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Cranberries, Cranberries!

Standing in the Middle of a Cranberry Bog

By Maggie Reinhold

C ranberry bogs and New Jersey just go together. I grew up in South Jersey with a cranberry bog in my back yard! These bogs of “red berries” provided a year-round food source and/or entertainment for my family. During the spring and summer we’d explore the bogs, and then we’d harvest the cranberries in the fall. Finally, the freezing temps of winter turned our “food bogs” into a giant, frozen ice hockey rink.

* quote Middle Tennessee has “pick-your-own” blueberry farms. Additionally, you can readily find both cranberries and blueberries at local farmers’ markets and grocery stores across the state...

Along with cranberries, blueberries are also a special part of New Jersey food culture. Hammonton, New Jersey is the blueberry capital of the world. Come to New Jersey and you’ll find farm-fresh local blueberries used in several different dessert dishes from Danish pastries, pies and donuts to soft-serve blueberry ice cream. Cranberries and blueberries may be native to New Jersey, but they are also found right here in Tennessee. Middle Tennessee has “pick-your-own” blueberry farms. Additionally, you can readily find both cranberries and blueberries at local farmers’ markets and grocery stores across the state.

Research from the U.S. Department of Agriculture identifies cranberries and blueberries as vitamin-rich power foods that are high in antioxidants. Additionally, both fruits have a variety of health benefits, which include cancer prevention, improved immune function and decreased blood pressure.

Cranberries and blueberries can be used to prepare lots of delicious dishes but a personal favorite is cranberry-blueberry crisp. This recipe is a tasty, healthier dessert alternative to the traditional high-sugar, high-fat version. Enjoy!

Cranberry-Blueberry Crisp


(Editor's Note: I make a variation of this during the holidays using cranberries and apples.)

Gluten-free vegan cranberry blueberry crisp

Author: The Pretty Bee
· 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
· 7 tablespoons vegan buttery spread, cut into small cubes
· ½ cup gluten-free flour blend (e.g. Bob’s Red Mill Biscuit and Baking Mix)
· 1 cup rolled oats

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse and drain the cranberries and blueberries and place them in a square baking dish. Sprinkle with the granulated sugar.
2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, gluten-free flour blend, cinnamon and brown sugar.
3. Add the vegan buttery spread, and mix together using a pastry cutter until it resembles a crumb topping.
4. Spread the crumb topping over the berries and bake at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes or until the berries are bubbly and the crumb topping is lightly browned.

Each serving contains 194 calories, 9 grams of total fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 97 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of sugar, 2 grams of dietary fiber.

1. Neto CC. Cranberry and blueberry: evidence for protective effects against cancer and vascular diseases. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007;51(6):652-664.
2. United States Department of Agriculture. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 26. < https//ndb.nal.usda.gov .> Accessed February 17, 2016.
3. Rodriguez-Mateos, A. Cranberry Health Research Conference. Madison, WI. October 12, 2015.

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