Each year when November arrives, bags of fresh cranberries appear on the produce aisle in the grocery store.
Cranberries are tart and offer a wonderfully sharp flavor that compliments rich holiday foods.
The nutrient content of cranberries is just as pleasant as the taste. Cranberries are loaded with antioxidants according the USDA. That means one cup of these fresh berries is equated with health benefits such as a healthier heart and a stronger immune system.
Look for fresh cranberries in 12 ounce clear plastic bags in the fresh produce section of your supermarket. Just prior to serving (or cooking), the berries should be sorted and looked so that any soft fruits can be discarded. All the good berries should be well rinsed.
How are fresh cranberries served?
There are plenty recipes out there for fresh or cooked cranberry relishes and sauces. I share this recipe each holiday season and get plenty of requests for it throughout the rest of the year.
It is easy to prepare, very fragrant, and packed with flavor. Normally, I serve this crowd pleaser as a go-along when the traditional turkey dinner is on the table. B
ut it can also be served at parties as an appetizer (one possibility is to ladle it over cream cheese, another is to serve it alongside salty corn chip scoops or whole grain crackers.)
Fresh Cranberry Relish
4 cups fresh cranberries
2 cups chopped apples
1 orange, peeled and seeded
1 ¾ cups sugar or sugar substitute
½ cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)
Place sorted and washed cranberries, apples and orange in food processor and pulse until ground. Stir sugar and nuts into mixture until sugar is dissolved. Store relish in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Once you fall in love with fresh cranberries, you’ll want to save some for later in the year (the little 12 ounce bags disappear from stores shortly after Christmas.) Fortunately, they can be placed in a large freezer-proof zip top bag and frozen until you’re ready to use them. Once thawed, the berries are somewhat softer, but they are great if you use them for making breads or muffins or fresh relish.