In Season: Cranberries

This fall favorite makes a mean sauce, but has so much more potential. Read up on this red gem-- one of only three fruits native to the United States.
Cran Classic

Cran Classic

Fruit in a White Dish

This fall and winter favorite makes a mean sauce, but has so much more potential. Read up on this red gem -- it's one of only three fruits native to the United States.

What, Where & When?

Cranberries grow in sandy bogs on low, trailing vines. They’re also called bounceberries (since the ripe ones bounce) and craneberries as the pink blossoms resemble the head of a crane.

These tart, scarlet-colored berries are mainly grown commercially in New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin, Massachusetts and in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Quebec. Cranberries are available between October through December.

Nutrition Facts

One cup of whole cranberries contains 46 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 22 percent of your daily recommendations for vitamin C. These berries are also packed with flavonoids like anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins, which may play a role in fighting leukemia, breast, lung and colon cancer.

What To Do With Cranberries

Besides raw, this berry is sold as juice (sweetened and unsweetened), dried (typically sweetened) and as sauce and jelly. Unsweetened cranberry juice is very bitter and it’s best to mix it in equal parts with another juice like orange, grape or apple juice. Toss sweetened, dried cranberries into a bed of greens, grains (like wheatberries or couscous) or in a trail mix. They’re also great to bake with (fresh or dried) – in muffins, breads and cakes.

Although you can buy pre-made cranberry sauce, it’s easy to make your own.

Shopping Tip: Fresh berries are typically packaged in 12-ounce bags. Look for plump, firm and brightly colored berries. Discard shriveled or discolored berries. Wrap and refrigerate for about a month or freeze for up to 6 months.

Recipes to Try:
TELL US: How do you use cranberries during the holidays?

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »

You Might Also Like:

Keep Reading

Next Up

31 Days of Cranberries

Enjoy this ruby-colored fruit dried or fresh, sweet or savory -- you can even get a little crafty with cranberries! Here are 31 ways to love these holiday treats.

Cranberries 5 Ways

It wouldn’t be fall without cranberries. One cup of fresh berries contains 46 calories, is an excellent source of vitamin C, and contains 18% of your daily fiber needs. Of course cranberry sauce is on our list, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised with our other healthy finds.

In Season: Green Beans

Here are some green bean basics and healthy ways to prepare this summer crop.

In Season: Plums

Finally…plum season has arrived! This juicy stone fruit is only in season a short period of time. Be sure to enjoy it while it lasts!

In Season: Garlic

Though you may always be able to find it at the grocery store, garlic has a season, and this is it! Discover all the ways to savor this ancient bulb.

In Season: Winter Squash

As crisper weather sets in, nothing beats a warm bowl of butternut squash soup. There's a bounty of winter squash available at your local market. Try these ideas for cooking ‘em up.

In Season: Radishes

Radishes are my favorite veggie. Seriously. Yeah, they're an unusual choice, but I grew up snacking on them raw. Not sure you're a fan? Well, here are my favorite ways to enjoy them raw or cooked.

In Season: Parsnips

Every time I buy parsnips at my local market, the checkout person asks, “What’s that?” Parsnips are underappreciated and foreign to some, but they are a flavorful ingredient for soups, stews and side dishes.

In Season: Kumquats

You've probably heard the name but have may have only tried this fruit a couple of times. Get to know these lesser-known members of the citrus family.

In Season: Fennel

Everyone in my family thought they didn’t like fennel until I showed them some easy and delicious ways to prepare it. This cool and crisp veggie is on my weekly shopping list for the summer.

On TV

Food Network Apps

In the Kitchen

Get over 70,000 FN recipes on all your mobile devices.

Facebook Messenger

Ask our bot for recipes, meal ideas and daily food trivia.

Amazon Echo

Just say "Alexa, enable Food Network skill" to get started.