In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday next week, here’s an excerpt from Dianne Onstad’s Whole Foods Companion: A Guide for Adventurous Cooks, Curious Shoppers, and Lovers of Natural Foods, that tells all about the nutrition, preparation, and lore of that beloved tart fruit: the cranberry.
Cranberries are famous for their anti-bacterial properties (most notably their efficacy in the treatment of infections in the bladder, kidneys, and urinary tract) and their medicinal uses, especially in regard to respitory ailments (due to the high concentration of vasodilators contained in this bright red treat).
Native Americans prized cranberries for their ability to remain edible and unspoiled for months, which made them an excellent food for traveling and a good source of nutrients over long, hard winters when fresh fruit and vegetables were scarce.
Many of us eat cranberries only a few times a year, and we’ll have a chance next week as we sit down to our cranberry-sauce-laden Thanksgiving feasts across the country.
Dianne Onstad’s Whole Foods Companion is available now.