Cranberries are a fantastic ingredient, and one that we are seeing more and more of in SA at the moment. Unlike in America, where they are able to get fresh cranberries in abundance, South Africans are normally only exposed to the dry varieties only.
So let’s talk about this little juicy red berry that is bursting with healing and health qualities. A cranberry is, as its name states, from the berry family. They are native to North America and most of the world’s supply comes from there. They grow on long running vines and thrive in marshy, wet conditions.
When cranberries are farmed, farmers flood the fields so all of the cranberries float to the surface and are then scooped up with something akin to a large swimming pool net. Quality is tested by colour, size and, wait for it… how well they bounce!
What makes this berry so special you ask?
Well, firstly they have health-promoting properties and have been termed a “super food”, meaning that they have a high quantity of antioxidants, vitamins and other nutrients. They are also said to relieve urinary tract infections.
Secondly, they are just so versatile and delicious! When used in a stuffing, they add a sweet yet tart flavour. They make an excellent accompaniment to turkey and can also be used in cocktails, smoothies and baking!
You are able to find fresh cranberries at some speciality producers in South Africa but they are not very common. Otherwise frozen and dried cranberries are available at most retailers and are a good substitute for fresh cranberries in recipes.
Try this easy recipe to go along with your Christmas turkey this year. Not only does it add a beautiful ruby colour to your food, it also adds a festive flavour!