By guest contributor Cynthia Sass, MPH, MA, RD, CSSD
In addition to packing immune-supporting vitamin C and dietary fiber, raspberries contain antioxidants. Boasting one of the lowest sugar contents compared to other berries, red raspberries are simply gorgeous. Their ruby red hue makes this festive fruit a perfect choice for a number of holiday dishes. But even when their color is masked by cocoa, you can feel good about incorporating raspberries’ nutrients into a new version of a traditional treat.
Keep a few bags of frozen red raspberries in the freezer throughout the holiday season. Simply thaw and add to various dishes as a garnish, from sparkling water to garden salad and chocolate pie. Or incorporate these gems, which contain under 80 calories but a whopping 9 grams of fiber per cup, into the seasonally-inspired recipes below.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon apple cider rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed mandarin orange juice
½ tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground black red pepper
1/16 teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ cup frozen raspberries, thawed
12 medium fresh peeled, deveined shrimp, with tails
In a small food processor combine one tablespoon of olive oil with the vinegar, mandarin juice, honey, garlic, ginger, black pepper, and raspberries. Set aside. Place three shrimp each on four wooden skewers. Brush with remaining olive oil and broil in preheated oven for four to five minutes on each side, or until shrimp are completely opaque. While shrimp are cooking, warm raspberry sauce on stovetop in a saucepan over low heat. Serve shrimp with warm sauce on the side for dipping.
1 cup frozen raspberries
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
¼ cup cocoa
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 fresh mint leaves
Whole cinnamon sticks
Set aside four whole frozen raspberries to thaw. In a small blender combine the raspberries and almond milk. Transfer to a saucepan and add the cocoa, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Bring to a brief boil, and then reduce to a simmer for three minutes. Pour cocoa into four serving mugs and garnish each with fresh mint, cinnamon sticks, and one of the set aside raspberries.
½ of a 10-ounce bag of frozen red raspberries
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 3-ounce bar of 70% dark chocolate
¼ cup unsweetened almond butter
2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pour half of a bag of frozen red raspberries into a bowl and let sit on the countertop at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Gently mash the raspberries, stir in the chia seeds to combine thoroughly, and set aside. Melt chocolate using double boiler. Spoon chocolate evenly into 10 paper lined mini muffin cups, filling each about a third of the way full. Freeze for 10 minutes.
Warm coconut oil until meted and mix with the almond butter, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Spoon half of the almond butter mixture onto the chocolate layer. Freeze for 10 minutes. Spoon the raspberry mixture evenly onto each cup. Drizzle the top of each cup with the remaining almond butter mixture. Freeze for 10 minutes. Store in freezer, and set out at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
About the author: Cynthia Sass, MPH, MA, RD, CSSD, is one of the first registered dietitians to be Board Certified as a Specialist in Sports Dietetics. Sass has consulted for five professional teams, and counsels a wide variety of athletes and active people in New York City, Los Angeles, and long-distance. Cynthia is also a three-time New York Times bestselling author and recipe developer, specializing in clean, performance-enhancing cuisine. Her latest book is Slim Down Now: Shed Pounds and Inches With Pulses – The New Superfood.