Snooze and You Will Lose: Fresh Cranberries
November 9, 2021 16 Comments
These bags of cranberries are now waiting for you at your local supermarket. Should you toss them in your cart? Yes!
The time is now for cranberries because they only show up for Thanksgiving. We all talk about the pounds of turkey or the pounds we add to our waistline at this time of year.
Instead of turkey talk - let’s take advantage of the “superfruit” that comes our way. I got this bag at Aldi for 99 cents - less than a dollar!
They are so festive and I know people avoid them because they don’t know how to cook them. Or (and this truly makes me sad), they think that cranberry sauce is to be spooned from a can.
I know that most people don’t even like cranberries because the only cranberry sauce that they have ever had is jellied. That stuff is not for us - it is for people who have never met a cranberry.
See this guy? He is harvesting cranberries from a bog in Massachusetts. I have visited a cranberry bog on Cape Cod because I saw a sign for fresh cranberries and pulled over. Cranberries grow on vines like strawberries and actually don’t grow in the water. They are harvested this way because cranberries float.
The farmer floods the bog with water and then scoops up the floating cranberries. You can also harvest them off the vines by using a machine to pick them on dry land.
Like all fruits, the cranberry has a myriad of health benefits such as Proanthocyanidins (PACs). PACS are a uniquely bioactive compound that can benefit heart health, reduce incidence of certain infections, and protect the urinary tract.
But, the real reason you should eat them is because they are delicious. You do need to add sugar to make them palatable unlike other fruits which is a downside.
Over the years, I have refined my favorite sauce but the one that is on the package of the berries is great. This recipe - Easy Cranberry Sauce is the classic.
I hope that someone who reads this will go, buy a bag of cranberries, make this recipe, and come back here and talk about how their life has changed.
For those familiar with the greatness of fresh cranberry sauce, try this recipe - Red Wine Cranberry Sauce. It is more sophisticated - more notes of flavor - and people will fight each other at your Thanksgiving table for the last bite.
Don’t just put cranberries in sauce - buy an extra bag or two and store them in the freezer. Use them in all sorts of things like pancakes and muffins.
Years ago, I created a recipe - fresh cranberry muffins- that was a hit. The muffins are not super sweet but they are flavorful because of the cranberries. Give them a try!
I did get in a fight with Ocean Spray years ago about dried cranberries because they have added sugar (as opposed to raisins which do not). I regret that fight because in the end it was nit-picking on my part. Raisins are great - dried cranberries are great - anytime you are not eating a Snicker’s bar - you are doing great.
Please share your cranberry moments, recipes, and inspiration.