A Bowlful of Cranberry Tips

  • This beneficial berry is high in fiber, has just 25 calories per 1/2 cup and is a good source of vitamin C. Cranberries are also low in sodium and contain vitamins A and B, calcium, phosphorus and iron.

  • Look for firm, plump cranberries with a lustrous color. You'll find fresh cranberries in the produce section from September through December. They freeze well, so buy extra.

  • Fresh cranberries will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks. Wash berries only when ready to use.

  • Cranberries can be frozen for up to 9 months, stored in a heavy-duty freezer bag or container. When ready to use in recipes, do not thaw first.

  • You can substitute frozen cranberries in most recipes calling for fresh.

  • To prepare cranberries for cooking, sort out bruised, soft or shriveled berries and discard. Rinse remaining berries in cold water.

  • Cook cranberries by boiling gently in water and waiting until the berries "pop" (when the outer skin expands until it bursts).

  • Each 12-ounce bag of cranberries yields about 3 cups.

  • For quick results, chop cranberries in a food processor.

  • Try these quick and easy ideas:

    Mix a little cranberry juice with some hot apple cider for a zingy beverage.

    Add a half cup (or more) of chopped cranberries to your favorite bread, muffin or stuffing mix.

    Add variety to baked apples by filling the center with cranberries and a dash of sugar and cinnamon.