It’s Fresh Cranberry Season!
Whether you enjoy them in sauce, pastries or savory recipes, these native berries are a fan favorite.
Living in New England, you may have been fortunate enough to visit local cranberry bogs to see the harvesting of these beautiful, vibrant berries. Cranberries are only harvested once per year from mid-September through early November, so the cranberries on supermarket shelves now are as fresh as can be.
Not only are cranberries beautiful strung as garland, incorporated into centerpieces or when used to create festive placeholders, but an impressive amount of nutrition can also be found inside these bite-sized berries. Cranberries are known as the “Original Superfruit” and may provide numerous health benefits, particularly from the vitamin C, fiber and plant compounds called proanthocyanidins, or “PACs” they contain.
Because of their unique nutrition profile, cranberries may help reduce the incidence of certain infections; promote heart health; protect the urinary tract; decrease inflammation associated with chronic disease and aging, and support digestive health, according to the Cranberry Institute.
Thankfully, you can enjoy cranberries past their short fresh season to reap these health benefits. A 10-ounce serving of 27% cranberry juice cocktail, a 1-ounce portion of sweetened dried cranberries and ½-cup canned cranberry sauce provide similar benefits as 1½-cups fresh or frozen cranberries.
While canned cranberry sauce can be a tasty staple for holiday dinners, it’s time to think outside the can and experience the true flavors of fresh cranberry. You won’t be disappointed! One of our favorite cranberry recipes is this Cranberry Apple Chutney inspired by the Rhodes Family, who has been harvesting cranberries in Carver, Massachusetts for over 70 years.
If you don’t have spice-flavored tea bags (such as chai, cinnamon or cider flavored) at home, simply use 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger and ½ teaspoon ground cloves in their place. This chutney is delicious served warm with Brie cheese and whole grain crackers, chilled with your Thanksgiving turkey or swirled into a bowl of hot oatmeal.