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By the U of A System Division of AgricultureNov. 27, 2019
(580 words)(Download this story in MS Word format here.)
TEXARKANA, Ark. – There’s so much more to cranberries than that can-shaped red jelly
seen on many Thanksgiving tables, said Carla Due, Miller County extension staff chair
for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
“Cranberries, a native North American fruit, have a lot going for them,” she said.
“Fresh or dried, they contain polyphenol antioxidants and vitamins A,C, E and K. They
contain no fat, cholesterol and are very low in sodium. They’re also high in fiber.”
Cranberries, however, are not naturally sweet, so products such as dried cranberries
are generally sweetened.
Fall is the time when the fresh fruits start to show up in stores.
“Harvest is a short few weeks in the fall, but like most farmers, they are working
the ground and crop year-round,” Due said. “Fresh cranberries are available from October
through December in the produce aisle. Others 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.
Due said 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,” she said. “For storing other packaged cranberry products
including juices, dried cranberries or cranberry sauce, please check the label.”
Dried cranberries work well in baked goods. However, there is a one-fourth cup difference
“If a recipe calls for one cup of fresh or frozen cranberries, use three-fourths of
a cup of sweetened dried cranberries,” Due said. “You can also rehydrate dried cranberries
using water or cranberry juice for plumpness, but this generally isn’t necessary.”
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 will start off on a healthy start, with little work.
2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup sugar one and one half teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt one half teaspoon baking sodaOne fourth cup margarine or butter 1 egg, well beaten 1 teaspoon grated orange peel three fourth cup orange juice one and one half 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 more recipe ideas, or to learn about getting the most nutrition for your grocery
dollar, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit www.uaex.uada.edu. Follow us on Twitter at @UAEX_edu.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen
agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption
of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative
Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work
within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas
System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs and services without regard to 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.
# # #
Media Contact: Mary HightowerDir. of Communication ServicesU of A System Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) firstname.lastname@example.org