Cranberries – Seasonal Fruit for the Holidays: Holiday Savings Tip #5

by on December 18, 2010 in Food Storage,Meal Planning & Recipes,Personal Experiences

12 Days of Christmas Tips to Help You Save!

On the fifth day of Christmas…

The best time to buy produce is when it is in season or soon after it is harvested. Cranberries are harvested in the late fall, making them perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas side dishes!

Buy Fresh Cranberries during the Holidays for best price and availability.

I’m not really sure why it is so hard to find fresh cranberries at other times of the year, but the Holidays are definitely the time to buy them. You can find them for under $2.00 a bag, and in addition to being super easy to use, they keep well, too.

You can use fresh cranberries in all sorts of wonderful foods. I have my super easy homemade cranberry sauce that I make every Thanksgiving. I make one batch for the holiday meal and keep another bag of cranberries in the freezer for leftovers once the first batch runs out. I’ve written before about how we love Turkey & Cranberry sandwiches and usually eat all our Thanksgiving leftovers just by making sandwiches!

With Christmas coming up you can still easily find bags of fresh cranberries in your store’s produce aisle. Look for dark red berries with no mushy or dark spots. The hard fruit lends itself well to baking, especially breads and cookies. Yum!

Storing Cranberries

By far the easiest way to store fresh cranberries is to open your freezer and toss them in!

Seriously though, you can store cranberries very easily in your freezer. They are usually sold in plastic bags, and you can freeze them in their original packaging if it will be only a few weeks. If you are freezing the berries for longer, consider putting the whole package inside another freezer-safe bag or container. They can be stored in the freezer for 10-12 months.

If you aren’t sure about storing fresh produce, or any of the items you might cook from that produce, consider consulting a site like Still Tasty. Still Tasty is a go-to resource giving you instant info on how to store virtually any food. You can search for raw ingredients or cooked items. It’s pretty cool! They also have an iPhone app (costs $1.99) that can alert you when your own food storage has approaching expiration dates. Sounds handy!

Have you ever cooked with cranberries? Share your favorite recipe!

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