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TEXARKANA, Ark. –
Cranberries are a native North American fruit and a Thanksgiving staple for many families.
Cranberries are potent sources of antioxidants, specifically from a subclass of flavonoids
called proanthocyanidins, which are unique to and abundant in cranberries.
Whether you are getting these beneficial antioxidants from cranberry juice cocktail,
from fresh, frozen, dried, or as sauce, they are the perfect addition to your diet.
In fact, 8 ounces of 25% cranberry juice cocktail provides the amount of antioxidants
equivalent to one and one-half cups fresh or frozen cranberries, 1 ounce sweetened
dried fruit, or 1/2 cup cranberry sauce.
Cranberries have unique health benefits. They are valued for their ability to help
prevent urinary tract infections by preventing E. coli from adhering to the cells
that line the urinary tract. In addition, the antioxidants support cardiovascular
health and reduce the risk for some cancers. Cranberries are naturally fat-free and
have very little sodium, so adding them to a balanced diet is a delicious, refreshing,
and nutritious way to meet the recommended servings of fruit daily.
Optimum berries will yield optimum nutrients. Select fresh cranberries that are shiny,
plump berries, ranging in color from bright light red to dark red. Discard shriveled
berries or those with brown spots.
Unfortunately, finding fresh cranberries out of season can be a challenge, so stock
up now and freeze them for up to 9 months. Wash before using but not before freezing.
When you are ready to use frozen cranberries, do not thaw; just wash and follow recipe
Fresh cranberries last from 2 weeks to 2 months in the refrigerator. Be sure to sort out the soft ones if you plan to store them for more than a few days.
You may substitute sweetened, dried cranberries for fresh or frozen ones in baked
Cranberries add more than just zip to your meals. They are high in fiber, have just
25 calories per 1/2 cup and provide over 10% of the recommended daily allowance of
vitamin C. Fresh cranberries contain no cholesterol, virtually no fat, and very little sodium.
For your free copy of Cranberries for the Holidays, which includes recipes, contact the Miller County Extension Office, 870-779-3609
or visit us in room 215 at the Miller County Courthouse. We're on Facebook and Twitter
This is one cranberry salad even picky eaters will enjoy. Make it the
day before to save time.
Makes 8 servings. Calories 80; Sodium 27mg; Carbohydrates 11g; Dietary Fiber 2g; Protein
1g; Fat 3g.
By Carla DueCounty Extension Agent - FCSThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture