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When you think of cranberries – what do you think of? Cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving, dried cranberries on your salad, or maybe cranberry juice for breakfast is likely the most common answers. Most of us probably have forgotten that cranberries are native to North America and have be used for food, medicinal purposes, and as a dye for cloth for hundreds of years. What we probably didn’t realize is our ancestors were on to something – cranberries are a “Super Food”.

The term “Super Food” is a popular health term for foods that are low calorie, high nutrient, and anti-oxidant rich. The great thing about cranberries is that they are naturally low in calories and a good source of fiber and Vitamin C. They also are one of the highest sources of disease fighting antioxidants, with only blueberries higher. Other research has also linked cranberry consumption to prevention of urinary tract infections and prevention of tooth decay.

To include cranberries in your diet consider:

  • Adding fresh or dried cranberries to apple dishes, such as baked apples, apple pie, or even apple sauces.
  • Replace other berries with cranberries in recipes – you may need to add a little sweetener – as they are tart.
  • Think about serving your traditional cranberry sauce with other meals besides your baked turkey, it would be a great companion to pork roast, ham, or baked chicken; or even as a sauce on sandwiches.
  • Add dried cranberries to salad, muffins, cookies, snack mix, cheese balls, or side dishes.

Frozen cranberries are available year round, but fresh are only available in stores in the fall. Stock up now because they can be refrigerated for up to two months and frozen for up to a year. Select berries that are plump, shiny, firm, and free from spots. One moldy berry can ruin the whole bag.

Author: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross & Vinton Counties.

Sources:

WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/cranberries-year-round-superfood.

West Virginia University, Extension Service, C. Rickman & J. Tritiz, Cranberry Thanksgiving, http://fh.ext.wvu.edu/r/download/116274.

USDA Blog, http://blogs.usda.gov/2012/11/16/cranberries-nature%e2%80%99s-garnets-are-ripening-across-the-country/.

Fruits & Veggies More Matters, http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/top-10-ways-to-enjoy-cranberries.

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Thanksgiving is exactly one week away!  If you are like me you have been watching the ads and searching for the best prices on a turkey. I plan to buy a whole bird for my family. If you choose to buy a frozen bird you may do that at any time, but make sure you have adequate storage space in your freezer. If you are buying a whole bird, it is recommended to buy one pound of turkey per person.

Here are some thawing  times and tips for you this Thanksgiving holiday:

In the refrigerator, place frozen bird in the original wrapper in the refrigerator ((40 °F or below ).  Allow approximately 24 hours per 4 to 5 pounds of turkey. A thawed turkey can remain in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

In the   Refrigerator (40 °F or below)
4 to 12 pounds 1   to 3 days
12 to 16 pounds 3   to 4 days
16 to 20 pounds 4   to 5 days
20 to 24 pounds 5   to 6 days

If your forget to thaw your turkey or don’t have room in the refrigerator for thawing.. Don’t panic! You can submerge the turkey in cold water and change the water every 30 minutes. Allow about 30 minutes defrosting time per pound of turkey.Wrap your turkey securely, making sure the water is not able to leak through the wrapping.The following times are suggested for thawing turkey in water.

In Cold Water
4 to 12 pounds 2   to 6 hours
12 to 16 pounds 6   to 8 hours
16 to 20 pounds 8   to 10 hours
20 to 24 pounds 10   to 12 hours

Cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed. Do not refreeze.

source:

http://fightbac.org/safe-food-handling/safety-in-all-seasons/138-talking-turkey?gclid=CPGcrP-ywrMCFUqoPAodsGQABw

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