Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!
Nutritional and Other Information
About Cranberries from
the Barren County Farmers' Market




Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!

"Cranberry" is the shortened version of "craneberry." The plants' flowers resemble the head of a crane. Cranberries grow in bogs but, unlike most people think, these bogs are not full of water all year. The bogs are kept dry until harvest time and then are flooded with water to a knee-deep level. Special machines run through the bog, shaking the vines to loosen the berries which are then skimmed off.

Fresh whole berries are hand-picked so they are more expensive. The rest are harvested by machine. Damage to the berries from the machines is unavoidable, making them suitable only for juices, sauces, and drying. Cranberries are also known as bounceberries, because they will bounce if dropped when fresh. This is one way they are tested before selling to the public. If a berry doesn't bounce, it isn't put into bags and sent to the stores. Some of these can still be turned into juice and sauce, though.

Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!

The Pilgrims learned all about cranberries from the Native Americans. They knew that cranberries have a natural preservative and used them in making their cakes of stored pemmican, knowing it helped give them a longer life.

Dried berries are also available, similar to raisins. Canned cranberry sauce is a perennial favorite and is available in a smooth and whole-berry sauce. Frozen cranberries are also available year-round.

Selecting a quality product

Truly fresh cranberries will bounce if you drop them and are quite firm to the touch. They should be shiny and plump and range in color from bright light red to dark red. Shriveled berries or those with brown spots should be avoided.

Gently wash the berries before you serve them. Berries can also be found in the frozen foods section of the grocery store. Once they thaw, they will not be as firm as freshly picked berries, but they will still contain all the nutritional benefits of fresh berries. Frozen cranberries need not be defrosted before using.

Cranberries should be cooked only until they pop. If cooked too long they can become bitter and mushy.

Tips on Storage

Store fresh cranberries for up to two months in a tightly-sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator. As with all berries, if one starts getting soft and decaying, it will quickly spread to the rest. Be sure to sort out the soft pmrd if you plan on storing them for any length of time.




Recipes

Cranberry Nut Pudding

Serves 8 - 10

Filling:

2 bags of cranberries, 12 oz. each
1 tsp. grated orange rind
1 cup of sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 cup black walnuts, chopped
1 tsp. allspice
1/2 stick of butter

Topping:

1-3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. allspice
6 tbsp. cold butter (3/4 of a stick)
7/8 cup milk
2 tbsp. beaten egg

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 10 inch deep dish pie pan with butter.

Combine the filling ingredients in a bowl and put into pie pan.

For the topping, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and allspice together. Cut in the butter until the mixture is the consistency of coarse cornmeal. Add the milk and beat with a fork until just blended, forming a stiff, but sticky dough.

Drop the dough in small pieces onto the filling leaving some spaces for steam to escape. Brush with the beaten egg and bake for a half hour or until golden brown.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and a few chopped black walnuts.




Cranberry Orange Scones

Makes about one dozen scones 2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons butter, diced to 1/4 inch
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Zest of 1 orange
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup cream
Juice of 1 orange
1 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 teaspoons sugar mixed together

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Put flour, baking powder and sugar into the workbowl of a food processor. Pulse two or three times to blend ingredients.

Add butter and pulse several times until you get a coarse meal texture. Turn mixture out into a mixing bowl. Stir in cranberries and orange zest.

Reserve two tablespoons of beaten eggs for brushing on completed scones. Mix together remaining eggs, cream and orange juice. Fold liquid into dry ingredients with a few quick strokes.

Pat together into a ball. Then press flat. Fold into thirds and press flat again. Fold into thirds again and then roll dough out until it is 1/2 inch thick. Cut into circles with a floured cutter. Brush each scone with reserved egg wash and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated oven.




Cranberry Walnut Caramel Cake

For Cake:

1 cup sugar
3 tbsp. butter
2 cups flour
1 cup milk
2 tsps. baking powder
pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of all spice
2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup walnut pieces
2 eggs
1. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, all spice and salt.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixer. Add the eggs one at a time. Alternate with milk with dry ingredients.

3. Take the cranberries and walnuts and toss in a little f lour. Fold the cranberries and walnuts into the mixture.

4. Spray or butter a cake pan or baking dish and pour the batter in. Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 25-30 minutes.

Caramel Sauce:

1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups cream

In a large sauce, bring the all the ingredients to a boil. Stir well. Serve over the warm cake. Any excessive caramel sauce can be stored in the refrigerator and microwaved to warm.




Cranberry Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp orange juice
1 egg
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped cranberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter and both sugars. Stir in milk, juice and egg. Mix in dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in nuts and cranberries. Drop dough by tsp. about 2" apart on greased baking sheet. Bake 10-15 min. Makes 11 dozen.

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