I know most people – especially in the Northeast – love the summer months. And rightfully so: the warm weather, the beach, the parks. Summer is awesome. However, my heart will forever belong to the cooler months. I love my warm sweaters. I love my boots. I love everything about the fall and winter. On the top of my cooler weather list is the growth of one of my absolute favorites: cranberries. These tangy little treats are a staple for many people during the fall; however, most people just sort of throw that canned cranberry sauce on their tables without really knowing why. Before we get to some delicious (and not canned) reasons of how to eat your cranberries, I’d like to start with why you should be adding these little drops of awesomeness into your diets.
These seasonally fall-fresh berries are super easy to find in New Jersey at this time of year. Our state – rightfully – boasts that we are the third top producer of cranberries in the nation. All produce is better when it’s locally grown, so go grab yourself some cranberries ASAP. Hit up some farmer’s markets, or if you’re traveling down toward south Jersey, you can pick your own. The best time for picking cranberries is from October through December; however, they freeze phenomenally, so you can look forward to a tangy addition to your foods all year ‘round.
Most people know that cranberries help our our holiday meals, but they often bypass the health benefits of these little super fruits. They are rich in antioxidants yet low in calories. A ½ cup of these will only cost you 25 calories. Cranberries are exceptionally high in Magnesium, Fiber, and Vitamins C and E– all of which can help boost your immune system during the trying colder weather. In addition, they have been known to help with urinary tract concerns and even prevent some types of cancer. It’s no wonder these guys are known as a superfood!
So, whether you’re looking to add some to a smoothie, juice, or yogurt - or if you’re just going in for a handful of tartness by themselves - know that you’re doing yourself a favor. Eat ‘em up!
Some quick recipes:
Our favorite cranberry sauce (just know that we use maple syrup instead of honey, here)
Our favorite winter juice