Cranberries, a cousin of the blueberry, grow in bogs throughout the cooler parts of the northern hemisphere. The fruit of the plant is initially white, but turns a deep red when it’s ready to be picked. Harvest falls from October to December, making cranberries the perfect addition to holiday meals.
Fresh cranberries have a multitude of health benefits over their canned brethren. Loaded with vitamin C, vitamin K, dietary fiber, maganese and antioxidants, these little berries are often touted as a "superfruit’. Cranberries have long been valued for their ability to treat urinary tract infections, but they can also aid in gastrointestinal health, kidney function, cholesterol maintenance and stroke recovery!
Though nutritious, cranberries can be extremely tart. To balance their natural flavor, mix cranberries with sweeter fruits such as oranges, apples, pineapples and pears. You can also take advantage of cranberry’s tartness by using them to replace vinegar or lemon on a seasonal salad. Incorporate fresh cranberries into this year’s Thanksgiving feast by making your own cranberry sauce. This recipe from Kim O’Donnel can easily be made earlier in the week and saved for the big day!