Cranberries get ripe in the fall, just in time for them to be the culinary highlight in many winter holiday feasts. Cranberries are native to North America, where they grow in bogs near wetlands. Native Americans used this bright berry as a source of red dye and as a natural remedy. 95% of all cranberries grown on farms of Massachusetts are processed into juices and sauces. Cranberries are very hard to find outside of the United States.

One of the Superfoods 

The Cranberry is the focus of quite a bit of medicinal research. They have been found to be a powerhouse of nutrients, an excellent source of vitamin C, and several antioxidants. Medical studies support their anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Many people are aware of cranberry juice’s use for urinary tract infections which is due to very high in tannic acids.

Tasty Little Bites

Fresh cranberries are wondrous fruits, and they should not be overlooked the rest of the year. They freeze well for several months when they are not available in stores. Fresh or defrosted cranberries can be added to salads and smoothies, baked goods, or cooked down into the classic cranberry sauce. Sun-dried cranberries are an excellent addition to trail mixes or medicinal teas. They can also be found in artesian chocolates. 

These sparkling cranberries are real eye-catchers. They can garnish a cake, highlight a salad, or be served as a snack with tea. 

Sugar Coated Cranberries

Cranberries have an apple-like taste, but for most people, they are too tart on their own. Adding sugar can help cut tartness and bring out the berry flavor.

Ingredients:

1 bag of cranberries

1 cup of sugar

Heavy bottomed medium saucepan

Begin by making a simple syrup:

Simple Syrup

The recipe is extremely simple. You can adjust the sugar and water ratio. Make it richer with 2 parts sugar and 1 part water, or back off on the sweetness with a straight 1:1 mix.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup water  

Bring sugar and water to a simmer in a small heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved, then cool to room temperature. Let cool a little bit since cranberries can “pop” and break, but cold syrup will not coat the cranberries well. 

Cranberries tend to float on the top, so it is better to weigh them down submersed with a proper fitting plate or stir them frequently, so they are evenly coated. 

Let the cranberries sit in the syrup for several hours or even overnight. Strain well in a larger strainer to remove all the excess liquid. Let dry for 1 hour.

With a slotted spoon, transfer cranberries into a shallow dish with a thin layer of granulated sugar and roll the cranberries in them. When properly coated, carefully place the cranberries on a drying baking rack. Let sit overnight. Keep refrigerated and consume within a couple of days.  

Disclaimer:

Information contained here is not intended to treat or cure any diseases or provide a medical advice.

Sources:

https://www.cranberryinstitute.org/

https://www.cranberries.org/

Resources:

Cranberries by Golriz Golkar 

Format: Hoopla eBook

The cranberry cookbook : year-round dishes from bog to table by Sally Pasley Vargas.

 Format: Book

Cranberries by Joel Greene

Format: Hoopla eVideo

Magda Born

mborn@kckpl.org

Community Services Librarian

Kansas City, Kansas Public Library

625 Minnesota Ave.

Kansas City, KS 66101

913-295-8250 ext 1103