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Everything Cranberry

Updated on February 9, 2015

Discover The Cranberry


The holidays are here again, and that means its time for that tart little favorite, the cranberry, to make an appearance across dining room tables everywhere.  Check out this page to learn everything cranberry - from the best recipes for all types of cranberry dishes, to festive cranberry holiday craft ideas, to how cranberries grow, why they are so nutrtiious and where you can get the very best cranberry stuff. Enjoy!

A Little Cranberry History

Cranberries were first used by Native Americans as a food, fabric dye and healing agent. Early European settlers adopted the name cranberry for the fruit after the native American name "craneberry". They called it crane berry because of the small, pink blossoms that appear in the spring which resemble the head and bill of a Sandhill crane.

In 1816, Captain Henry Hall became the first to successfully cultivate cranberries. By 1871, the first association of cranberry growers in the United States had formed, and now, U.S. farmers harvest approximately 40,000 acres of cranberries each year.

The cranberry, along with the blueberry and Concord grape, is one of North America's three native fruits that are commercially grown.

Roasted Cranberries, Apples and Pears

Its so easy and delicious you'll wonder why you never thought of it before!

What you need:

3 pears, any variety, peeled, cored and sliced

3 apples, any variety (I like granny smith the best with this recipe), peeled, cored and sliced

1 bag fresh cranberries

1 tbs butter

1/4 - 1/2 cup brown sugar

1. Place the pears, apples and cranberries on a baking sheet pan

2. Dot the fruit with butter and sprinkle it with the sugar. Since the apples and pears already have a high sugar content, focus more on the cranberries. Use 1/4 or 1/2 cup sugar depending on how sweet or tart you like things.

3. Roast at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring once about halfway through

Cranberries Are A Unique Fruit

Cranberries can only grow and survive under a very special combination of factors: they require an acid peat soil, an adequate fresh water supply, sand and a growing season that stretches from April to November, including a dormancy period in the winter months that provides an extended chilling period, necessary to mature fruiting buds.

Contrary to popular belief, cranberries do not grow in water. Instead, they grow on vines in bogs which are impermeable beds layered with sand, peat, gravel and clay. These bogs were originally made by glacial deposits.

Cranberry growers do not have to replant since an undamaged cranberry vine will survive indefinitely. Some vines in Massachusetts are more than 150 years old.

Cranberry-Broccoli Salad

An excellent addition to Thanksgiving dinner

This dish is reminiscent of that popular broccoli-bacon-raisin deli dish but with a little twist.

What you need:

2 heads organic broccoli (or alternatively, 1 head broccoli and 1 head cauliflower)

1/2 small red onion

3 tbs dried cranberries, minced

6 strips turkey bacon, chopped

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup plain organic yogurt

1/4 cup organic walnuts or pecans or both, chopped

1. Wash and chop the broccoli heads and stems into a large mixing bowl. Mix in the minced red onion and dried cranberries

2. Sauté the turkey bacon strips over medium heat until crisp but not burnt. Remove and crumble over the broccoli.

3. Mix mayonnaise and yogurt together in a measuring cup. Pour over the salad. Toss to mix. Sprinkle in nuts.

This salad is an excellent cold weather salad as it is quite hearty. It makes a nice accompaniment to a chili or stew. Additional protein such as cubed left over turkey could make it a stand alone meal.

Excellent Choice For Dried Cranberries

Traverse Bay Fruit Dried Cranberries, 4 Pound
Traverse Bay Fruit Dried Cranberries, 4 Pound

These dried cranberries are truly the best, juicy and flavorful


Simple And Fun Cranberry Crafts

The crimson color of cranberries is perfect to brighten up any holiday occasion. Here are three of my favorite cranberry holiday crafts. All three come from: Oceanspray cranberry crafts

1 clear punch bowl or other wide-mouthed, low bowl
2-3 12-oz. bags Ocean Spray® Fresh Cranberries (depending on size of bowl)
3-4 floating candles
1 live flower, stem cut to 1-inch

Fill bowl 3/4-full with water. Add cranberries and floating candles. Arrange candles so they are evenly spaced amidst the berries. Add a single spectacular bloom and light candles. Replace berries when they become soft, which can range from a few days to about a week.

5" foam ball
Red acrylic craft paint
24-gauge beading wire
Hot glue gun/glue sticks OR wooden toothpicks
1-2 12-oz. bags Ocean Spray® Fresh Cranberries
Desired holiday trim: ribbon, mistletoe, holly, ivy, bells

Paint foam ball with red craft paint. Set aside to dry.Cut an 18" piece of wire and fold it in half. Push folded wire all the way through the center of foam ball, leaving a 1" wire loop extending at bottom of ball and 3" of wire extending at top.Using hot glue gun or toothpicks, attach cranberries to ball, covering it completely. Twist wires at top of ball into a simple hook for hanging. Use ribbon to tie mistletoe and other desired holiday trim to wire above and below ball, and hang with hook.
Kissing ball will last several days. Discard once berries begin to soften. To extend the life of your decoration, you can spray with an even coating of shellac.

1 empty, pint-size carton of milk or half and half, clean and dry
1-2 12-oz. bags Ocean Spray® Fresh Cranberries
1 floating candle
Orange slices, acorns, small leaves or other decorations, if desired

Start with a pint-size carton of milk or half and half. Open the carton all the way and clean well. Carefully pour water and Ocean Spray® Fresh Cranberries into carton filling to about an inch below top of carton. If desired, drop in a few orange slices, acorns, small leaves or other decorations along the sides of the carton. Place floating candle or tea light on top of the cranberries and water in center of arrangement. Carefully place the carton in the freezer on a flat surface and freeze overnight. Once completely frozen, gently peel away carton to reveal the frozen contents. Dip carton in warm water if needed to loosen. Place frozen centerpiece in shallow bowl or deep plate.

Get What You need For fabulous Holiday Cranberry Crafts Here

Stringing cranberries to hang on the Christmas tree is a fun family activity. Later you can take the tree outside and watch the birds enjoy the cranberries too!

The Cranberry Is A Superfruit

Packed with nutritional goodness

Cranberries are packed full of antioxidants called phenols and flavonoids which may reduce the risk of chromic diseases.

Research shows that cranberry consumption can decrease the risk of developing atherosclerosis (plaque buildup on the arteries, aka heart disease). Flavonoids in cranberries can also inhibit free radical oxidation, a process that doctors believe plays an important role in developing atherosclerosis.

Research also shows that cranberries may reduce the frequency of urinary tract infections because of their high acidity levels. That acidity is thought to decrease the urinary pH, thus preventing the incidence of UTIs.

Promising research has shown that the antioxidants in cranberries can slow down the aging process, specifically benefiting memory and coordination.

Classic Cranberry Relish

A Thanksgiving classic

No page on the cranberry would be complete without a recipe for cranberry relish. I much prefer the relish to traditional cranberry sauce as the ingredients are raw.

What You need:

2 cups raw cranberries

1 large orange

1/2 cup sugar

1. Put cranberries through meat grinder or food processor (they should be finely chopped).

2. Peel orange (save rind) and remove seeds and white membrane. Put orange and orange peel through foor grinder or cuisinart.

3. Mix all ingredients together and store in covered container in the refrigerator. Refrigerate several hours before serving

Cranberry consumption has increased from 1.4 pounds per person per year in 1989 to 2.2 pounds in 2003

Wheat Berry Salad

I really like this recipe, it is a star party dish for sure!

What you need:

1 cup wheat berries

1 teaspoon fennel seed

1 teaspoon cumin seed

1/2 cup raisins, soaked in orange juice

1/4 cup dried cranberry, soaked in water

1 fennel bulb, chopped in 1/2 inch pieces

1 medium zucchini, grated

3 scallions chopped

1/4 cup minced parsley

1/3 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

1 Winesap or other sweet apple, chopped in 1/2 inch pieces

Juice of one orange


1/4 teaspoon powdered cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Juice of 1 orange

Grated zest of 1 large orange

Grated zest of 1 lemon

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. Soak wheat berries overnight. Remove from soaking water when ready to cook.

2. Bring 3 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add wheat berries, fennel seed and cumin seed. Cook for 2 1/2 to three hours. The berries will break open when they are close to tender.

3. While wheat is cooking, prepare vinaigrette. Whisk cumin and salt with vinegar. Add orange juice, lemon and orange zests and olive oil. Whisk to ablend. Set aside.

4. Half an hour before wheat is finished, put raisins and dried cranberries in water to soak.

5. Mix together fennel, zucchini, scallions, parsley and pecans. Set aside.

6. Chop apples and toss immediately with orange juice. This will prevent oxidation, and will give them extra sweetness.

7. When wheat berries are cooked, drain off extra liquid, and put in serving bowl. Dress with vinaigrette while still warm.

8. Remove raisins and cranberries from soaking liquids and pat dry. Add with all other ingredients to wheat berries, and toss well.

It keeps a couple of days in the refrigerator, but soon starts to get soggy. If you make it the day before, add a little fresh orange juice at the last minute. Citrus loses its zip rapidly.

Serves 6 - 8.

recipe from

Comments On The Cranberry? - I'd love to hear from you!

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    • bushaex profile image

      Stephen Bush 

      5 years ago from Ohio

      You have made cranberries everywhere proud! SquidAngel Blessings.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      yesss, i love cranberries, my favourite fruit and drink, we don't have it in italy, but sometimes i can find some dried, ty for more excellent ideas

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image


      7 years ago

      Beautiful lens, so much detail and work. I am featuring it on my lens about cranberry concentrate! Thanks

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image


      8 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Hello. I love your cranberry lens. You have been featured on my Red Fruits. Have a great summer! ~Wendy

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image


      8 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Tasty cranberry lens and nicely presented. I love homemade cranberry sauce. :)

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image


      8 years ago from Canada

      Oh I love all your cranberry recipes. I'll be back!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Nicely done & blessed today by a SquidAngel.

    • Kiwisoutback profile image


      8 years ago from Massachusetts

      Awesome job! These look great.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This is beautiful, interesting, and filled with great ideas!


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