Cranberries are often overlooked and underappreciated. Naturipe wants to fix that.
“We’ve already been sharing cranberry recipes and ideas via social media, but we know there’s so much more to cranberries than recipes,” said CarrieAnn Arias, Vice President of Marketing. “That’s especially true when you talk to our cranberry growers – arguably the most passionate cranberry people on the planet. That’s why we are sharing with you a few things they want you to know about their favorite berry.”
And so they have gathered five myths about cranberries and are setting the facts straight.
Myth: Every harvest features a bog full of cranberries floating in the water.
Fact: The fantastic photo of beautiful red cranberries being gathered and harvested out of a water-filled bog is seen as the idyllic cranberry image. But when it comes to harvesting fresh berries, Naturipe growers want their cranberries in that bog for as little time as possible. Many fresh cranberry growers dry harvest their fruit using no water at all.
“While cranberries are much more resilient than other types of berries, we must still respect their needs. So, when it comes to harvesting for fresh consumption, a water-filled bog is absolutely not where it’s at. We want our cranberries to be exposed to water as little as possible to ensure they stay fresh as long as possible,” said Brian Bocock, Vice President of Product Management. “So while the bog may make sense as the first step in harvesting for mass production of cranberries used for juice or dried berries. But it’s not the best method if we want an amazingly sweet, tart berry kept fresh.”
Myth: All fresh cranberries are created equal.
Fact: The best tasting cranberries require special care from the vine to the consumer's home. Naturipe growers are passionate about cranberries, so they take special care pruning the vines and harvesting the berries to get the best tasting, highest quality berry they can. But it doesn’t stop there. At Naturipe, they wait to package the cranberries until they receive an order. By limiting the time the cranberries spend in a sealed package, Naturipe can maximize their freshness once they reach you.
Myth: Cranberries are just for preventing UTIs.
Fact: Cranberries have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that benefit the cardiovascular system, oral cavity, gastrointestinal (GI) tract and urinary tract. The real benefit lies in an antioxidant called Proanthocyanidins that makes cranberries a superfood. It’s this molecule that makes cranberries special.
“When we talk about the benefits of cranberries, we’re talking about way more than the nutritional benefits of the vitamins and minerals that any fruit or veggie can lay claim to,” said Bocock. “We’re talking about Proanthocyanidins (PACs) - or Pretty Awesome Compounds as I like to think of them. They are amazing molecules, available only in cranberries, that offer this amazing antimicrobial quality. Adding a serving of cranberries into your diet, it’s like building a wall between your insides and bacteria that can make you sick.”
Myth: Conventional cranberries are the only fresh cranberries available.
Fact: Organic cranberries do exist - that’s not to say that the benefits of conventional cranberries are any different, but for those that choose an organic diet or lifestyle, Naturipe is there.
“We’re working hard to make organic cranberries more accessible to consumers who prefer them,” said Bocock. “We’re able to do that by learning from growing techniques used for more than 100 years by conventional farmers. Things like how to prune the vine and when to harvest the berries that are naturally in line with organic standards.”
Myth: The only place for cranberries is next to your holiday turkey.
Fact: Sure, cranberries were believed to accompany the main dish at the first Thanksgiving in the US. But cranberries make more than an amazing side dish next to the consumer's turkey. Glossy red, tart and tangy, cranberries lend a flavor that brightens dishes both savory and sweet. Consider including them as a fondue dipper or coating them in chocolate for a delicious treat. They’re also great to add to oatmeal, smoothies, desserts, and baked goods.
“I recommend you buy fresh cranberries when they are in season and throw a few bags into your freezer for later use,” said Bocock. “Just like other berries, cranberries maintain their flavor, nutrient power, and ease of use straight out of your freezer. So stock up now while you can.”