One can be little, inexpensive, but powerful! There is only one word for this tiny burst of flavours: “cranberries”.I went everywhere to buy some cranberries here in my region in the South of France, none to find: no fresh ones, no cranberry jam or sauce… Unbelievable!
When grown in bogs, these ruby red berries, float on the surface and their quality improves, being able to collect the natural sunlight striking them. Of course being in water, equals easy harvesting, compared to other methods. How to know when to harvest? A ripe cranberry will bounce!
Cranberries can make a festive tasty sauce, drink, casserole or dessert. Even added to stuffing they do wonders. Its culinary history goes back to when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, found Native Americans harvesting them and not only eating them, but also using them as dyes for clothing and for medicinal purposes. A paste of them was used for treating injuries and wounds. Cranberries contain natural preserving agents and were used to preserve venison over long periods. Once known by the European sailors, they became their inseparable companions on sea voyages, as their high vitamin C content protected them for scurvy.
This versatile super food could keep you forever young, packed with a high nutrient and antioxidant content (beating broccoli, apples and even spinach) and only contains few calories per cup. Its nutritional value is amazing, the list, too long to sum up! Believed to improve immune function, even prevent certain types of cancer, decreasing your blood pressure and providing lowered risk of urinary tract infections. And it goes on and on: good for respiratory disorders, kidney stones, heart disease, stomach disorders, diabetes and gum diseases caused by dental plaque! Runny nose? Do you feel a cold coming up? Drink some fresh cranberry juice and no more sore throat or cold! They have even been proven to be effective against the inflammation caused in the lungs by the influenza virus.
Although they produce mouthwatering dishes, for those of you allergic to aspirins (as I am) and thinking of using them for your festive meals, watch out: cranberries contain substantial quantities of salicylic acid, which is also present in aspirin!
For all other persons, go ahead enjoy delicious recipes. What about: cranberry-almond goat cheese, grilled mushrooms stuffed with cranberry or chicken breast stuffed with wild rice and cranberry stuffing, pumpkin-cranberry risotto and turkey breast stuffed with Italian sausage and Marsala-steeped cranberries, poached pears in cranberry raspberry juice, cranberry-orange pancakes with cranberry-maple syrup or cranberry white chocolate mousse. This tart fruit, sugar coated or not, with its vibrant color and refreshing taste, guarantees abundance of success!
Don’t forget our feathered friends: strings of cranberries and millet sprays are very easy to make and feed many different wild birds. Do some helpful winter crafting for them and let the birds relish as the winter chill sets in!
With their bright festive colour, they also provide a splash of seasonal touch of red in your decorations, adding holiday cheer to the Christmas décor, throughout your house. What’s stopping you to be inventive and dressing up your home or venue with crimson cranberries, jazzing it up for the winter holiday season, whilst turning your cozy haven into your very own bubbling, fabulous cranberry land? What are your artful spins in “let’s go red” decoration? Do tell me how you add that lovely touch of red around you.
Did you know that the 23rd of November is known as “Eat a Cranberry Day”?
Dreaming of edible gardens, dying to sprinkle decorations all around, cranberry inspired