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Snooze and You Will Lose: Fresh Cranberries

November 9, 2021   15 Comments

These bags of cranberries are now waiting for you at your local supermarket. Should you toss them in your cart? Yes!

Snooze and You Will Lose: Fresh Cranberries

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.


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15 Comments:

I’m definitely going to the store to look for a bag of cranberries. Then I will look up interesting cranberry recipes!

I totally agree - I keep bags of cranberries in the freezer for use year around. They freeze well and it is so nice to have them when I want them. My go to homemade cranberry sauce uses frozen berries along with the cranberries and as little sugar as I can get away with.

Patti, would you care to share this recipe? I’m intrigued...

I agree!! I have been looking all year for fresh cranberries and you cannot find them. I will be stocking up this year!!

I love homemade cranberry sauce, all year long, with bbq chicken

I also have a great Cranberry Crumble recipe...this is sooo good!

https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/cranberry-crisp/

@Chris - so I might have an answer for you on how to reduce the sugar. If you use a bag of cranberries - it is one cup of sugar. You can just add 1/2 cup and see if it isn't too sour for you. Or some people use Splenda or other sugar substitutes. See https://snack-girl.com/snack/easy-cranberry-sauce/

Great question!

My mom has always made the recipe on the bag and now I continue the tradition! My in laws were surprised the first time I made it as they are used to the canned version. So much better and again on those next day turkey sandwiches!! Sooo yummy!!

We have a favorite cranberry recipe that is outstanding. It is centuries old. Freezes well.

This recipe dates from at least 1870 and possibly before that.

Mama Stanberg's Cranberry Relish

2 cups raw cranberries

1 small onion

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup sour cream

2 T. Horseradish

Grind cranberries and onion together. Add the rest and mix. Freeze in a plastic container. An hour or so before serving, move it to the refrigerator to thaw. It should be thick, creamy and shockingly pink. Makes 1.5 pints.

I make stovetop oatmeal with leftover cranberries every year.

Just use whole oats, apples, cranberries, and whatever sweetner you use. The cranberries burst while cooking. Delicious and easy.

Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish recipe - - NPR has a whole page of the yearly readings of it.

https://www.npr.org/series/4175681/susan-stamberg-s-cranber…

Mama Stamberg got the recipe from Craig Claiborne, from a 1959 New York Times column.

I've never tried it as I don't like horseradish but maybe I should.

This is my Snack-Girl inspired cranberry sauce recipe, easily multiplied and frozen for use throughout the year. For each 12 oz bag of cranberries: 1/3 c sugar, 1/3 c unsweetened applesauce, 1-2 oranges (zest and segments). I let it simmer till the berries pop, then I use an immersion blender. I typically make a 36 oz batch which yields. about 7 cups.

Enjoy my drunken cranberries!

Bag of cranberries

Jar of sugar free orange marmalade

Bourbon

Use the bourbon as you would water and let it all cook down. It gels up more as they cool. Best ever!

I prefer using cruising over raisins in baked goods as they aren't as sweet. I use the recipe on the bag when I make cranberry sauce.

This is delicious, easy to make, and I use Splenda instead of sugar. The orange rind is the only 'work'.

Cranberry chutney

Ingredients:

* Orange rind, grated, approximately 1 teaspoon

* 1/3 cup orange juice

1 1/2 cups sugar

* 16 oz fresh cranberries, washed

* 1 cup mixed raisins

* 1/2 cup peeled, cored and sliced apples

* 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

* 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

* 1/4 teaspoon allspice

* 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

* 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

* 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Bring oj and sugar to boil in large saucepan.

Add the rest of ingredients, bring to boil again.

Reduce heat and simmer 15-20 min, until all is soft.

Fridge covered overnight, serve at room temp.

This reply is in response to Chris' question about my recipe. I do not have a specific recipe, though. I make the cranberry sauce recipe on the bag, with 1/2 to 1/3 the sugar called for (usually honey, not refined sugar), mush the cranberries with a wooden spoon, and then let it simmer until it thickens. Then I add in frozen berries - but which ones I use depends on what the store has and sometimes what is on sale. So, I have used bags with a mix of raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, even cherries! The bags are usually about the same size as a bag of cranberries. I mix until they are thawed, and sometimes I need to cut the strawberries if they are whole. This year, I have a huge bag of berries, so I will just being using part of it. Once everything is mixed and thick, I put it in the refrigerator to let it get even thicker. My family loves this and looks forward to when I make it!

The blogger skinnytaste.com has a cranberry sauce recipe that uses cranberries, pears, and a little sugar. I make it with Splenda instead of sugar, which makes the points 0. It's just once a year, so I don't worry about the Splenda. Sometimes I use canned pears no sugar added. Sometimes I use a couple of red pears, or whichever pears are the softest at the grocery store.


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