October Nutritional Article

October: The Month of Cranberriescranberrry

History teaches us that cranberries were used as medicine for many years, used to fight infections and diseases. Now we are taking a closer look at the nutritional benefits of cranberries in the realm of modern medicine. The cranberry’s deep red color highlights the antioxidant (disease-fighting) properties. Raw cranberries are bitter and tart so you may be wondering how we can use them in cooking and baking without adding large quantities of sugar.


Culinary Uses for Cranberries:

  • Look for reduced-sugar dried cranberries at the supermarket.
  • Substitute dried cranberries in any baked good recipe in place of raisins.
  • Sprinkle dried cranberries on hot cereal (i.e. oatmeal) or cold cereal.
  • Sprinkle a salad with dried sweetened cranberries.
  • Use a homemade cranberry glaze with chicken, turkey, or pork.

Fun Facts about Cranberries:

  • Cranberries are filled with air pockets, which makes them cranberry-harvestbounce. Check the freshness of a cranberry by bouncing it. Rotten berries will not bounce. The air pocket also allows cranberries to float in water.
  • Wisconsin produces the largest cranberry crop out of all the states in the U.S. The cranberry is Wisconsin’s official state fruit. Wisconsin cranberry growers harvest enough cranberries each year to supply every man, woman, and child in the world with approximately 26 cranberries.
  • Cranberries do not grow in water, but on low-running vines in marshes. When the fruit is ripe, the marsh is flooded. The floating berries are then more easily harvested.
  • The blueberry is the cranberry’s “summer cousin.”


Cranberry Bread

1/3 cup butter                                    2 ½ cups flourcranberry-bread
1 Tbsp. grated orange peel                 1 tsp. baking soda
3/4  cup sugar                                   2 cups fresh cranberries, chopped
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce         ¾ cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla                                     ¼ tsp. salt
3 large eggs, beaten                          ¾ cup pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 9″ x 5″ loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Beat butter, orange peel, sugar, applesauce, and vanilla in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating at low speed just until blended. Fold cranberries and nuts into batter. Turn into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes. Cool slightly in pan. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.


Baked Apples with Cranberries

4 medium apples                                ¼ cup brown sugar, packedbaked-apple-with-cranberry
1 cup fresh cranberries                       1 ½ tsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup pure maple syrup                   ½ tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare a shallow dish by spraying with nonstick cooking spray. Core and slice apples. Mix cranberries into the apples. Pour maple syrup over the combination, sprinkle with brown sugar, and top with ½ teaspoon butter and cinnamon. Bake for 35-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft and tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool briefly.