When I was a kid and my parents took us out for breakfast, I always ordered a glass of cranberry juice. I loved the way it sparkled like rubies in a glass. But most of all, I loved its mouth-puckering tartness that sent shivers down my jaws when I drank it. (Even typing that sentence caused the same reaction.)
Now that I'm all grown up, I no longer drink cranberry juice. Maybe my taste preferences have changed, or maybe I've just become a wimp.
Fresh cranberries, however, I adore. And since cranberry season peaks between October and December, now is the perfect time to buy them.
In the fall, cranberries are used most commonly for cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving Day, yet they have so much more potential. They balance the sweetness of baked goods such as pumpkin muffins and banana bread. They add a jolt of flavor to homemade sweet apple sauce. And they perk up fall vegetables, such as butternut squash and sweet potatoes.
Cranberries are a powerhouse of nutrition as well. 1/4 cup of fresh cranberries contains only 12 calories and is loaded with health-promoting fiber, Vitamin C, and antioxidants.
So the next time you're at the market, pick up a bag of fresh cranberries, and let their mouth-tingling tartness take action.
Below are some of my favorite fresh cranberry recipes. What are yours? Please share them with us in the comment section.
Cranberry, Banana, and Honey Smoothie
Cranberry, Pineapple, and Walnut Relish
Homemade Cranberry, Raisin, and Walnut Apple Sauce
Spinach and Apple Salad with Warm Cranberry-Maple Dressing
Festive Stuffed Acorn Squash
Spiced Sweet Potato, Cranberry, and Pecan Cake with Orange-Cinnamon Glaze
Low-Fat Banana, Honey, and Cranberry Mini Muffins
Top photo of cranberries, credit FCC Muffet.