As we embark on this holiday season, let's take a moment to honor the Indigenous people of this land. A simple way to do so is to acknowledge the native foods we enjoy today. Let's focus our attention and appreciation on a seasonal favorite - cranberries!
Cranberries are one of the few native fruits in North America. They grow in particular areas, mainly in present-day Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Delaware and they take approximately 16 months to mature. Cranberries are small, round, hard fruits that grow on vines and are harvested from bogs (wet spongy areas). They have a bitter/sour flavor but are packed with nutrients including fiber, vitamins A & C and antioxidants. They offer potent anti-inflammatory properties and support heart health. Cranberries are usually eaten fresh, dried, in cranberry sauce or as juice.
- Native Americans used cranberries for food, medicine and to dye fabrics.
- When cranberries are dried they lose most of their vitamins! However, they do hold to some calcium and potassium.
- Cranberries are related to blueberries!