Saturday, February 21, 2015

Black Raspberries & Their Benefits

So earlier in the year we said big things were coming, and we meant it! We have planted a crop of black-raspberries that we will be adding to our line of fresh (available only at the farm during harvest), frozen (offered year round while in stock), freeze dried powders, spreads, and even dried lines of products. We will not have any product available until sometime in 2016. In the mean time we want to start spreading the word, and share why we thought this would be an excellent berry to add to our farm. 

Black Raspberries basically are not grown organically in the United States. We will potentially have the largest Certified Organic planting once production starts. They are not grown in the United States, not because they are difficult but because no one really relizes their untapped potential. Like their counter part the Red Raspberry, they are extremely high in vitamins and minerals. Black Raspberries are thought to help in these specific health problems: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, inflammatory bowel disease, metabolic syndrome, alleviate pain, preserve eyesight, and protect against the development of cancer. 

A study published in Nutrition and Cancer in 2013 found through tests on human cells demonstrated that anthocyanins extracted from black raspberry may help to suppress the growth of colon cancer. In another study published in Gynecologic Oncology in 2011found that black raspberry extract may help prevent cervical cancer, though the use of black raspberry extract inducing apoptosis (a type of programmed cell death essential for stopping the proliferation of cancer cells).  Additionally there is evidence that black raspberry extract can help prevent skin cancer when applied directly to the skin, however there is more research being conducted about this theory and evidence. 

The Black Raspberry has show promise in the treatment of metabolic syndrome (this is a group of risk factors that occur together and increase the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes). A study published in 2014 in Phytotherapy Research found that people with metabolic syndrome were given black raspberry extract for about three month and showed a decrease in total cholesterol. Black Raspberry has also appeared to reduce inflammation and improve function in the layer of cells lining the inside of blood vessels (a factor that may promote better blood pressure control). 

Black Raspberries are one of many plants that contain anthocyanins, this is a class of compounds thought to play a major role in potential of health benefits in a plant, other top sources of these compounds can also be found in blueberries. 

We at Sunset Valley Organics are always looking out for our customers health, and want to provide choices that are healthy, but we are also wanting to supply ourselves with more healthy choices. We are excited as our venture begins with Black Raspberries. 

For all news about our Black Raspberries be sure to subscribe to our Newsletter, Blog, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook Page. So you never miss a thing! 

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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Recipes of the Month

Cupid's Strawberry Float for Valentines Day inspired by Frugal Coupon Living


  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Strawberry Soda
  • Whipped Cream
  • Maraschino Cherries (optional)

  1. Place 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream in a glass.
  2. Slowly add strawberry soda  – it will foam a lot!
  3. Optionally you can add whipped cream and a cherry to the top.
  4. Serve with long spoon and straw.

Fruit Salad Cutouts inspired by Shari's Berries

"We all know that fruit should be cut into bite-sized pieces. But who wants to spend all day slicing apples? Grab the right tools for the job and make quick work of the task: an apple corer, a strawberry huller and a melon baller. Small cookie cutters work great for melons and also add a decorative element to the salad.
Ideally, all your fruit will be perfectly ripe. After all, no one wants a mouthful of mushy melon and tart strawberries. If you do end up with a basket of less-than-ripe fruit you can fix it with sugar. Sugar breaks down unripe fruit making it softer and sweeter. Take this hack to another level by using mint- or vanilla-infused sugar.
Keep it fresher in a salad spinner. Fruit salad gets juicier the longer it sits. The basket of a salad spinner will let the extra liquid drain and help the fruit stay crisp when stored overnight. Toss some of the juice back into the salad just before serving for extra sweetness or save it and make vinaigrette the next day."- Shari's Berries

Healthy Fruit Heart for Valentines Day Treat 
inspired by Sassy Dealz
"I came across this beautiful fruit platter that looks like a heart for Valentine’s Day! If you or your spouse aren’t chocolate lovers, this is the perfect alternative! All you need are fresh pomegranate seeds, strawberries, and blackberries. Fill the middle with the pomegranate seeds then cut strawberries in half. Surround the outside with those lovely blackberries! Mmm it looks so good doesn’t it?! “Heart healthy” is what love is about " - Sassy Dealz

For more recipes and inspiration check out our Pinterest 

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Friday, February 6, 2015

February 2015 Updates

We have had quite a busy month here on the farm!

