- nutritional gems for the holidays
red gems, Cranberries, are often associated with the holiday season. They
are a nutritional powerhouse with a tangy taste that's great in baked
goods, savory dishes, or by the glassful. Cranberries are something to
relish all year long!
are low in fat, high in fibre, and rich in antioxidants. Research shows
cranberries help fight cancer, heart disease and are packed with vitamin
C. Cranberry juice has been proven to be beneficial for urinary tract
are a unique fruit. They can only grow and survive under a very special
combination of factors: they require an acid peat soil, an adequate fresh
water supply, and sand. If well cared for, cranberry vines can continue
to produce indefinitely. There are cranberry marshes that have been producing
crops for more than 100 years!
are more plentiful in November through January and are usually sold in
bags. Since they're firm, rather than soft like most other berries, they're
most often in good condition. Always check the bag for firmness and good
red color before buying. The bag could contain few pale berries and bits
the fresh cranberries, it is important to clean and pick over cranberries
by placing them in a basin or sink-full of cold water. Twigs, leaves and
unripe berries should float to the surface. Any cranberries that are discolored
or shriveled should also be discarded. This process should be done quickly
however, as you don't want to soak the berries.
buy fresh cranberries and store them in the refrigerator for up to 2 months
in an airtight container. Cranberries also freeze well for up to a year.
Frozen berries can be used in cooking without thawing.
are too tart for most tastes to be eaten on their own, but pair wonderfully
with other fruit such as apples. Besides being a must alongside roast
turkey, cranberries are most often used in muffins and other baked goods,
compotes, relishes, chutneys and fruit desserts such as cobblers.
½ cup water
2 tablespoon peanuts (unsalted and roasted)
1 teaspoon garam masala (store bought or homemade)
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. chili powder (optional)
Salt as per taste
In a thick-bottomed
pan, place the cranberries, ½ cup water and brown sugar to boil
on low heat. In a spice grinder (coffee grinder for spices only) or
a blender, make a coarse mix of coriander seeds and peanuts. Add this
mix to the boiling cranberries. Let it boil for five minutes on medium
heat. Lastly add garam masala, chili powder and salt. The cranberry
chutney thickens as it cools down.
Makes 2 cups
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 cardamom pods (whole)
10 black pepper (whole)
2 one-inch cinnamon sticks
Heat a frying
pan and place all the spices in it. Roast for three- four minutes till
a fragrant aroma is released. Let it cool for five-seven minutes. Make
a fine powder in a coffee grinder or spice grinder (a coffee grinder
used only for spices). This spice blend can be used in any recipe that
calls for an assortment of spices.
Makes 4 tablespoons
1 cup cranberry
1 cup brown sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
½ cup dried cranberries
1 cup fresh cranberries
2 oranges ( peeled and chopped)
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
In a thick
bottom pan add juice, brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, dried and fresh
cranberries and bring it to boil. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
Add chopped oranges, salt, and nutmeg. Simmer for 10 minutes and cool
it completely before storing
relish on toasted english muffins or bagels or serve it as a dip with
with cranberry masala
( baked, peeled, and diced)
1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 inch ginger ( peeled and minced)
1 cup cranberries ( fresh)
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon salt ( or as per taste)
in a pan. Add cumin seeds and minced ginger. Sauté for a minute.
and cranberries and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Add chopped
potatoes, garam masala, and salt. Stir well and remove from heat. Serve
piping hot with pita bread or chapattis.
Do not substitute
dried cranberries for fresh cranberries in this recipe.