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TEXARKANA, Ark. –
With Thanksgiving coming up in just a few weeks, you likely have started planning
the Thanksgiving menu or if you are not responsible for the food, you are planning
what you will eat. Besides the obvious turkey, one of the symbols of the holiday is
the cranberry. For many, this means canned cranberry sauce. Cranberries are a fruit native to North America. Harvest is a short few weeks in the
fall, but like most farmers, they are working the ground and crop year round. Fresh
cranberries are available from October thru December in the produce aisle. The rest
are combined with other ingredients to become sauce, juice, or dried cranberries.
When selecting fresh cranberries, select shiny, plump berries, ranging in color from
bright light red to dark red. Discard shriveled berries or those with brown spots.
To prepare fresh cranberries for cooking, sort out bruised berries and rinse the remainder
with cold water and use in your recipe. Do not wash before freezing. If you are cooking
frozen berries, thawing is not necessary, just wash, drain and follow recipe directions
using frozen berries.
Fresh cranberries should be stored in the refrigerator in their original plastic bag
for up to a month. You can also freeze fresh cranberries in their packaging for up
to a year, so it is best to buy one for now, and freeze two for later because they
are not usually available after the holidays. For storing other packaged cranberry
products including juices, dried cranberries or cranberry sauce, please check the
Dried cranberries work well in baked goods; however, there is a one fourth cup difference
in measurement. If a recipe calls for one cup of fresh or frozen cranberries, use
three fourth cup of sweetened dried cranberries. You can also rehydrate dried cranberries
using water or cranberry juice for a more plump texture, but this generally isn’t
Cranberry products contain polyphenol antioxidants and vitamins A,C, E and K. They
contain no fat, cholesterol and are very low in sodium. Cranberry products are usually
sweetened. Unlike other berries, cranberries are naturally low in sugar and high in
acidity, making them especially tart.
Why not start your Thanksgiving Day with cranberry muffins at breakfast. You can make
them the night before, store in an airtight container and reheat in the oven the next
morning. Set up a breakfast buffet with fresh sliced fruit, coffee, juice, milk, and
your morning is off on a healthy start, with little work.
2 cups all-purpose flour1 cup sugar1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder1 teaspoon salt1/2 teaspoon baking soda1/4 cup margarine or butter1 egg, well beaten1 teaspoon grated orange peel3/4 cup orange juice1 1/2 cup fresh cranberries, chopped or one cup dried
Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda into a large bowl. Cut in
margarine until mixture is course. Add egg, orange peel, and orange juice all at once.
Stir until mixture is evenly moist. Fold in cranberries. Spoon batter into prepared
muffin cups, two thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until
golden brown. Makes 15 muffins.
For our free Cranberries for the Holidays handout, contact the Miller County Extension Office, 870-779-3609 or visit us in
room 215 at the Miller County Courthouse. We're online at email@example.com, on Facebook
at UAEXMillerCountyFCS, on Twitter @MillerCountyFCS or on the web at uaex.uada.edu/Miller.
By Carla Due County Extension Agent - FCSThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Carla Due County Extension Agent - FCSU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service400 Laurel Street, Suite 215 Texarkana AR 71854 (870) 779-3609 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons
regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin,
religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any
other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.