While we are still busy finishing up pruning our berries and are ready for the spring, we will start feeding our plants. Bob gave a talk to students at OSU this past month. We hope to make this available on our site very soon for those of you interested. We will be posting updates to our Facebook page with any new information about developments in that regard. 
Last month you might have noticed we tried something new for our newsletter layout and had a great response. Which is great! Thank you to all new subscribers and an even bigger thank you to all of our old subscribers! Keep an eye out for more simple changes we have coming to Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter in this coming year. It’s going to be a great 2015! 

Office Hours 

Our office hours are still set to Winter, we are open Monday to Friday 10 am to 4pm Pacific time. 

Up Coming Events In February

If your near or live in Eugene, OR we are happy to say we will be doing some demos in your neck of the woods. For full details and updates, see our Facebook page under “events.” This is a great chance to come out learn about our products and get some tasty samples of products you might have not tried yet.

Better Shipping Rates are Still Available! 

Have a hankering for some delicious frozen berries, but don't want to pay an arm and a leg in shipping? We have great news! We are still able to ship by ground for our frozen berries! If your interested please give us a call at 541-752-0460 to place your order. We are unable to offer better shipping rates through our website, so you need to call us.
This offer also excludes Alaska and Hawaii, sorry guys. 

“A Very Lovely February” 

Check out this months Pinterest board which features fun valentines day ideas for treats, decor, and healthy alternatives! Click here to go to Pinterest. While your there follow our boards and our page, we love sharing all our great finds with all of you! 

Strawberry Cream Cake from Pretty, Simple. Sweet.

  • 1 1/4 cups (170g/6oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick/56g) butter
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g/7 oz) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Whipped Cream:
  • 1 1/2 cups (360ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese or mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup granulated or powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • About 1 pound/450g fresh strawberries, cut into halves or quarters
Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Grease 2 8-inch pans (read note if you have only one pan) and line the bottoms with parchment paper for easy release later on.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine butter and milk over medium heat just until butter is melted. Do not let it boil.
In a mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk eggs on high speed until combined and starting to foam, about 1 minute. Gradually add sugar and keep whisking until tripled in volume, about 6 minutes. Beat in vanilla.
Reduce speed to medium-low and add warm milk mixture into the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream. Add flour mixture in 3 additions and fold by hand using a rubber spatula just until combined.
Pour batter into prepared cake pans and smooth the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cake springs back when slightly touched and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and invert the pan onto the rack. Let cool completely.
Without filling, cakes can be wrapped airtight and refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for 2 months.
For the whipped cream: In a mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk heavy cream with sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Avoid overbeating.
Assembling the cake: Set one cake layer on a plate. Arrange about half of the strawberries in a single layer on top. Evenly spread 1/3 – 1/2 of the whipped cream over the strawberries, leaving a small border around the edge. Top with the second cake layer, this time spreading the whipped cream first and layering the strawberries on top.
Cake can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.
*If you have only one cake pan, scrape all batter into it. It will need more baking time. Once completely cooled, cut in half. If you refrigerate it first, the cake will be firmer and easier to cut.
*You can also make a 2-layer 6-inch cake with the same amount of cake batter. Bake in 2 6-inch pans for 30-35 minutes. You’ll need less whipped cream and strawberries.

Raspberry Lemonade Slice from Lick The Spoon

  • 9 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour 
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 1/2 cups frozen raspberries, thawed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice (about 3-4 medium lemons)
  • zest of 3 lemons
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • pinch of salt, extra
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line and grease a 8x8 inch square baking dish.
To make the crust, cream together butter and sugar until light. Add the flour, vanilla and salt and mix until combined well. Do not over mix as this can make the base tough. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until just golden brown. Remove from oven and cool.
To make the filling, place all thawed raspberries in a fine sieve and press them into a large bowl with the back of a spoon. Discard the caught seeds and skin. Add the sugar, juice, zest, whites, egg, flour and salt and combine, until well incorporated.
Pour the raspberry mixture onto the base and place in the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool on the bench before placing in the refrigerator to set completely (about 3-4 hours) Cut and decorate as desired.
NOTES: This slice freezes well and makes a great dessert or afternoon tea to have handy for unexpected guests or dinner parties.

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