The cranberry fruit's American version is primarily grown in the northeast. Berry picking season is from September through October and so this is when you will most likely find better deals. It is a very good idea to purchase fruit while it is in season for the best prices and taste as well. You should also note that this varies on your location. The clerk of the produce department at your local grocer would have knowledge and information on what that is and in my experience they are usually very excited to share this with you.
Uses for Cranberry:
The cranberry fruit is made into a juice (with a lot of sugar), and also used as a very popular pie filling and sauce.
Cranberry juice has also been given "scientific" credit for fighting UTI's, but that has been arguable for several years. I put a few articles under related link for this and I honestly don't see it being the miracle helper many people think. As with many things, it most likely affects each person differently.How Cranberry Juice is Made:
A video I watched on how cranberry juice is made explained how they are harvested from the water their plants grow in, and then transported to a facility for processing. They are washed, sorted, frozen (for up to several months), then defrosted with very hot water, and juiced. "Enzymes" are added to help soften their skins (and make more product). After all of this, the juice is mixed with sweeteners and bottled for sale.
Other berries categorized for drying (Craisins) are pitted, squished, and soaked in a sugar/water mix to sweeten them, and then put to dry.
- -Fresh cranberries can be washed and prepared at home to be sure less additives are used.
- -Craisins aren't as natural as you'd like them to be, they add sugar! And don't let the logos full you - cranberries (and other "raisin" foods) are NOT sitting in the sun for days to dry. They are stuck onto a hot plate and cooked for 3 hours at a time.
- -Cranberry juice is good in moderation (as with anything else), but the sugar content is quite high. It would be good to water down your cranberry juice that is purchased from the store. Another option is to purchase Cran-mixes that use apples or other fruits as the sweetener instead of sugar/other additives... Read the ingredients - and realize that it is not required by law for a company to share all the ingredients in their product.
Brittanica: Cranberry (fruit)
NPR Article: "Cranberry Juice For Urinary Tract Infections? It Really Can Help"
WebMD Article: "Cranberry Juice Fights Urinary Tract Infections Quickly"
ABC News article: "Cranberry Juice No Good for Bladder Infections"
YouTube Video on how Cranberry Juice is made
Have you wondered about any other foods and whether they are good for you? Let me know and maybe we can learn more about it together!