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It's Cranberry Season!

By Donna Stark

Trail mix, Thanksgiving dinner, morning bagels and scones. Without cranberries, life would certainly be different, wouldn't it? So let's take the time this month to celebrate this delicious little fruit. After all, October is National Cranberry Month! From fresh to frozen to dried, cranberries are an ingredient that makes every dish unique and refreshing. Check out the following tips on how to buy, store, and add more of them to your everyday diet.

Buying Your Cranberries

If you want the freshest of the fresh, the peak harvest season for cranberries is October through December. Choose the cranberries that have a nice color, and are full, plump, and firm. If there aren't any fresh ones, you may need to head to your grocer's freezer section and load up on your berries there. You can also find dried cranberries throughout the entire year at your local market.

Storing Your Cranberries

Fresh cranberries should always be stored in the refrigerator and will generally last for three to four weeks. If you want to freeze the fresh cranberries you purchased, go ahead! Cranberries are great for freezing and will last for several months, but there is a catch. They should definitely be sealed in an airtight container!

Cooking Your Cranberries

From baked goods to savory side dishes to sweet desserts, the options are endless when it comes to cooking with cranberries. You can even blend cranberries with your water for a refreshing beverage! Just be sure to rinse them before use and discard the berries that are bruised or soft. Using frozen ones? You may need to let them thaw out first.

Nutritional Benefits of Cranberries

Now that you know what to look for and how to store them, do you want to know the why behind it all? Why should you add cranberries to your diet? Well, they certainly pack a punch when it comes to nutrition, that's why! Take a look at some of the health benefits you can get from these sweet red berries.

  • High in Vitamins C, A, and K
  • Good source of fiber
  • Fat-free and cholesterol-free
  • Rich in antioxidants  

Add Some Color to Your Meals

Fall is the season of color, so do your part and add some cranberries to your meals. Bake them into your breads, toss some on top of your salads, or mix them into a delicious beverage. You simply can't go wrong with cranberries and your body will thank you for the additional nutrition they bring!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Farragut, Tenn. 

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