Just a few strides from my back door, there are sundry treasures growing in the woods. As is my custom early every summer, I recently went looking for black raspberries.

black raspberries

Wild black raspberries (also known as “blackcaps”) are quite seedy, but they’re a wonderful treat; if you can find some in your ‘hood (“the East Coast to the Rockies, but not in the deep South” according to Wildman Steve Brill), you are lucky indeed. But you’d better hurry: you’re competing not just against a short season (about 3 weeks), but the birds who love them dearly, as well.

Sadly, “my” wild black raspberries disappeared before I could gather more than a few handfuls (thanks to said birds). So I’m thinking about transplanting some of the canes to my garden (here’s how); my plan is to cover them with bird netting, so that I can actually enjoy a whole bunch of them next summer and beyond.

But that’s a long way off, so I was ecstatic to find these pretties at The New Paltz Farmer’s Market this weekend :)

wild black raspberries

These berries were so tasty! I flirted with the idea of baking with them, but decided I really just wanted to enjoy them raw. So I put them into this parfait which I ate as a protein, anti-oxidant, and healthy fat-packed afternoon snack (and for breakfast a few times this week, too).

recipe with black raspberries

I don’t usually sweeten my plain yogurt when I eat it with fruit, but I mixed in some homemade honey rosewater “syrup” (inspired by the book Edible Cocktails) here because black raspberries are a bit tart. I also figured the subtle flavor of the rosewater would play nicely with the walnuts: I think I was right.

If you can’t find black raspberries, go ahead and substitute any other berry that you like, or use your imagination with the fruit and nuts that you add. If you don’t eat dairy, you can try this with coconut milk yogurt.

Double everything and add additional layers for a bigger, prettier, parfait.

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On a separate note, isn’t it cool how the same blue background looks completely different in each photo here just because of where I was standing in relation to the light? I really love making photos :)

black raspberry parfait

More fun with black raspberries:

Wild black raspberry info from Local Kitchen
Very small batch wild blackberry jam from Food in Jars
Black Raspberry and Vanilla Ice Cream from Naturally Ella

Disclosure: California Walnuts generously sent me the walnuts that I used in this recipe. All opinions are 100% my own.


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  1. 1

    Suzanne — July 11, 2012 @ 2:02 pm

    I love this, perfect light and healthful fare. Delicious!

  2. 2

    em — July 11, 2012 @ 3:50 pm

    this looks delicious and refreshing. i’ve been on a yogurt kick this summer so far, and it’s been wonderful! i’m thinking about trying to make my own yogurt soon.

  3. 3

    Paula — July 11, 2012 @ 5:13 pm

    What a pretty spoon and what a lovely looking parfait!

  4. 4

    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — July 11, 2012 @ 8:30 pm

    What lovely parfaits, the berries are just beautiful against the blue background!

  5. 5

    The Wimpy Vegetarian — July 12, 2012 @ 1:31 am

    I love your honey rosewater! What a wonderful idea – and perfect in yogurt :-) Hope you’re having a lovely summery, Winnie!

  6. 6

    Regan @ Cabot Creamery — July 12, 2012 @ 5:45 am

    Winnie, these looks & sound amazing! I’ll confess to be jealous that you have these blackcaps just outside your door. My family has a number of blueberry bushes that we can pick from each summer… but they’re on a farm nearly 5 hours away… so you can imagine the frequency with which we make it there to pick :)

    And on behalf of our farm families at Cabot, thanks so much for the Greek yogurt mention!

  7. 7

    Kathryn — July 12, 2012 @ 8:01 am

    This sounds just perfect. I love the combination of the tart black raspberries with the honey rosewater syrup too, I’m definitely going to steal that idea!

  8. 8

    Alison @ ingredients, Inc. — July 12, 2012 @ 10:46 am

    this looks amazing!! Hope you’re well

  9. 9

    LiztheChef — July 12, 2012 @ 11:24 am

    Beautiful shots, Winnie. I haven’t seen a black raspberry since I left PA to go to college but I can still taste the black raspberry ice cream we would enjoy as kids…

  10. 10

    gluttonforlife — July 12, 2012 @ 7:26 pm

    Lovely recipe, Winnie. A word of warning: we covered our raspberry bushes with bird netting this year and I had to cut out a chipmunk who had gotten tangled and was strangling horribly! We decided to treat the critters to our berries until we can come up with a safer solution…

  11. 11

    Oui, Chef — July 12, 2012 @ 9:29 pm

    Such a treat to be able to forage for these lovelies in your back yard. Love it all smashed together!

  12. 12

    Recipes for your favorite summertime fruits | Smart Living Blog — July 18, 2012 @ 11:51 am

    […] For a great summertime snack, it’s hard to beat the light, healthy goodness of a fruit parfait. Here’s a super-simple parfait made with just a few ingredients: black raspberries, walnuts and plain yogurt. The recipe also calls for a couple teaspoons of honey rosewater as a sweetener, but you could also just go with a sweeter yogurt to save yourself this step. Either way, this is a wholesome, nutritious solution to the afternoon munchies. (Healthy Green Kitchen) […]