We love cranberries.  We use them fresh and dried in breads, muffins, cookies, and pies.   (Try spiking your favorite apple pie with a handful of cranberries.)  But dry cranberries tend to get . . . well, dry and we always suspected that the processors pumped a lot of sugar into them.  So we went searching for a better berry and found one–superior to anything else that we have tried.

In our search for the better berry, we learned a great deal about cranberries and how they are processed.  Dried cranberries (or craisins as the clever marketing people have labeled them) are largely a byproduct of the juice industry.  Cranberries are harvested, sliced, and partially smashed to remove the juice and pectin for commercial juice products.  The resulting hulls are rehydrated, usually in a hot corn syrup bath, to plump them and infuse them with sweetener.  They’re good–but they could be better.

We found a producer that grows cranberries for cranberries.  They use a patented cold-processing method (not hot) to slice the berries and remove the seeds.  They leave most of the juice and nearly all of the pectin in the berry.  Because they leave more of the juice and pectin in the berry, they can use less sweetener than the other guys (and they use sucrose instead of corn syrup).  You can tell the difference–the reddest, plumpest, best-tasting cranberries ever.  (The berries in the foreground are the cold processed berries.  Even in a picture, you can see the difference.)

Better tasting berries make better tasting baked goods.  We’re anxious to share our berries with you (see the free berry offer in the Weekly Specials).  Both our Old-Fashioned Cranberry Nut Bread and our Cranberry Nut Bread for bread machines now feature these new berries.  We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

These cranberries make a great syrup that you can use for your pancakes, on ice cream or on roast turkey.

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