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In Season in Winter: Cranberries


Go to:  Main Winter Seasonal Page


Jump to:-    Buying & Storing  Cranberries  |   Preparing and cooking  Cranberries  |  Nutritional Value of Cranberries  |  Editor's Choice Top 3  Winter Cranberries Recipes




Cranberries belong to the family Ericaceae (Heather) which includes other plants such as blueberries, huckleberries and gooseberries. Although they can be found growing wild in many parts of the northern hemisphere, it is the cultivated large-berried variety, vaccinium macrocarpon which is the most widely eaten. In the UK they are in season from late October to late December.


Buying and storing fresh Cranberries


Fresh cranberries are  firm and should bounce if dropped giving rise to the nickname “bounceberries”.  They should be shiny and plump although they can range in colour from bright light red to dark red.  Shrivelled berries or those with brown spots should be avoided.


Because the berries contain a natural preservative called benzoic acid they can stay fresh for a relatively long time.  Store fresh cranberries in a plastic bag or box with a tight seal in the refrigerator when they will last up to 8 weeks.  Fresh whole berries can be washed, dried and frozen in airtight bags up to one year.


Preparing  and Cooking fresh Cranberries


Although cranberries have too tart a flavour to eat as a fresh fruit by themselves, their taste goes very well with many ingredients in both savoury and sweet dishes.  When cooking fresh cranberries, stop cooking once they pop as over cooking will make them mushy and bitter tasting. When using frozen cranberries in cooking, there’s usually no need to thaw the berries.


Nutritional value of Cranberries


Fresh Cranberries are a good source of  vitamin C and antioxidents and also contain potassium and  fibre.

Editor's Choice:  Top 3 Winter Season Cranberry Recipes



Cranberry & Cashew Croquettes


A great vegetarian alternative at Christmas or Easter.




Cranberry Sauce


Cranberry Sauce is traditionally served with roast turkey at Christmas, Easter or Thanksgiving and can be served warm or cold. Excellent served with grilled or baked chicken too.




Pears with Spiced Cranberry Sauce


Fresh Cranberries and cooked with white wine and sweet spices then used to braise fresh pears.

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