Fresh from the Source

Cranberry

For such a little berry, the cranberry packs a big flavor punch. One of the fruits native to our country, cranberries were used by the American Indians as food, medicine, and dye. We think of cranberries as we feast on them each Thanksgiving, but you needn’t limit your consumption to the holidays. Try them in salads and puddings, dressings, and sauces. Use them wherever raisins are appropriate (cookies, granola, snack mix, for example). They’ll make you pucker if unsweetened, but that gives sweet and savory dishes alike the perfect flavor punch.

Flavor Profile

  • Very tart

How to Choose a Good One

  • Berries should look fresh and plump
  • Deed red, firm to the touch
  • Ripe cranberries will bounce (they’re nicknamed “bounceberries,” though this isn’t recommended in most produce aisles!
  • Discard soft or shriveled fruit before storing
  • Can store in the refrigerator up to two months
  • Can be frozen for up to a year. Use immediately after defrosting
  • Once cooked, can last up to a month in the refrigerator
  • Rinse cranberries in cool running water just before using

Peak Season

  • September through December

Nutritional Highlights

  • Excellent source of vitamin C
  • Very good source of dietary fiber
  • Good source of manganese and vitamin K
  • Contains a large number of phytonutrients and antioxidants

General Use

  • Add to green salads
  • Muffins, quick breads
  • Side dish/sauce/relish
  • Rice pudding (in place of raisins)
  • Snack mix
  • Oatmeal, granola
  • Cookies
  • Cakes, Cheesecake
  • Mousse, puddings
  • Smoothies
  • Sorbet, sherbet
  • Barbeque sauce
  • Meatballs
  • Dressings

Complements

  • Sweeter fruits, like oranges, apples, pineapple or pears
  • Honey, maple syrup
  • Fruit juice
  • Celery, avocado, Portobello mushrooms, greens (like spinach)
  • Goat cheese, feta cheese
  • Avocado
  • Chicken
  • Salmon
  • Pecans, pine nuts
  • Grains, such as rice and couscous

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