A Case for Cranberries

By, Cassie Younger

Native Foods Cafe



Native Foods uses this image courtesy of http://www.fantom-xp.com/wp_22_~_Heart_cranberries_Valentine's_Day.html

For those of you who grew up eating jellied cranberries out of a can on Thanksgiving, the time is now to stop. This weird, cloying, jiggly substance is an adulteration of a fruit that is naturally beautiful and healthful. True cranberry sauce is infinitely more delicious AND incredibly easy to make. Do yourself a favor and put the can of Ocean Spray at bay. Make real cranberry sauce.

Cranberries are a great source vitamin C, fiber and many antioxidants and phytonutrients. They contain proanthocyanidins, which help prevent urinary tract infections and citric acid that assists in kidney function. Pure cranberry juice is great for detoxing, or conversely, mixing with champagne or vodka for a holiday cocktail! J


1 bag of cranberries

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

Dissolve sugar into  boiling water. Add [rinsed] cranberries to boiling sugar water and stir over medium heat until all the berries have popped or split.

Let that boil of berries chill for a few hours.  And you’re done! That wasn’t so hard. Feel free to be creative and use honey/maple syrup instead of sugar or orange juice instead of water with some orange zest on top. Yum! 

Native Foods Cafe uses this image courtesy of www.mrkate.com.

Another thing that makes cranberries fascinating is how they are harvested.  They are grown in expansive bogs, which are flooded 6-8 inches when the berries are ripe. A large “eggbeater” like device is used to loosen the berries from their stems, and then the ripe, floating berries are collected. This technological innovation originally started simply to assist the farmer, but now is thought to actually assist the cranberries in becoming more nutrient rich as more phytonutrients are activated as the cranberries bask in the sun while they wait to be collected.

Here is a stunning video by Red Bull, in which professionals “wakeskate” over a cranberry bog in Wisconsin. Who knew waves of cranberries could be SO breathtaking??? (I know the video is long but I highly recommend all 8 minutes!)



Now go eat some of those beautiful berries! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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