The Power of Cranberries!

by zesty on May 26, 2009 · 18 comments

Happy Tuesday!  As I was eating pizza on Saturday night after taking a break from packing, I tuned into the food network where there was an episode on cranberry harvesting.  I was very intrigued.  I never really payed much attention to the harvesting of cranberries before, I just know that I love to eat them.  Whether they are fresh, frozen or in cranberry juice – I am a huge fan.

cranberry_sizzler

So after watching the episode I learned a great deal on the process of harvesting cranberries.

Did you know?

Cranberries are harvested in the fall when the fruit takes on its distinctive deep red color. This is usually in late September or early October. To harvest cranberries, the beds are flooded with six to eight inches of water above the vines. A harvester is driven through the beds to remove the fruit from the vines. For the past 50 years, water reel type harvesters have been used. Harvested cranberries float in the water and can be corralled into a corner of the bed and conveyed or pumped from the bed. From the farm, cranberries are taken to receiving stations where they are cleaned, sorted, and stored prior to packaging or processing.

Although most cranberries are wet-picked as described above, 5-10% of the US crop is still dry-picked. This entails higher labor costs and lower yield, but dry-picked berries are less bruised and can be sold as fresh fruit instead of having to be immediately frozen or processed. Originally performed with two-handed comb scoops, dry picking is today accomplished by motorized, walk-behind harvesters which must be small enough to traverse beds without damaging the vines.

White cranberry juice drinks are made from regular cranberries that have been harvested after the fruits are mature, but before they have attained their characteristic dark red color. Yields are lower on beds harvested early and the early flooding tends to damage vines, but not severely.

About 95% of cranberries are processed into products such as juice drinks, sauce, and sweetened dried cranberries. The remaining 5% is sold fresh to consumers. Cranberries destined for processing are usually frozen in bulk containers shortly after arriving at a receiving station. To allow air movement deterring decay, cranberries for fresh market are stored in shallow bins or boxes with perforated or slatted bottoms. Because harvest occurs in late autumn, cranberries for fresh market are frequently stored in thick walled barns without mechanical refrigeration. Temperatures are regulated by opening and closing vents in the barn as needed.

Information taken form both the food network tv show and Wikipedia.

Cranberry Sizzler

In honor of the cranberry, I thought I would make you my version of what I call the cranberry sizzler.  This high impact drink contains frozen cranberries and gives off a lot of attitude.  The tartness  of the cranberries really wake you up.

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 Cup Apple slices
  • 1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp. Flax Seed
  • 1/2 Cup Raspberries
  • 1 Scoop of Protein Powder

Method

  1. Add all ingredients to blender and mix until smooth
  2. Pour into your favorite glass
  3. ENJOY!

Zesty Tip: When blending frozen fruit it is best to put liquid at the bottom of the blender if possible to avoid the fruit from stopping the blender and getting stuck.  If you have a high powered blender you have nothing to worry about.

If you have not already entered the latest zesty blog giveaway – do so right this second!  I cannot wait to reveal the winner on June 8th.  Have a great Tuesday and see you tomorrow.

Take care

zesty

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 meg

Delicious! I could use one of these to wake me up this morning!

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2 Anna

Cranberries! I grew up (and still live!) in “cranberry country” aka southeastern Massachusetts. They really are delicious!

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3 Mara @ What's For Dinner?

YUM! That looks so refreshing!

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4 rachel

flax seeds in this makes me curious about how the sizzler would taste..love the fiery red colour

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5 CaSaundra

I watched the show too! Cranberry harvesting is very interesting! SO much more work than it seems–cranberry and oats are killer together!

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6 Jess

I love cranberries too! That sizzler sounds yummy and refreshing…I can’t wait to give it a whirl…get it blender-whirl? ha? nevermind :D
Have a great day!

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7 K

Oh that sounds really good!! The only time I’ve cooked with cranberries is in cookies so I’ll have to give this smoothie a go when it warms up!

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8 Danica

What a great idea to sweeten up the cranberries with apples and raspberries. I LIKE this smoothie idea and of couse the colorful red placemat too :)

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9 Alisa - Frugal Foodie

You really lived up to the zesty name with this smoothie!

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10 bobbi

mmm that looks amazing!!! Must try tomorrow morning!

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11 Caroline

I have a bag of cranberries in my freezer leftover from Thanksgiving…I think they’ll be put to good use today!

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12 Gina

When I was a child my favorite drink was cranraspberry and sprite. I don’t really eat cranberries, but that looks so yummy, and it’s a perfect summer time treat!

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13 the wicked noodle

I’ve been looking for a different breakfast drink and this looks great, especially since cranberries seem to be a bit cheaper than other fruits. Thanks for the tip about adding the liquids in first, too!

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14 Elina

I didn’t know any of this stuff about cranberries. Very interesting! :)

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15 Pigpigscorner

Great post! THere’s so much to learn about it.

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