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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Raspberry Pickin' to Fingertip Lickin'

Homemade Raspberry Vinegar

Memories of hay making during the heat of the summer months are a mixture of the good times of family working together and the misery of the sweat and bugs. However, it is with fond memory that we can recall taking breaks and walking the field edges looking for ripe berries. First came the black raspberries, then the red raspberries which are also known as wineberries, and the blackberries with their solid rather than hollow centers.

As children, we knew where the good spots were located along the country roads, and would peddle our bikes with our buckets clamoring from the handlebars. We knew to wear long pants even on the hottest days or we'd pay the price later with unsightly scratches and most likely poison ivy.

As adults, the days just fly by with our daily activities and unless we actually schedule a time slot to pick berries, their season is over before you know it.

Raspberry vinegar is surprisingly simple to make.
In a large saucepan, combine 4 cups white wine vinegar and 1/2 cup sugar.
Bring almost to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved.
Do not boil.
Have 3 cups fresh raspberries waiting in a large jar (about 6 cup capacity)
Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the berries and cover the jar with a cap.
Let the jar stand at room temperature for 48 hours.


Strain through several layers of cheesecloth into a clean bottle or jar.
Seal with a cork or lid and store in a cool dark place.
Yield is about 4 cups.












Raspberries are very healthy for you, as they are loaded with powerful phytonutrients and antioxidants necessary for a healthy immune system. Ellagic acid is an antioxidant which protects your cells from becoming damaged. Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that have antimicrobial properties that help fight off Candida. These flavonoid molecules are also what give raspberries their red color.

Ellagitanins are a family of compounds that are reported to have anti-cancer activity. Of all the antioxidants, these are considered the biggest contribution to their antioxidant capacity.

Raspberries are a rich source of vitamin C, manganese, riboflavin, folate, niacin, magnesium, potassium, and copper.

Raspberry vinegar is a great tasty vinegar for any salad greens combination. Especially good is a spinach salad consisting of spinach leaves, dried cranberries, almond slices and fresh diced apples. Topped with raspberry vinegar and olive oil and you have a very nutritious, tasty salad different from the ordinary. Enjoy!