Cranberries: A seasonal favorite - U of I Extension

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Cranberries: A seasonal favorite

This article was originally published on November 17, 2015 and expired on January 31, 2016. It is provided here for archival purposes and may contain dated information.

Cranberries: A seasonal favorite

Cranberries are a seasonal favorite that often find their way into our homes at this time of year. Cranberries are native to North America, and can be found growing in several states such as Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington, and right to the north of us in Wisconsin. In fact, cranberries are Wisconsin’s leading fruit crop in terms of acreage and value. 

Cranberries require unique growing conditions commonly found in sandy marshes and bogs. Though not just any marsh or bog. Cranberries require acidic soil to grow, and the bogs and marshes commonly found in Wisconsin provide the needed acid peat soil and adequate fresh water supply. That being said, cranberries do not actually grow in water. Although many people have been lead to believe they do thanks to the clever and comical marketing strategies used over the years. In reality, cranberries can be harvested by flooding the bog with water, and due to the berries buoyancy, the berries will float to the surface and are then collected. This beautifully-colored fruit ripens in late September to early October, just in time to make it into our homes for the winter holiday season.

Cranberries are a versatile fruit and can be found in breads, entrees, side dishes, sauces, and even beverages. “Fresh cranberries have a tart flavor, and are often sweetened with added sugar to make them tastier.  However, many people do not need the additional calories added sugars provide," shares University of Illinois Nutrition and Wellness Educator and registered dietitian, Diane Reinhold. "Instead consider pairing cranberries with other naturally sweet fruits, such as apples, oranges, apricots, pears or peaches. This will not only make your dish flavorful, but it will also provide healthful nutrients your body needs.”

Fresh cranberries are low in calories and contain several vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C. Additionally, cranberries are packed with phytochemicals, which give them their distinctive deep red color. Phytochemicals, sometimes called phytonutrients, are compounds found in plants that are responsible for the vibrant colors found in vegetables and fruit. 

"Cranberries are rich in proanthocyanidins, a particular group of compounds within the flavonoid family of polyphenol phytochemicals found in plants. These particular flavonoids have been found to have significant health benefits due to their antioxidant properties, making cranberries an excellent fruit to include in your diet year round,” Reinhold explains.

Looking for fun recipes without the added sugar? Check out these delicious recipes from Splenda.com!

For more information about nutrition, wellnesses, and safe food handling, contact Diane Reinhold at 815-235-4125 or dreinhol@illinois.edu.

Cranberry Apple Relish

Ingredients

  • 1 (12 ounce) bag fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
  • 1 medium apple - peeled, cored and diced
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins

Directions

  1. Place cranberries, SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated, water and orange juice concentrate in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil and boil 3-4 minutes or until cranberries start to thicken and water has reduced by about half.
  3. Remove from pan and place in medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate for  2-3 hours or overnight
  4. Add diced apple and half of the raisins to cranberries. Stir well
  5. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, sprinkle remaining raisins over cranberries as a garnish. Serve chilled as an accompaniment to roasted meats or poultry


Serves: 20 | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Nutrition Info Serving Size: 1/20th of Recipe | Calories: 30 | Calories from Fat: 0 | Total Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 0mg | Total Carbs: 8g | Dietary Fiber:1g | Sugars: 5g | Protein: 0g

MADE WITH SPLENDA® NO CALORIE SWEETENER, GRANULATED CAN ALSO BE MADE WITH SPLENDA® ESSENTIALSTM NO CALORIE SWEETENER, 1 GRAM OF FIBER, GRANULATED

 

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup SPLENDA® ESSENTIALS™ No Calorie Sweetener, 1 Gram of Fiber, Granulated
  • 3/4 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup vanilla nonfat yogurt
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cranberries


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Line 6 muffin cups with paper liners or spray with nonstick spray.
  2. Mix together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add SPLENDA® ESSENTIALS™ No Calorie Sweetener, 1 Gram of Fiber, Granulated and orange zest beating until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat.
  4. Stir in vanilla yogurt. Gradually stir in flour mixture until just combined.
  5. Fold in cranberries. Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups.
  6. Bake 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pan, cool on wire rack.


Serves: 6 | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 15-20 Minutes

Nutrition Info Serving Size: 1 Muffin |Calories: 200|Calories from Fat: 80 |Total Fat: 9g| Saturated Fat: 5g|Cholesterol: 55mg Sodium: 220mg |Total Carbs: 28g|Dietary Fiber: 3g| Sugars: 3g |Protein: 5g

MADE WITH SPLENDA® NO CALORIE SWEETENER, GRANULATED CAN ALSO BE MADE WITH SPLENDA® ESSENTIALSTM NO CALORIE SWEETENER, 1 GRAM OF FIBER, GRANULATED

 

Diane Reinhold is a University of Illinois Extension, Nutrition and Wellness Educator and registered dietitian. For more about upcoming programming on nutrition and wellness, visit http://web.extension.illinois.edu/jsw  or call 815-235-4125.

 

Contact:

Diane Reinhold

Nutrition and Wellness Educator

U of I Extension

(815) 235-4125

dreinhol@illinois.edu

 

Source: Diane Reinhold, Extension Educator, Nutrition and Wellness, dreinhol@illinois.edu

Pull date: January 31, 2016