Harvest of the Month: Cranberries

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Cranberries are often overlooked in the kitchen because their tartness makes them hard to eat on their own. But with a little creativity (and some sugar), they can be delicious. They’re also a great source of nutrition, packed with vitamin C, antioxidants, and anti-cancer properties.

I like to add a handful to my smoothie to keep it from getting too sweet, or blend some in a food processor with an apple, some citrus, and a little sugar. Try sprinkling dried cranberries on top of oatmeal or cereal, or using them as an alternative to raisins in granola or muffin recipes. When shopping for cranberries, look for “Massachusetts Grown,” or stop by the Vineyard Open Lands Foundation cranberry bog on Lambert’s Cove Road for cranberries grown right here on the Vineyard.

Cranberry Vinaigrette

Recipe by Robin Forte

1 cup cranberries

1 cup orange juice

2 tbs. brown sugar

1 tbs. shallot or purple onion, minced

1 sprig fresh thyme

Salt and ground black pepper

¼ cup sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

½ cup olive oil

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine cranberries, orange juice, brown sugar, chopped shallot, and thyme. Simmer on low until reduced, 8 to 12 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and a bit of ground black pepper. Remove thyme sprig and let cool. Add vinegar and then whisk in olive oil.

Ava Castro is the preschool coordinator for Island Grown Schools, the Vineyard’s farm-to-school program.