growingcranberries_lingonberries_1000The cranberry is one of three fruits native to North America that is commercially grown (along with blueberry and concord grape). It is a wetland fruit that grows on vines in bogs and is a perennial plant,  meaning growers do not need to replant each year. A healthy cranberry plant that is taken care of can grow for a very long time. Some cranberry vines in Cape Cod are over 150 years old! How do we know they are ready for harvest?  Because they bounce on the ground when ripe! Hence the name, “the bouncing fruit.”

As long as 450 years ago, Native Americans used cranberries for dye, food, and medicine. With cranberries  harvested in mid-September to early-November, it has long made its appearance  as a staple on Thanksgiving dinner tables.  We often see cranberries as a sauce, relish, jam, dried (craisins) and as a juice or spritzer.  

Cranberries are a very good source of Vitamin C, which supports our immune system to keep us healthy during cold and flu season. But it is the whole range of phytonutrients (plant-based nutrients) in the cranberry that make them so healthy. All of the antioxidants and vitamins together give the cranberry its anti-inflammatory effects (reduces swelling), cardiovascular support (healthy heart and lungs) and more.

Get your family’s health winter-ready with a quick and easy recipe you can enjoy cooking together.

cranberry-quinoa-kale-salad-1-113013QUINOA STUFFING

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 pears
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 1 bunch kale
  • ½ red onion
  • ½ c fresh cranberries
  • ½ c pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • ¼ c apple cider vinegar
  • 6 T olive oil
  • 2 T honey (opt.)
  • salt and pepper to taste

cranberry-chutney-cooked1CRANBERRY CHUTNEY

  • 1 c fresh cranberries
  • 2 apples, peeled and chopped
  • 2 oranges juiced (1 cup)
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 t ginger
  • 2 T honey (opt.)

Directions

  1. Chop apples and juice the oranges. Add to saucepan with cranberries, cinnamon, ginger and honey.
  2. Heat 1 T olive oil over medium heat in separate pan.
  3. Cut cranberries in quarters. Dice onions. Add both to pan and cook 5-7 min until caramelized.
  4. Cook quinoa. Place in bowl after cooked.
  5. Cut pears into ½ inch pieces. Repeat with celery.
  6. Tear and massage small pieces of kale.
  7. Add kale, pears, celery, and red onion and cranberry mixtue into quinoa bowl.
  8. Measure out vinegar, olive oil, honey.
  9. Whisk together or shake in container. Dress the stuffing.
  10. Remove chutney from heat.
  11. Serve, give thanks and enjoy!