this time of year, raspberries (rubus idaeus) are off the chain. delicate and flavorful, raspberries come packed with antioxidants, phytochemicals that help fight cancer, and anti-inflammatory compounds.
they are also just plain delicious, and a perennial fruit that can thrive in marginal soils. (quick side note on the many reasons why perennials are awesome: they don't require tilling of the soil, they fruit year after year, they can be part of an edible forest garden system, they make more of themselves so you can dig up canes and share with friends, increasing food resiliency for everyone.... and on and on.)
they are super hearty-- to zone three or four. they don't love the heat, unfortunately for all my georgian loves. (if you don't know what climate zone you live in, check it out here.) they are very easy to propogate them (you just wait until spring when they send up new plants from their roots, dig them up and physically bust them all apart into new plants.)
you can use the leaves for tea, which are supposed to help with cramps and morning sickness.
i like to eat raspberries as simply as possible, they are so perfect as they are. but what could be better than dolloping them with a little maple-sweetened whipped cream? your body needs fat to uptake vitamins anyway, right? this is practically a sally fallon dream. it's a win/win. i made these with some organic cream & the last of the maple syrup we made this year. to summer!
1 quart fresh raspberries
1/2 pint heavy whipping cream
2 T maple syrup
1 t vanilla
a few sprigs mint
plop your raspberries into quaint tea cups. whip the cream together with the maple and vanilla. i like mine just barely firm so that it's almost still like an english cream. spoon into cups & garnish with mint. perfection. cool before serving.