I think that it is rather unfortunate that you can find cranberries fresh in the grocery store only around Thanksgiving time. But that is when they are ripe. And if we were truly honest, we would not be eating half of the wonderful produce that we have available now days if it were not for greenhouses, refrigeration and such. If we were to eat by the seasons as our ancestors did, we would sorely miss much of the bounty that we have now.
So, while these wonderful berries are in season, here are a few ideas for enjoying them fresh. Don’t forget that cranberries freeze very well too, so if you would like to stock up on them, now is the time!
- Eat them plain! I know it might sound very odd and your mouth might be puckering with just the thought of it, but a small handful of plain cranberries is rich in vitamins C, E, K, manganese and fiber. They are full of antioxidants and can help prevent cancer, heart disease, urinary tract infections, decrease inflammation and protect teeth and gums, boosting your immune system overall. And eating produce raw whenever possible is better than eating it dried or cooked.
- Make fresh cranberry curd or cranberry butter
- Add chopped cranberries to smoothies, popsicles or yogurt
- Roast cranberries and mix them in with granola or sprinkle them over salad
- Mix chopped, fresh cranberries in to couscous or rice pilaf
- Try making your own cranberry juice by blending cranberries and water together and then straining.
- Make an easy, fresh cranberry relish