re rich in antioxidants called flavanoids, which are also found in dark chocolate and other berries. Research suggests that a flavanoid-rich diet helps reduce inflammation. This may lead to a lower chance for heart disease and cancer. Despite their diminutive size, raspberries also pack a ton of fiber. Studies show that fiber from fruits and veggies helps maintain a healthy digestive system and gut, which is vital for overall health.
The Best Summer Raspberry Recipes
- Vegan Berry Spinach Salad with Raspberry Dressing
- Coconut Lime & Raspberry Cheesecake Bars
- Raspberry Chia Jam (inside Double Chocolate Cashew Cups, of course)
- Vegan & Gluten Free Four Berry Pie Bars
- Black Rice & Raspberry Salad from Green Evi
Food Waste Tip: Shop Often & Smaller
With summer’s burst of fresh produce also comes farmer’s markets and opportunities to try new fruits and veggies. A recent study showed people who eat diets rich in fruits and veggies actually produce more food waste on average. Of course, this is largely because fresh produce doesn’t last as long at home as packaged and preserved foods. However, there are important steps we can all take to ensure that we don’t contribute to this unfortunate statistic.
By shopping thoughtfully and often, you can avoid stocking up on foods that may go bad before you use them. Plan meals before you hit the market and buy just enough for the next day or two. As someone who personally loves to be surprised by the veggies on display throughout the year, and buy things on a whim, I’m not suggesting that you build a strict list to follow. Feel free to buy what looks best, whatever stokes your culinary curiosity, but just don’t go overboard with quantity. Aim to do a few smaller shops several times a week rather than a large weekly trip. The result will be a cleaner fridge, fresher produce to cook with and less to toss into the compost!
Currently Happening in the Food Industry
With all the attention America’s food waste issue draws, it’s not surprising that new businesses are cropping up to help consumers reduce waste. One we recently discovered is Ends+Stems. Started by veteran chef and entrepreneur Alison Mountford, Ends+Stems helps families meal plan and shop with the goal of zero food waste. The company recently launched a mobile app. Customers start by taking a kitchen inventory and performing a food waste audit. They then pay a subscription fee and receive meal plans every Friday that include grocery lists and recipes. You can set your dietary preferences, search the recipe database and customize your plan to your liking. Then, the service conveniently calculates your food waste impact as you shop and cook according to the plan.
We love that Ends+Stems helps consumers shop according to what they’ll use and keeps track of impact. There’s nothing like the motivation of seeing tangible positive results to keep you working towards a goal. We just hope they include some raspberry recipes on next week’s meal plan!