The cranberry is one of only three native fruits cultivated in North America. This fruit was first used by Native Americans; they discovered its versatility as not only an edible berry, but also as a fabric dye and healing agent.
These marble-sized berries are round, shiny, and range from light pink to deep, scarlet red. If you strung up all the cranberries produced in North America last year, they could stretch from Boston to Los Angeles more than 565 times!
Unopened bags of berries or berries tightly wrapped in plastic, will keep in the refrigerator for up to two months.
To make your cranberries last longer, toss the bag in the freezer, and they'll stay fresh for up to a year.
Don't wash cranberries before storing or they'll spoil more quickly.
When buying cranberries, choose brightly colored berries that appear plump and firm. Discard any berries that are soft, shriveled, withered, or discolored, and remove any stems.
One 12-ounce bag equals about three cups of berries.
Cranberries bounce! Small pockets of air inside the fruit make the little fruits bounce when fresh. It’s also why the berries float in water, which is how many cranberries are harvested.
Traditional jelly sauce aside, these very tart berries work great in pies, cobblers, muffins, cookie mixes, chutneys, and relishes. They also go great with most meats!
When cooking with cranberries, remove them from the heat as soon as they pop. If you keep them on the heat too long they will become mushy and bitter.
Raw cranberries have high levels of vitamin C, dietary fiber, and essential minerals such as manganese. Blend a couple into your smoothie!
One cup of whole, raw cranberries provides 4 grams of fiber, half a gram of protein, only .2 grams of fat, very little sodium and no cholesterol.
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