Cranberries: Christmas Berries
This little berry is an inseparable accompaniment to turkey during traditional holiday meals. Cranberries have also started to grow popular over the years, thanks to their exceptional antioxidant qualities.
Many studies have in fact proven how effective they are in the prevention of urinary tract infections. Moreover, cranberries could contribute to the prevention of the cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers.
Closely related to the North-American blueberry and the European bilberry, cranberries grow on shrubs that flourish in wet and marshy soil, hence the name “bog bilberry”. It also goes by the name of “atoca”, which means cranberry in Iroquoian.
Apart from the fresh berries that are available in the market from September until December, you can buy dried berries all year long. So go ahead and include them in your breakfast cereals and in your salads and other dishes as a substitute for dried raisins.
But be careful about the high content of sugar that is often added to dried cranberries, to make up for the naturally tart flavour of the fruit.
Originally published in Journal de Montréal on December 20, 2007.