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Cranberries are one of the few native berries to North America that are still being commercially grown and harvested. Interestingly enough, less than five percent of all cranberries harvested are being consumed as fresh fruit while the rest are being made into juice, sauce, or dried. One of the reasons why the cranberry isn’t a popular fresh fruit is because of its almost unbearable tartness. Most of the sauce/juice preparations contain more sugar than actual fruit.

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Order: Ericales
  • Family: Ericacear
  • Genus: Vaccinium
  • Subgenus: Vaccinium subg. macrocarpon

Cranberry Trivia

  • There are two main types of cranberries, the European Cranberry and the US Cranberry.
  • Contrary to popular belief, US Cranberries don’t grow in water.
  • Native Americans used the cranberry as a dye for fabrics.
  • Cranberries are also known as bear berries because bears love eating them.
  • The US cranberry is mostly water, with 90% of the mass being water.

Cranberry Buying Guide

While most of the cranberry production is processed into juice, dried berries, or sauces, you can still find fresh cranberries in most stores when they are in season.

Look for cranberries that are shiny and plump that have a deep and vibrant color. Cranberries should be firm to the touch, and (don’t get caught doing this) they should bounce off the floor. Avoid cranberries that are shriveled and have blemishes. Brown spots on the berries are never a good sign, so they should be avoided as well. Soft cranberries are one step away from spoiling, so they should also be avoided.

Cranberry Production & Farming in Texas

While Texas is one of the largest consumers of cranberries in the United States, the climate and the terrain does not lend well to cranberry production. Cranberries are grown in bogs, and every acre of planted cranberries need to be supported by at least three to four acres of surrounding wetlands, which is very hard to find in Texas.


USDA Pesticide Data Program has identified 13 various pesticide residues on commercially grown cranberries. It is also worth noting that pesticides on the ground may also contaminate cranberry fruits as cranberry fields are flooded during harvest time.


Cranberries grow and thrive in USDA Hardiness zones 2-5, which places it right outside of the zones located within Texas. This means that cranberries cannot thrive inside Texas, and thus, growing them inside Texas is not recommended.


Since cranberries are pretty hardy fruits, the majority of fresh and frozen cranberries are stored in puncture-proof plastic bags for display in refrigerated sections of supermarkets. There are a few growers that pack their cranberries in plastic clamshell boxes, but they are few and far between.

Enjoying Cranberries

Cranberries are seldom consumed in its fresh fruit form due to its tartness and very low sugar levels.


Cranberries should be stored in a refrigerated environment. Store-bought cranberries can be stored in their bags inside the refrigerator for up to a month or two.

Cranberries can also be frozen for up to a year or more.


Cranberries are best used in sauces, as evidenced by its popularity during Thanksgiving and the holiday season. Cranberries can also be made into healthy juices and smoothies. Cranberries are also used in pies and tarts, but only with the judicious use of sugar to counter its tartness.


Cranberries an Antioxidant Superstar

  • Carbs
    • Cranberries, when consumed in their fresh fruit form, contain minimal sugars.
    • Cranberries, in their juice form, may contain a lot of added sugars and sweeteners, so always check the label for the corresponding sugar content.
  • Fiber
    • Cranberries are high in both soluble and insoluble fiber, with one 100g serving containing up to 20% of the RDI.
      • Insoluble fiber passes through your gut almost intact, which helps bulk up stool and improve symptoms of constipation.
      • Soluble fiber is consumed by good bacteria in the gut to ensure proper gut health and the balance of intestinal flora.
    • Cranberry juice has almost no fiber, so if you want to get the full benefits of cranberries, consume them in their whole form or consume sauces made from whole cranberries.
  • Vitamins and minerals:
    • Cranberries are a rich source of antioxidants.
      • One serving of cranberries contains 18% of the RDI for vitamin C, which is an essential antioxidant that promotes cell health and healing.
      • When it comes to antioxidants, cranberries beats almost every other fruit and vegetable. Only the blueberry ranks higher than the cranberry when it comes to antioxidant capacity.
    • Cranberries are a good source of Manganese, Vitamin E, Copper, and Vitamin K1.
    • Taking cranberry juice is also said to reduce the risk of contracting UTIs in both adults and children.



  • Serving Size: 1 Serving
  • Calories: 46 2%
  • Carbs: 12.2g 4%
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Fiber: 4.6g 18%
  • Protein: 0.4g 1%
  • Fat: 0.1g 0%
  • Saturated Fat: 0g 0%
  • Trans Fat 0g 0%
  • Cholesterol 0mg 0%
  • Sodium 2mg 0%
  • Vitamin C 13.3mg 22%
  • Vitamin A 60.0IU 1%
  • Calcium 8mg 1%
  • Iron 0.3mg 1%
  • Potassium 85mg 2%
  • Vitamin E 1.2mg 6%
  • Vitamin K 5.1mcg 6%
  • Vitamin B6 0.1mg 3%
  • Folate 1mcg 0%
  • Magnesium 6mg 1%
  • Phosphorus 13mg 1%
  • Manganese 0.4mg 18%
  • Copper 0.1mg 3%
  • Zinc 0.1mg 1%

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Tasty Recipes Using Cranberries


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