Michigan Fresh raspberries
Michigan Fresh raspberries will soon be available. Fresh raspberries are a great, low calorie food to enjoy for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Whether you choose to purchase or grow raspberries, they are a great source of vitamins, minerals and fiber to enjoy this summer. Michigan State University Extension recommends that you wash your hands before preparing any fresh produce. The fresh produce needs to be rinsed well with lukewarm water before any further preparation takes place.
Recommended storage and use tips for your fresh raspberries include the following tips:
- Purchase fruits that are not bruised or damaged.
- Wash hands before and after handling fresh produce.
- Keep fruit away from raw meat and meat juices to prevent cross-contamination.
- Store fruit in the refrigerator at or below 41 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Store raspberries in a box with holes and cover with plastic wrap, or put in a plastic bag with holes.
- Use fresh berries within one to two days.
- Store canned berries in a cool, dry area for up to one year.
How to preserve raspberries
Choose ripe but firm raspberries with uniform color. After canning, raspberries will have a soft texture. Wash one to two quarts of berries at a time; drain.
Syrup: You may can berries in water, apple or white grape juice, or syrup. Prepare syrup if desired. Measure and mix the necessary amounts of sugar and water to make the desired syrup. (For medium syrup, add 1 3/4 cups of sugar to 4 cups of water; for heavy syrup, add 2 3/4 cups of sugar to 4 cups of water.) Note: Splenda is the only sugar substitute that you can use when canning fruit. You may need to experiment to determine a preferred level of sweetness.
Add 1/2 cup of hot liquid to each hot, clean jar. Fill jars with raw berries, shaking down gently while filling. Cover with hot liquid, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe jar rims, adjust lids and process in a boiling-water bath for the following time periods:
- pints in hot pack or raw pack for 15 minutes
- quarts in hot pack or raw pack for 20 minutes
Let jars stand undisturbed on the counter for 24 hours, remove rings, check to make sure lids are sealed, wash jars, label, date and store your raspberries.
Select fully ripe, juicy berries. Sort, wash in cold water and drain thoroughly. You may freeze raspberries following any of these procedures:
- Sugar pack method: Place berries in containers and cover with cold, very heavy (50 percent) syrup (1 cup water to 1 cup sugar), leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Seal, label, date and freeze the packages.
- Unsweetened pack method: Put berries into containers, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Seal, label, date and freeze the packages.
- Pectin pack method: This alternative uses pectin and less sugar than the sugar pack method and retains fresh berry flavor, color and texture. In a saucepan, combine one, 1 3/4 ounce box of powdered pectin with 1 cup water. Stir and boil one minute. Stir in 1/2 cup of sugar and dissolve. Remove the pan from the heat; add cold water to make 2 cups of syrup. Chill. Put prepared fruit in a 4 to 6 quart bowl; add enough pectin syrup to glaze the fruit with a thin film. Gently fold fruit to coat each piece with syrup. Pack into freezer containers leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Seal, label, date and freeze the packages.
Be sure to download the free Michigan Fresh fact sheets that contain recipes, gardening tips and preservation techniques for over 80 Michigan grown foods. The goal of Michigan Fresh is to help you and your family eat, preserve, grow and learn about all that’s Michigan Fresh. It’s Michigan Fresh – for you!