The holidays are upon us! Don’t get bogged down with the cooking, gift wrapping, and cleaning house. Instead, let’s enjoy the beauty of the season. For example, we could offer up a cheer for the festive cranberry!
You’ve seen them in the store and at holiday gatherings in some shape or form. Many of you, like me, may have grown up thinking cranberries come in the shape of a number 10 can.
The truth is there is a lot more history and goodness to this fruit than has previously met our tastebuds or our eyes.
The Festive Cranberry: Grown in Bogs and Marshes
Grown in bogs and marshes in the far northern reaches of the United States and the Pacific Northwest, the fruit gets its namefrom the cranberry plant’s small, pink blossoms that flower in the spring.
These blossoms look just like the neck, head, and bill of a Sandhill crane, the birds whose favorite food just happens to be the cranberry.
The festive cranberry is native to North America. Indigenous people used cranberries to make Pemmican, a dried meat mixture, and were the first to make a sauce sweetened with maple sugar.
They also used the berries for everything from poultices for their wounds to fabric dye.
Bet you didn’t know cranberries were so versatile!
Loaded with Healthy Benefits
Low in calories and high in vitamins C, A and K, cranberries are also a great source of antioxidants.
The nutrients common in the berries are known to help slow the progression of cancer growth, benefit dental health, and reduce cardiovascular disease.
Add Some Cheer To Your Meals With the Festive Cranberry
And don’t forget the benefit of enjoying the taste of cranberries in salads, relishes and other dishes.
Remember cranberries are extremely tart.
More than likely you’ll need to balance that yummy tartness with a bit of sugar.
However you and your family choose to enjoy this food that’s been around since the beginning of our homeland, be assured that you will not only benefit health wise, you will be rewarded with great flavor.