The October Featured Guest Blogger of the Month, for October, are two talented ladies from ChewOnThat Blog. They’re two foodies who can’t help but share their knowledge of and love for the edible everyday on their blog. They’ve always got an engaging anecdote as to why this or that recipe warms their heart, and the recipes are always a hit! Tune in every Tuesday in October to hear what Maxine and Hillary are chewing talking about!
Chew on That here again! I hope you’re enjoying your fall full of tasty ingredients. Maybe you’ve even added some new apple recipes to your repertoire! To continue our agenda of fall ingredients, this week we’re going to focus on cranberries.
Though termed a berry, the cranberry is unlike any of its summer berry counterparts. For one thing, it reigns at a different time of year, harvested in late September and early October, and widely consumed throughout the fall and winter months. The other distinction of the cranberry is its flavor. While most other berries can be eaten alone, cranberries are too tart to be eaten out of hand which is why they’re usually boiled into compotes or baked into all sorts of fall desserts.
So why go through all the trouble of masking some of the flavor of a berry that can’t stand on its own? Well it’s simply because there’s nothing else like the cranberry. Whether made into a sauce or baked in a bread or a scone, the cranberry is truly unique. The trick is complementing the berry with the right ingredients. Many recipes use tons of sugar to cover up the sour tartness of cranberries and we all know that’s not the best thing for our diets. The key is knowing that cranberries do have a sweetness about them and you don’t always have to add loads of sugar to bring that quality out. The following recipes highlight cranberries in a healthier way.
Just think, none of these recipes would be the same without the addition of cranberries. They’re the gems of the dish which is why they’re one of my favorite fall ingredients.
But aside from tasting amazing, cranberries are also incredibly good for you. Cranberries have been labeled the “wonderberry” and a “superfruit” because they are chock full of antioxidants and PACs (proanthocyanidins). Antioxidants strengthen the immune system while PACs help keep harmful bacteria out of the body. Cranberries are also a powerful agent in preventing urinary tract infections and reducing dental plaque! So with that said, there’s no reason not to make them a regular part of our diets. The following recipes help us incorporate cranberries into day to day dinners instead of just the big holidays.
Lastly, let’s talk about the holidays. There’s no dancing around the fact that cranberries are a huge and essential part of the Thanksgiving meal. Every year I look forward to the cranberry sauce that I eat alongside my turkey. Only few flavor combinations can top that amazing meal! But the truth of the matter is cranberry sauce can have tons of sugar. Feel free to use a sugar substitute or simply cut back on the amount of sugar. You always want to use less sugar than cranberries. Here’s a basic recipe to follow for cranberry sauce, but feel free to adjust accordingly.
So cheers to all the delicious cranberry dishes to be made this fall. Go out and buy a few bags of fresh cranberries and cook to your heart’s content. And remember, it’s always better to make it yourself!
October 14th, 2008