Cranberries: From Bog to Table

In the spirit of the season, today’s post is all about cranberries. You know, those tasty, nutrient-dense, little red morsels … you most likely passed them (or passed them by—folks usually love ’em or hate ’em) around your Thanksgiving table last week. And maybe you’ll enjoy them again at a Christmas feast. Their bright-red hues bring a festive touch to any holiday meal.

When I think cranberries, I think New England, where many of the cranberries in the U.S. are grown and harvested. I don’t think my neighboring Washington state … until now. Turns out, Washington state is the fifth largest cranberry-producing state in the U.S. Who knew?

And cranberries are grown in a unique, almost other-worldly setting called a cranberry bog. According to Cranberries.org, “[Cranberries] can grow and survive only under a very special combination of factors. These factors include acid peat soil, an adequate fresh water supply, and a growing season that extends from April to November. Cranberries grow on low-lying vines in beds layered with sand, peat, gravel and clay. These beds are commonly known as bogs or marshes and were originally created by glacial deposits. Commercial bogs use a system of wetlands, uplands, ditches, flumes, ponds and other water bodies that provide a natural habitat for a variety of plant and animal life.”

This gorgeous slideshow of cranberry production in Washington state will make you appreciate these little gems even more. And here are a couple of holiday-inspired recipes to get your creative cranberry juices flowing!

Day-after Thanksgiving Turkey Sandwiches

Today’s Recipe: Cranberry-Ginger Mini Custard Pies

Leave a comment 3 Comments

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I had no idea cranberries free in Washington state either. I love these wonderful tart red jewels and have been enjoying them for several weeks now when they became available. I tried a new recipe I saw where you take one bag of raw berries, a stalk of celery, one apple, zest of one orange, juice of one orange, and walnuts. Place all ingredients in a food processor and rough chop. Place in a bowl and add sugar (1/2-3/4 Cup depending on taste). When you place in the fridge, the berries and sugar melt a bit and you end up with this tart, juicy, crunchy fresh cranberry salad. Wow, was that ever a delicious treat for lunch and on morning oatmeal!

  2. Diane Benjamin says:

    I and my family are cranberry lovers! Cranberry muffins and breads, cranberries in granola and on yogurt. And did you know that a cup of dried cranberries added to your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe really punches it up! More than half the cranberries grown in America come from right here in Wisconsin. If you’re ever in our neck of the woods in the fall, check out the Warren WI cranberry fest – it’s real down home fun!

  3. Lisa Von Saunder says:

    And here I thought Cranberries were only in Maine, where I visited the bogs on my last visit.
    You can never have enough cranberries in my opinion so I am glad other states grow them now too.
    And remember they freeze so well for future baking

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