In Season: Cranberries

No need to wait 'til Thanksgiving to enjoy these refreshing fruits.

Stepping into a big box grocery store, it’s easy to think that all produce grows all year round—but that’s hardly the case. In this series, we’ll highlight one in-season produce pick a week.


Nutrition: Cranberries are rich in natural antioxidants and the mineral manganese. Just one large handful of these tart, low-calorie treats also contains a fifth of your daily fiber and vitamin C needs.

Why that matters: Manganese is essential to bone strength, while antioxidants have been linked with disease prevention. Plus, vitamin C may help you stay healthy this flu season.

Where to find it: Massachusetts is one of only five states in the country that grow cranberries, and it’s the site of the first recorded cranberry harvest. Find the fruits at farmers’ markets or harvest your own at a nearby cranberry bog.

Five cranberry recipes:

1. Cranberry Walnut Rice
via The Food Network

This heart-healthy dish can warm up any fall meal, and it’s a cinch to make. Use it as a base for chicken, seasonal tacos, or soup. Just be sure to select brown rice instead of white.

2. Cranberry Spinach Salad
via All Recipes

This salad is packed with produce, and the almonds, poppy seeds, and onions add pizzazz for more adventurous palates. Don’t forget cider vinegar for extra fall flavor.

3. Cranberry Orange Smoothie
via Shugary Sweets

Bring some fall flavor to your breakfast with this unique smoothie recipe. Squeeze your own orange juice and swap the suggested vanilla yogurt for plain to minimize sugar content.

4. Cranberry Relish
via Martha Stewart

This no-cook recipe uses apples and oranges for natural sweetness, counterbalancing the tartness of the cranberries. Use it to jazz up fall staples like turkey, stuffing, or kale-based salads.

5. Asian Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries
via My Recipes

Brussels sprouts also reach their peak harvest time in October, so take advantage of this savory-sweet flavor combo while you can. Spicy chili-garlic sauce balances out the sprouts’ heartiness.