If you’re like me, you enjoy the month of October for many reasons, from a love of pumpkin to the beginning of cooler weather, and, of course, enjoying all the winter squash. But, did you know that October is National Cranberry Month?
October through December is peak season for harvesting cranberries, and it’s a great time to purchase a few extra bags and freeze for later in the year. Cranberries not only add a tart refreshing taste to our beverages, salads, oatmeal, breads and more, but they also add beautiful color and pack a lot of nutrition for their little size.
They are a good source of vitamin C and fiber, as well as being fat-free, cholesterol-free and sodium-free. Cranberries also have flavonoid and phytonutrient content which means they have antioxidant and antimicrobial benefits.
Cranberries can be purchased fresh, frozen, canned and dried. When purchasing fresh cranberries, look for berries that are plump, firm and dark in color. Store your fresh cranberries in your refrigerator for up to four weeks. You can also freeze your cranberries in an airtight container for up to nine months.
I enjoy stocking up on fresh cranberries while in season and freeze them for later, so my family can enjoy cranberry bread, fresh cranberry sauce and cranberry salsa throughout the year. I even add cranberries into my chocolate chip cookie recipe.
Cranberries are versatile and can be a great addition to many of your favorite foods. Adding cranberries to your diet is a delicious way to add flavor, color and good nutrition.
So, enjoy the month of October, and all of its harvests!
- Produce for Better Health Foundation
- Cranberry Facts and History (University of Maine Cooperative Extension)
- About Cranberries (Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association)