1 (12-ounce) bag of cranberries = 3 cups whole cranberries = 2 1/2 cups finely chopped cranberries.
Did you know:
The American Cranberry, along with the blueberry and Concord grape, is one of North America’s three native fruits that are commercially grown.
The cranberry, scientifically know as “Vaccinium macrocarpon, is native to the swamps and bogs of northeastern North America,” and is also the state berry of Massachusetts.
Cranberries got their name from the pilgrims, who called them caneberries because their long-necked pink blossoms resembled the heads of cranes.
In the early Colonial days, Ships carried barrels of cranberries on long voyages as a scurvy preventative for the crews. Also, in the days of the great sailing ships, American cranberries were exported to Europe by simply packing them in barrels and covering them with water whereby they would remain in good shape throughout the long sea voyage.
Health Benefits of Cranberries:
Cranberries and cranberry products contain significant amounts of antioxidants that may help protect against heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Cranberries may also be beneficial in the prevention of ulcers, which are linked to stomach cancer and acid reflux disease
Purchasing and Storing Cranberries:
Fresh cranberries can be found in your supermarket produce section from September to December.
When buying cranberries, they should appear well colored, plump, firm, and unbruised. Place in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to one month.
Shortly before using, wash cranberries, pick through them and discard any that are bruised or decaying.
Cranberries will freeze beautifully. Wrap them in an airtight bag, squeeze out excess air, and they will keep for almost a year. Do not defrost when adding them to a recipe.
Hints and Tips:
Add 1 teaspoon of butter to each pound of cranberries when cooking to eliminate foam and over boiling.
Cook cranberries just until they pop. Further cooking makes them taste bitter.
Check out my favorite cranberry recipes:
Cranberry Chicken (low fat, low calorie and low carb)
Herb vinegar give this chicken an unusual zing.
Cranberry Holiday Spread
This delicious holiday spread is very easy-to-make and is sure to delight your family and friends. Makes a great appetizer to sure before your large Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
Ben Weller, my son-in-law, makes this wonderful family recipe for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. He uses the traditional method of grinding with an old hand-crank grinder. His mother, Joan Weller, told me (in confidence) that you do not really need to use a food grinder (you can use a food processor). It was her way of keeping her sons busy and out of the way when she was fixing the holiday dinner.
Cranberry Salsa Dip with Cream Cheese
This fantastic recipe was shared with me by Carol Reich of Hillsboro, Oregon. Carol won a Dip Contest on the Satellite Sisters Radio Show with this outstanding and also beautiful-to-look-at recipe.
This recipe is courtesy of Doreen Matthew of the Bay Creamery restaurant in Winchester Bay, Oregon. Doreen says, “We make a very popular Cranberry Tartlet that we serve with our breakfast meals. Everyone loves them and we get requests all the time to ‘make me a dozen of those cranberry thingys.’ We make them in tartlet pans but the recipe will work very well in a mini- muffin pan. We have also used small tart pans with removable bottoms. You get about 6 to a recipe with a 4 inch tart pan. Just remember to use a spray or you will never get them out!”
Cranberries with Raspberry Vinaigrette
This traditional sauce is enhanced by raspberry vinegar. Very delicious!