Ways to Use Cranberries

Savory Recipes:
Cranberry Chutney
Cranberry Chicken
Cranberry Apple Sweet Potato Bake

Cranberries, blueberries and Concord grapes are the only three commercially grown fruits that are indigenous to North America. The cranberry was one of the first local foods to be adopted from Native Americans by the Pilgrims soon after they came ashore in the early 1600s near Cape Cod. According to a history of cranberries on the web site of the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers Association, the fruit, which until then grew only in the wild, was first cultivated in 1816 on the Cape near Dennis, Mass.


Cranberries from the Orleans, Mass., farmers market on Cape Cod, Oct. 13, 2012

The name of the fruit, according to the web site, derives from the name that the Pilgrims gave it – “craneberry” – based on the fact that the small, pink blossoms that appear in the spring resemble the head and bill of a Sandhill crane. Fresh cranberries are available in stores from mid-September through December but are most abundant at the peak of the harvest in October and November. One other thing. A 10-ounce glass of cranberry juice a day (or its equivalent) contains a sufficient dosage of bacteria-blocking compounds to ward off urinary tract infections, ulcers and certain oral bacteria that can lead to gum disease, some researchers have found.

Cranberry Chutney [top]

2 pounds fresh cranberries
2 large oranges, zested and juiced
3 cups of fine-diced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 tablespoons minced sage
1 tart apple, peeled, cored and diced
½ cup golden raisins (black if you can’t find golden)
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons ground allspice
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cloves

1. Put all ingredients into a heavy-bottomed pot. Add cold water to cover 1 inch above the mixture.

2. Bring to a boil; simmer for an hour or so, until the mixture becomes thick.

3. Taste and adjust sugar level to your desired sweetness. Cranberries have different levels of tartness and the final dish should reflect what you actually prefer.

Source: Marco Shaw

Cranberry Chicken [top]

½ cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Six boneless skinless chicken breast halves
¼ cup butter or margarine
1 cup cranberries
1 cup water
½ cup packed brown sugar
A dash of ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (optional)

1. Combine flour, salt and pepper, and dredge chicken in the mixture. In a skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and brown the chicken on both sides. Remove and keep warm.

2. In same skillet, add cranberries, water, brown sugar, nutmeg and vinegar. Cook and stir until cranberries burst, about five minutes.

3. Return chicken to skillet. Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until chicken is tender, basting occasionally with the sauce. Serve over rice.

Source: Tupper Farm

Cranberry Apple Sweet Potato Bake [top]

Four medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (or an equivalent amount of butternut squash)
Two Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into chunks
½ cup cranberries
½ cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
½ teaspoon cinnamon

1. Spray pan with cooking spray. Put sweet potatoes or squash, apples and cranberries in pan. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and cinnamon and dot with butter. Seal pan with foil.

2. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or 450° for 25 to 30 minutes.

Source: adapted from Tupper Farm recipe